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Steven McRae as Jack and Laura Morera as Annie E Crook in Sweet Violets, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Melissa Hamilton in Serenade, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Lauren Cuthbertson in Serenade, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Johan Persson, 2008

Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli in DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, The Royal Ballet © Bill Cooper

Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis

Mara Galeazzi, Federico Bonelli and Marianela Núñez in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

Thiago Soares as Robert Wood, Leanne Cope as Emily Dimmock in Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012

Marianela Nuñez and Rupert Pennefather in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2008

Thomas Whitehead as Robert Wood and Sarah Lamb as Marie in Sweet Violets, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Lauren Cuthbertson in Serenade, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Johan Persson, 2008

Emma Maguire in Sweet Violets, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2012

Eric Underwood and Zenaida Yanowsky in DGV © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

Mara Galeazzi in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

Lauren Cuthbertson in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

Johan Kobborg as Walter Sickert, Steven McRae as Jack in Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012

Johan Kobborg as Walter Sickert, Alina Cojocaru as Mary-Jane Kelly in Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012

Ryoichi Hirano and Marianela Nuñez in Serenade, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Meaghan Grace Hinkis as Emily Dimmock and Thomas Whitehead as Robert Wood in Sweet Violets, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2012

Sarah Lamb and Federico Bonelli in DGV © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

Lauren Cuthbertson in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

The Royal Ballet in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson, 2008

Johan Kobborg as Walter Sickert and Alina Cojocaru as Mary-Jane Kelly in Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012

Matthew Golding, Marianela Nuñez and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Serenade, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Marianela Nuñez and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Serenade, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2014

Meaghan Grace Hinkis as Emily Dimmock and Thomas Whitehead as Robert Wood in Sweet Violets, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2012

Sarah Lamb and Federico Bonelli in DGV © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

Marianela Núñez and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

Marianela Núñez and Rupert Pennefather in Serenade © ROH / Johan Persson 2009

Serenade / Sweet Violets / DGV: Danse à grande vitesse

A mixed programme of exhilarating contrasts, from a dark Victorian melodrama to a celebration of hi-tech modernity.

Background

The opening of George Balanchine’s Serenade is unforgettable: on a blue-lit stage, women stand motionless in filmy blue dresses with single arms held high. Balanchine’s ethereal choreography is the perfect complement to Tchaikovsky’s soaring Serenade for Strings, both atmospheric and emotionally subtle.

A seedy Victorian underworld provides the setting for Liam Scarlett’s Sweet Violets. His inspiration is the work of artist Walter Sickert, whose ‘Camden Town Murder’ paintings were based on the gruesome murders of Jack the Ripper. Scarlett’s classical sensibility teamed with a deep emotional punch makes Sweet Violets a disturbing and enthralling experience.

Hurtling forward into a 21st-century aesthetic, Christopher Wheeldon’s award-winning DGV: Danse à grande vitesse brings the programme to an exhilarating close. The ballet was inspired by the French high-speed train line TGV and is set to a propulsive score by Michael Nyman. Wheeldon’s choreography is a modern paean to our hi-tech age – brittle and brilliant.