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Made In Germany - Stuttgart Ballet

Published Tuesday 19 November 2013 at 10:07 by Sarah Frater

The first of Stuttgart Ballet’s two-programme visit to London is a gala-style mixed bill of no less than 13 short ballets made specifically for the company. Despite the pre-recorded music and plain stage, this is a neat idea, as the packed programme shows off the excellent dancers and demonstrates that the company has long been committed to new work - even if some is of variable quality. From the moment John Cranko took over the company in 1961 until his premature death in 1973, the South African-born artistic director made new ballets - three of which are in the programme. Perhaps the most interesting is the little-seen third movement from Initials RBME (1972) whose influence on the British dance maker Kenneth MacMillan is clear. Also from the 1970s is the duet from John Neumeier’s The Lady of the Camellias, an intensely romantic re-telling of the famous Alexandre Dumas story.

Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly in Le Grand Pas De Deux from Made In Germany by Stuttgart Ballet at Sadler's Wells

Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly in Le Grand Pas De Deux from Made In Germany by Stuttgart Ballet at Sadler's Wells Photo: Tristram Kenton

The remainder of the programme is from the 1990s and 2000s, and reflects the priorities of European ballet in the period. All are athletic, with body shape and physical dexterity the priority over story-telling. The drama comes from the physical extremes and ingenuity of the chorography and, in this respect, the influence of American-born choreographer, and one-time Stuttgart dancer, William Forsythe is evident. Unexpectedly, there is also humour, with Christian Spuck’s Le Grand Pas de Deux (1999) spoofing ballet’s sacred cows. However, the quiet hit of the evening is Edward Clug’s Sssss, a sombre solo that shows off the charismatic dancer Pablo von Sternenfels.

Production information

Sadler's Wells, London, November 18-19

Alexander Glazunov, Sarah Vaughn, Frederic Chopin, Elvis Presley, Gioachino Rossini, Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich, Serge Prokofiev, Michael Nyman, Johnny Cash, Franz Schubert
Reid Anderson
John Cranko, Marco Goecke, Edward Clug, Demis Volpi, Christian Spuck, Mauro Bigonzetti, John Neumeier, Douglas Lee, Itzik Galili
Stuttgart Ballet
Cast includes:
Maria Eichwald, Filip Barankiewicz, Friedemann Vogel, Pablo von Sternenfels, Elisa Badenes, Daniel Camargo, Alicia Amatriain, Jason Reilly, Evan McKie, Anna Osadcenko, Hyo-Jung Kang, Alexander Jones, Sue Jin Kang, Marijn Rademaker
Running time:

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014