Royal Ballet mixed bill review – a winning world premiere from Wayne McGregor

Royal Opera House, London
McGregor’s all-male Obsidian Tear, one of his strongest works to date, contrasts with brutal Kenneth MacMillan, plus superbly performed Christopher Wheeldon

As Wayne McGregor has evolved from contemporary to classical choreographer, he has made deliberate use of the traditional balletic contrasts between male and female dancing. He plays with the extreme, airborne possibilities of the pas de deux and the skimming, stabbing language of pointe work. But in his latest work, he restricts himself to an all-male cast and, as a result, mines a captivating and challenging new language.

Obsidian Tear is set to the music of Esa-Pekka Salonen, pairing his violin piece Lachen Verlent with the orchestral work Nyx. The latter, whose title refers to the Greek goddess of night, inspires the imaginative world of the ballet, which is both archaic and futuristic, tribally male and intriguingly transgender. McGregor’s nine men are dressed in kilts and tracksuit trousers created by a selection of contemporary designers.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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