Three reviews for the ENB workshop and MacMillan's "Sea of Troubles" at the Linbury: English National Ballet
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian
There could hardly have been a more natural subject for Kenneth MacMillan's imagination than Hamlet. Eloquently at odds with the world, with sex and with his own divided nature, the prince of Denmark was the obvious successor to the Rudolfs, Anastasias and Isadoras of MacMillan's world.
Yet Sea of Troubles (which was made in 1988 for the chamber ensemble Dance Advance) makes a dramatic departure from the detailed plotlines and emotional realism of MacMillan's most famous story ballets.
Not only is it a fiercely concentrated piece, reducing Shakespeare's tragedy to around 45 minutes, but its six dancers divide all the main roles between them, swapping from Hamlet to Polonius, Gertrude to Ophelia with barely a pause. click for more
************************** English National Ballet
By Allen Robertson for The Times
THOSE folks who champion the Olympic spirit are fond of saying that it’s the doing rather than the winning which is the important thing. Given that attitude, this evening of six new works choreographed by members of English National Ballet (repeated tonight) was a success. None will be entering the permanent repertory, but each gave its dancers the chance to do something new and, as any performer will tell you, nothing means more than that.
In his own solo, If, Thomas Edur seems to be harking back to some lost moment of bliss. It begins with the nearly nude Edur sitting on a chair, hunched over and cradling something between his hands. As the swooning aria from Catalani’s La Wally begins, Edur opens his hands to reveal that he’s holding a pale diaphanous scarf. click for more
************************** When MacMillan was all at sea
Zoë Anderson for The Daily Telegraph reviews Sea of Troubles performed by the English National Ballet at Linbury studio, Covent Garden
The 10th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan's death has brought on the revival of little-seen ballets. The Royal Ballet's tribute to one of its defining choreographers was hastily beefed up when Monica Mason replaced Ross Stretton as director. English National Ballet have already revived MacMillan's Rite of Spring. In Covent Garden's Linbury Studio, ENB has now also performed the very rare Sea of Troubles.
This barefoot Hamlet is from 1988, a time when MacMillan was making expressionist ballets that were - and remain - unpopular. It was made for independent dancers, and this revival also started outside a major company. click for more