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Your reaction: Ceremony of Innocence / The Age of Anxiety / Aeternum

What did you think of The Royal Ballet's latest mixed programme featuring works by Kim Brandstrup, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

8 November 2014 at 10.31am | 3 Comments

Press reviews:

Evening Standard (COI) ★★★★, (TAOA) ★★★★★, (A) ★★★
Telegraph ★★★★
Arts Desk (£) ★★★★
Guardian ★★★
Independent ★★★
Times (£) ★★★

What did you think of Ceremony of Innocence / The Age of Anxiety / Aeternum?

The Royal Ballet's mixed programme of Ceremony of Innocence, The Age of Anxiety and Aeternum and runs from 7–17 November 2014. Tickets are still available.

The programme is given with generous philanthropic support from Richard and Delia Baker (Ceremony of Innocence) Simon and Virginia Robertson, Kenneth and Susan Green, Karl and Holly Peterson, The Age of Anxiety Production Syndicate, the Friends of Covent Garden and an anonymous donor (The Age of Anxiety) and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

8 November 2014 at 10.31am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Aeternum, by Christopher Wheeldon, by Kim Brandstrup, by Liam Scarlett, Ceremony of Innocence, review, Social Media, The Age of Anxiety, twitter, your reaction

This article has 3 comments

  1. Sheila Cross responded on 9 November 2014 at 4:05pm Reply

    I was blown away by the Ceremony of Innocence, a wonderful piece of dance theatre that has depth and nuance. I found it far more thought provoking than the Age of Anxiety which struck me as a more contemporary version of Fancy Free, but without Robbins' theatrical flair, comedy or ability to structure a piece; like other ballets by Scarlett it went on too long. I enjoyed Aeternum more than previously and Calvert and Nunez were stunning in it.
    What all the ballets shared was too little light, making it hard to see the dancers.
    I wouldn't have understood the ballets if I'd not read the programme. Just a brief couple of sentences for each one on the cast sheet would help members of the audience who haven't time to read the programme before the performance or who can't afford it.

  2. Low lighting levels and a lack of understanding of what constitutes effective costume and set design in ballet marred these performances.for me. As with many new works, particularly those by Wayne McGregor, Ceremony of Innocence and Aeternum seem to have been made to be seen from the stalls rather than from the whole house.
    Lighting levels that are merely atmospheric in the stalls make it difficult to see the dancers higher up in the house. Ceremony of Innocence started life in a much smaller theatre and it did not look as if much thought had been given to what changes were needed in order to perform it in the main auditorium. Neither the lighting nor the costumes made the dancers stand out sufficiently in order to appreciate the choreography or the relationship of the dancers to each other. The projection of the waves was the most effective and memorable part part of the ballet, but they were clear while most of the dancers movements were not. I am not sure that I can say that I have seen this ballet rather I was present when it was performed

  3. Jakegee responded on 16 November 2014 at 4:59pm Reply

    I saw this triple bill on both Thursday and Friday evenings, and thought the performances were amazing with both casts. I was in the orchestra stalls, so I had no complaints about the lighting, but I can easily understand that the lighting may have been too poor for further removed seats.

    Ceremony of Innocence was thought provoking, on the passage of time and growing older, remembering lost youth. Both Paul Kay and Marcelino Sambe were excellent in the same role, and I feel pleased that we are seeing more of those well deserved rising stars in the Royal Ballet.

    Age of Anxiety was a wonderful piece!! It was well conceived and brought together, and I loved the sexual ambiguity of the male dancers - something which would have been very risque at the time when W.H.Auden wrote his poem of this 'scenario'. Finally, compliments on the stage sets and lighting.

    Aeternum was perhaps the piece I found least 'memorable' despite the presence of many Principal Dancers in it - Marianela Nunez, Federico Bonelli, Nehemiah Kish all were excellent on Friday evening, but the piece seemed lifeless on both evenings in comparison to the two others on the mixed bill. Great to see Nehemiah return to the ROH stage!

    In conclusion, these two performances were a showcase for the great potential of some of the rising dancers of Royal Ballet. In particular the amazing precision, agility and stamina of Marcelino Sambe who excelled. Also wonderful performances by Tristan Dyer, Alexander Campbell, Paul Kay.

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