The triple bill opened on Without Words. Written for the American Ballet Theatre in 1998 it is an abstract work for eight dancers and set to Schubert’s music.
There were interesting moments and positions in the duets and lively solos but it lacks the fire that distinguishes the best of Duato’s works.
The dancers seemed to lack commitment: the feet and legs that showed such polish and precision in the classical ballets now seemed slack and even woolly.
Nunc Dimittis*) opens in a lighting state of high drama and the music of Arvo Pärt adds a religious sensitivity.
Written for the company in 2011 it was created for the tall, elegant Borchenko who sets her mark on the work with her high definition limbs and feet.
The female ensemble brings a flash of colour to the stage in vivid red velvet costumes as Duato structures the couples to surround and single out Borchenko who brings it to a sublime close as, draped in a loop of cloth, she is suspended above the stage.
Prelude to Beethoven’s music was also written for this company. It has some of the best moments in the programme, particularly the neo-classical pointe duets where the choreography is lean, mean and has bite. Sarafanov again bagged himself an interesting role as an outsider figure in a work that was theatrical in a non-narrative way.
The corps seemed more at home in their long ballet skirts, although they wear soft shoes, and the bits of scenery moving in and out bring their own interest. Next year Duarto takes on the role of Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin although he will continue to choreograph for the Mikhailovsky – an interesting move
*) The Nunc dimittis (also Song of Simeon or Canticle of Simeon) is a canticle from a text in the second chapter of Luke named after its first words in Latin, meaning 'Now you dismiss...'.
Simeon was a devout Jew who, according to the book of Luke, had been promised by the Holy Ghost that he would not die until he had seen the Saviour. WhenMary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem for the ceremony of consecration of the firstborn son Simeon was there, and he took Jesus into his arms and uttered these words. (Wikipedia).
1 May 2013