Pure Dance, assembled and directed by Natalia Osipova herself – taking a break from her busy schedule as a Principal at the Royal Ballet, and guest Principal at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) – consists of six very different pieces. Four are world premieres, and of these one is the pick of the first act: Ivȧn Pėrez’s Flutter.
Performed with the secure partnering of former Rambert dancer Jonathan Goddard, it gets off to a slow start with unstructured choreography, as the pair run from the darkness at the back of the stage into the light at the front. Initially they are joyful and leap gleefully; but later we see ripples of tension as Nigel Edwards lighting switches from soft glow to a starker and exposing white. Although it’s a struggle to see the promised ‘journey of discovery’ from the programme notes, Osipova’s beautifully fluid, light movements are still a triumph, especially in the sequences of aerial choreography which seek to evoke a sense of flight.
Aside from this Act One is a little sparse. Antony Tudor’sThe Leaves are Fading is a sweet opener, but lacks impact. It gives many in the audience their first glimpse of Osipova with her preferred partner, ABT’s David Hallberg. The two share a delicate chemistry and demonstrate a well established partnership, but at just seven minutes, the segment leaves you wanting more.
Read the full review on CultureWhisper.com
Image: Johan Persson