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This abstract ballet in three sections closely follows the contours of Liebermann’s score and thrillingly draws on the full range of the dancers’ technique.


Liam Scarlett, a young rising star in contemporary ballet choreography, was appointed The Royal Ballet’s Artist in Residence in 2012. Viscera was his first US commission, and came from Edward Villella, founding director of Miami City Ballet, after Villella saw Scarlett’s critically acclaimed Asphodel Meadows at the Royal Opera House in 2010. Viscera’s premiere in Miami in January 2012 received a standing ovation and garnered rave reviews.

The ballet is set to contemporary American composer Lowell Liebermann’s First Piano Concerto. A sensual and haunting pas de deux forms the heart of the piece, accompanied by Liebermann’s slow second movement – described by Scarlett as a ‘perfect eye-of-the-storm’. It is bookended by two rhythmically intense sections for 14 dancers, who surge across the stage in a dizzying flow of movement. The dark red, blue and black costumes were designed by Scarlett, and perfectly complement the intense and sensual choreography.

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