The Royal Ballet doesn’t seem to be having much luck with new ballets this year, after the crashingly boring Children of Adam, the new version of Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins that premiered last week hasn’t appealed much to the critics any more than it appealed to me.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/aefaf974-f5a6-1 ... 10621.html
Will Tuckett has a lot of choreographic talent and I’ve admired his work in the past, but this was a work as deadly as the title. I really don’t understand why the RB didn’t simply revive the MacMillan version, which at least recognized that the piece is a political satire.
The story is basically about a bourgeois family using their daughter, Anna, as a meal ticket, encountering less than desirable examples of humanity on her path to financial security. MacMillan managed to blend humour and pathos in his treatment of a notoriously difficult score but Tuckett presents us with nothing more than a tale of sexual exploitation and he had lost me by the time Anna encountered her first sin of sloth in which a pimp appeared to be less than pleased by Anna’s passivity with a client. Don’t think that strikes me as particularly slothful actually, but all the sins experienced were about carnal couplings, so that when they got to lust, there was nothing new to show.
The two Annas were Martha Wainwright singing (almost completely inaudably) and Zenaida Yanovsky in black bra and suspender belt, dancing. Ms Yanovsky was required to open her legs wide apart everytime she was lifted and whenever she was on the bed. As she was lifted a great deal and also spent a lot of time on the bed it meant seeing more of the lady’s crotch than most people would be comfortable with. A small male corps performed some typically chorus boy type moves from musical comedy but there wasn’t much imagination to be seen throughout the work. Definitely a miss.
The hit of the evening was Pierrot Lunaire with Ivan Putrov, Deirdre Chapman and Carlos Acosta even better in their roles than last year. Perhaps Putrov still remains a little too much the classical dancer in this role, but he portrays this lonely underdog so well its unfair to quibble that it would suit a modern dancer better.
La Fin du Jour suffered from dreadful orchestral playing that all but killed this sensitive little work dead. Few of the dancers understood the inherent langour of the piece about the gilded youth living sybaritic lives in the brief interval between two world wars. The costumes of the two leading girls had been altered to rather garish shades and both their partners had difficulty in thowing and catching them horizontally: I don’t remember the original cast having problems with that. Perhaps if the music could just come together the dancing would improve.