A couple of very churlish reviews towards the revival of Michael Corder's beautiful L'Invitation au voyage I thought, though I enjoyed reading a couple of the readers' replies to Sarah Frater's critique. However today's reviews are far more positive.
The Guardian's Judith Mackrell seemed to like it with reservations
But over at the F.T. Clement Crisp was full of praise:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/887f15a8-a6a0 ... 07658.html
I have cherished fond memories of this work for over twenty years and was thrilled that this revival retained all the atmosphere and delicacy I remember. Led by Marianela Nuñez, Leanne Benjamin and a name completely new to me, Melissa Hamilton, the entire cast danced admirably catching every nuance of the haunting Duparc songs.
I agree with Clement Crisp that:
Here is a work perfect in the harmony of its elements: score, choreography, design speak with one voice.
Yes, and that is now so very rare. The cast caught completely the mood of the Belle Époque that Corder so brilliantly evokes and the singer, Harriet Williams, not only sung beautifully, she moved among the dancers with unselfconscious ease, playing perhaps, the role of narrator of their joys and sorrows. The Art Nouveau designs have come in for some unwarranted criticism in my view, but they actually capture the period exactly, very much Alphonse Mucha looking over his shoulder towards Watteau, whose famous L'Embarquement pour l'Île de Cythère surely echoes in image the words of Baudelaire's poem. I hope very much that this ballet retains a place in the repertoire.
The rest of the evening was mostly enjoyable, though the memory of NYCB in Serenade earlier this year, colours my view of the ballet. Nuñez was near perfect in it and is making this ballet her own, but from my seat in the amphi, it was worrying to note that lines were not straight nor the danced circles completely round, so A+ for Nuñez and B- for the corps de ballet.
Theme and variations gave Tamara Rojo the chance to show off her miraculous balances and perfect turns but her partner Bonelli wasn't up to scratch with very untidy footwork.
A nice programme over all, but with some harder work/cast changes it would look a lot better.