The Royal Ballet
February 19th 2010
As a First Artist with the Company, Jonathan Watkins choreographed his first ballet for the main Covent Garden stage boldly using his colleagues from all ranks – including Principals. They in turn relished the chance to have a new work made on them; no matter that the choreographer is in the corp.
Now I have two problems with this. First of all, if you want a credible story of rejection then don’t cast Acosta, for whom the very concept is anathema. He makes a good job of it of course, but I don’t sense that it is a feeling he has come into much contact with. Secondly, his hideous costume makes him look like a teacher, and he’s a dancer. Not just any dancer either. I had hoped for improvements in this department second time around but he is still dressed in loose trousers and a truly offensive two tone orange knitted jumper. Why ? His handstands into the splits on a chair and his sublime partnering skills are still as striking as ever, but there is no need to dress down the star.
Morera matches him in the pas de deux with its off-balance steps and endless configurations, and Cojocaru is ghostly in grey as she envelops Acosta without touching him physically or otherwise - her ethereal presence doesn’t even register with him. Fabulous to see her back. There are also twelve dancers who break up the rushes, and I particularly noticed Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani and Paul Kay in these sections - hard to do as there is a beaded curtain across the whole stage through which the main characters dip and dive.
With a triple bill there is almost always something to suit everyone. This bill has three, largely similar ballets, but there are subtleties which reward the audience and this time you won’t have to break the bank to see them.