The choreography is typical Scholz. Always intensely musical, the dancers keep coming, the steps keep flowing.
Sometimes it is a little too much, as in the complex second movement, when I seriously question whether two couples dancing around each other, only coming together occasionally, are really needed.
Both deserve watching, yet the presence of the other pair actually stops you giving either the full attention they deserve.
It’s all hugely enjoyable, though, as is the following movement, which opens with a sort of conversation in movement between the four men before they are joined by four women.
Things turn a little jokey as the former show off then stand cross legged, arms folded, while the women respond.
It was very noticeable how tall and strong the male students looked, and how excellent their partnering was, compared to their UK school counterparts. The influence of former teacher, Petr Pestov and his methods clearly lives on.
The dancers, drawn from the school’s top two years gave it all the energy and accuracy it needed. It was particularly taken by Nao Harada, who danced with a huge smile and who really seemed to be enjoying every moment. That sort of thing does transmit to the audience. Chiri Matsunaga also impressed.
Young Gabriel Figueredo, who impressed so much in last year’s gala and in the Stuttgart Ballet and Opera co-production of Death in Venice, having been laid low with a virus at the start of the week, meant we were denied Balanchine’s Glinka pas de trois.
But what a replacement Mr B’s Sylvia pas de deux turned out to be. It was the highlight of the evening.