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Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour

Three ballets from three very different choreographers, all closely associated with The Royal Ballet: a world premiere from McGregor, dark drama from MacMillan and acclaimed ensemble work from Wheeldon.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour. It was last on stage 28 May—11 June 2016 as part of the Summer 2015/16 season.


Discover ballet’s breathtaking range in this mixed programme. Since his appointment as The Royal Ballet’s Resident Choreographer in 2006, Wayne McGregor has created an array of works that showcase his highly individualistic language of dance. Works such as Infra, Chroma and Raven Girl show him exploring the links between ballet and the wider world of arts and science. His new work, Obsidian Tear is inspired by Esa-Pekka Salonen’s orchestral work Nyx, itself inspired by the elusive Ancient Greek goddess of night.

Kenneth MacMillan changed the course of ballet in his 1960 work The Invitation. Inspired by the New Wave of French cinema and the ‘kitchen sink realism’ of British theatre, he sought to depict on the ballet stage ‘something [people] can recognize’. The result is a harrowing work of tremendous psychological depth, set to an original score by Hungarian-British composer Mátyás Seiber.

Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created Within the Golden Hour for San Francisco Ballet in 2008. This intricate ballet for seven couples has since been acclaimed as one of Wheeldon’s finest works. Three strongly characterized pas de deux form the ballet’s core, while the framing sections displays Wheeldon’s beautifully complex handling of ensembles.

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