Bel/Millepied/Robbins review – parting shots

Palais Garnier, Paris
With the mood still raw after his resignation from Paris Opera Ballet, Benjamin Millepied presents a provocative triple bill

Opening the day after Benjamin Millepied’s shock resignation from the Paris Opera Ballet, after just 16 months as director, this triple bill has particular resonance. Millepied’s new ballet, La Nuit s’achève, is set to Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata. It’s a work of storm and calm, whose first movement sees three couples propelled on a flood-tide of grand allegro. This is the kind of fluent neoclassicism at which Millepied excels, and which he learned from Jerome Robbins at New York City Ballet (it’s a measure of the bad feeling in the Paris ballet world that an hour before curtain-up, Pierre Bergé, former president of the Opéra, bitchily tweeted that Millepied had copied Robbins).

The first movement is marred by the costuming; Alessandro Sartori’s electrically coloured outfits confuse the eye and blur the balletic line. The remainder of the piece, which takes the form of a series of duets, principally for Amandine Albisson and Hervé Moreau, is conducted in simple black and white. The second movement is tenderly playful. The third, in which the women let down their hair, offers cascades of runs, turns and flying jetés. It’s attractive if weightless stuff, and Millepied was received with loud applause and cries of “Merci!”

It’s attractive if weightless stuff, and Millepied was received with loud applause

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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