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Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III

“Vibrantly danced triple bill”

The Royal Ballet proudly displays its heritage in a triple bill featuring works by founder choreographers Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, rounded off with a Russian import of grand Imperial classicism courtesy of Rudolf Nureyev.

Newly minted principal dancer Marcelino Sambé and rising star Anna Rose O’Sullivan ace the first movement of MacMillan’s plotless Concerto (set to Shostakovich and created in 1966 during the choreographer’s tenure at the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin). O’Sullivan dances with a sunbeam brightness and zest to match her tangerine-coloured costume, selling MacMillan’s sudden vaudevillian shimmies with witty charisma and spontaneous musicality.

Ashton’s Enigma Variations, last revived in 2011, is a richly detailed and subtly shaded portrait of Edward Elgar’s particular social milieu, with superb domestic designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman. Amid the comings-and-goings of tweedy eccentrics (the bulldozer personality of Matthew Ball’s Arthur Troyte Griffith is a highlight) Christopher Saunders movingly renders the composer’s personal and musical insecurities. The ‘Nimrod’ variation is a memorable evocation of mature friendship; catching at the shifting currents of conversation and companionship with a finespun physicality.

Last seen in 2012, Nureyev’s version of the third act of Petipa’s Raymonda is a glittering confection of Hungarian character dance and classical grandeur.

As the titular princess, Sarah Lamb starts out with a filigree delicacy that modulates into riveting drama: like some uniquely glamorous feline, her bourrées seem to purr with a rippling smoothness. Princely Vadim Muntagirov follows suit with pantherine leaps and there’s strong support from the soloists and fluffy-hatted corps.

Ballet dancer Anna Rose O’Sullivan – ‘Never lose your special something’

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Production Details
Production nameConcerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III
VenueRoyal Opera House
StartsOctober 22, 2019
EndsDecember 20, 2019
Running time2hrs 50mins
ComposerAlexander Glazunov, Dmitry Shostakovich, Edward Elgar
ChoreographerKenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, Rudolf Nureyev Marius Petipa
Set designerBarry Kay, Julia Trevelyan Oman, Jurgen Rose
Lighting designerJohn B Read
CastAnna Rose O’Sullivan, Christopher Saunders, Laura Morera, Lauren Cuthbertson, Marcelino Sambe, Matthew Ball, Melissa Hamilton, Reece Clarke, Sarah Lamb, Vadim Muntagirov
VerdictThe Royal Ballet celebrates its heritage with a vibrantly danced triple bill
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Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

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