|| London Evening Standard
|| July 4, 2013
|| Lyndsey Winship
Hungry energy fizzes from the dancers in Boston Ballet's first trip to London in 30 years, as part of their 50th anniversary tour
If you're playing the game identifying national stereotypes in ballet, you'd say the Russians like big show-off steps, the English are all about the details and the Americans can't contain their go-getting energy. Not that we want to encourage lazy generalisations but Boston Ballet certainly live up to their billing in this, their first trip to London in 30 years, as part of their 50th anniversary tour.
In a mixed bill of works spanning a century, their all-American-ness is best exemplified in Symphony in Three Movements, one of George Balanchine's later works, from 1972, set to jazzy, filmic Stravinsky. It's high-kicking abstraction full of cute tuck jumps and showgirly posing, with cheerleader ponytails and clean-cut vim. It's like the pep squad doing advanced geometry (could do with a little tightening of their formations at times but we'll let it pass).
The same hungry energy fizzes from the dancers in an earlier Balanchine piece, the pretty Serenade, where girls whip across the stage like a welcome summer breeze (principal Misa Kuranaga is especially breezy) in Jormo Elo's tastefully contemporary Plan to B, as Jeffery Cirio's legs fly in karate kicks and he turns on a fast spin cycle against the steady strings of Baroque composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber.
The counterpoint to all this zip is Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun, with its flattened forms like a Grecian frieze. It's a choreographic oddity that despite being 101 years old never really dates. This is all good stuff. They really should come back more often.