After recent performances of new choreography from Crystal Pite, Wayne McGregor and Liam Scarlett, one could be forgiven for believing the Royal Ballet has dragged itself reluctantly into the 21st century. Perhaps it’s an overly emotional response, but there is something wonderfully reassuring and warm in this Ashton triple bill that closes the current season. It’s a return to what the Royal does best in these delicate works that shine in their artistry and finesse.
Akane Takada leads the cast in a dreamy The Dream, and is a pure and decorative Titania flawlessly suited to this role, while Steven McRae is a regal Oberon, bounding about the stage, gesticulating and exuding control over the comical proceedings. Together they lack a little chemistry compared to more established partnerships, but Ashton’s wonderfully busy and well-paced staging mean there is never time for this to be a focus.