With the last remains of glittery Nutcracker magic now behind us for another year, just two days after the end of the run of the festive classic, the Royal Ballet return with a fun, bright and uplifting mixed bill to ease us through January.
Asphodel Meadows is a brief and well-crafted little gem from Liam Scarlett, having premiered in 2010. At the time, Scarlett was just 24 years old and this was his first commission for the Royal Opera House main stage; now, it sits confidently amongst the Royal’s repertoire.
It features three central pas de deux to Francis Poulenc’s turbulent double piano concerto, that sways from charming vibrancy to a moody storminess as it passes through movements. Laura Morera and Marianela Nunez featured in the casting from nine years ago and reprise those roles here, partnered by Ryoichi Hirano and William Bracewell, while the final movement is led capably by rising stars Meaghan Grace Hinkis and Luca Acri.
The title refers to the mythological Greek underworld where souls reside after death, but Scarlett’s ballet does not have a narrative and works both as a technical masterclass where one can allow the dancing to wash over you or as something a little more meaty to unpick.
Read the full review on BroadwayWorld.com
Image credit: Bill Cooper