IT’S Friday night and it’s either England versus Algeria or a Birmingham Royal Ballet triple bill..... one is guaranteed to deliver 90 minutes of passion, drama and excitement, the other isn’t.
Sure enough, the BRB didn’t disappoint with three very different and brilliantly performed pieces. The first, Theme and Variations to music by Tchaikovsky and choreographed by George Balanchine, was in the classic ballet style danced beautifully led by the darlings of the company, Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao.
It also featured a ravishing violin solo by first violin Robert Gibbs of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia before finishing on an ensemble high, to the delight of the audience.
From the classical we moved to the modern, well to 1971 and Grosse Fuge, music by Beethoven, choreography by Hans van Manen, the curtain lifting on a stunningly bright, white, stark stage, the women in flesh coloured corsets, the men, bare chested, in flowing black skirts with hefty belts.
What followed was the most erotic and energetic of dances ending with the men, skirts discarded to reveal black trunks, heaving and glistening with sweat as the piece reached its climax.
To finish, it was show time with the crowd pleaser Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, music by Richard Rogers and choreographed by George Balanchine with Robert Parker and Gaylene Cummerfield taking the leads as the Hoofer and the Striptease Girl.
The work never fails to delight, succeeding as a piece of drama, music, and of course dance with Parker and Cummerfield outstanding. A real showstopper and a tremendous way to bring the curtain down. Outstanding.
How did England do again?