Boston Ballet Welcome Guests at the London Coliseum
One of the most exciting visits to London was Boston Ballet: a vibrant company with an exciting rep. Under the directorship of Finnish Mikko Nissinen since 2001, it has grown to international status. The bookers obviously decided that London wanted Balanchine and Programme A opened on Serenade, closed on Symphony in Three Movements but had a surprise filling of an antique and a super modern ballet in the middle.
Nijinsky’s Faun has reached its centenary but with so many interesting revisionings around – notably by David Dawson and Jiří Bubeníček – Nijinsky’s version, so innovative in its time has assumed the patina of an old master. Altan Dugaraa, a magnetic, androgynous Faun and Lorna Feijóo, a beguiling Nymph gave compelling performances etched in the choreographer’s extraordinary staccato moves.
Jorma Elo’s Plan to B was the undoubted star of the show. It not only lit up the stage but practically stripped the paint off the walls as the Baroque ebullience of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber’s music is whipped into twenty-first century shapes. Well structured and maintaining a vibrant dynamic,
Elo gives each of the six dancers wonderful material. Jeffrey Cirio and David Lam matched in physique and virtuoso talent took the theatre by storm in their duet and Dusty Button proved an exacting female foil with lethal extension and stiletto sharp pointes.
Button, a dancer to watch, showed a very different persona in Serenade; gentler and intensely romantic. The ballet, although it lacked precision at times, scored with strong leads and a corps that swept through the ballet with fluidity and speed. In Stravinsky’s jazzy Symphony a sharper, vivacious corps gave strong backing to the soloists who were splendid, particularly in the syncopated trios in the last movement.
Programme B found a strong balance between three powerful works. Forsythe’s The Second Detail was executed with punch and precision, the dancers swinging nonchalantly into extreme positions before swinging out of them with equal nonchalance, stomping casually off before returning for the next round.
David Lam was a fireball of energy and tiny Misa Kuranaga, who has incredible timing and balance, added a hint of seductive charm. Yumiko Takashima’s new costumes keep the simple outlines and the signature grey-blue but are more flattering and very welcome.