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Your Reaction: Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour

What did you think of The Royal Ballet's mixed programme of works by Wayne McGregor, Kenneth MacMillan and Christopher Wheeldon?

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

29 May 2016 at 9.45am | 16 Comments

What did you think of Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour?
Add your review via the comments below.

Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within the Golden Hour runs until 11 June 2016. Tickets are still available.

This article has 16 comments

  1. Nick responded on 29 May 2016 at 11:28am Reply

    Having seen the rehearsal yesterday I can't wait for next Saturday's matinée. I was surprised to see With The Golden Hour amongst this season's performances but love it, so no complaints here. As always, everyone was superb but I must say that I thought Lauren Cuthbertson's interpretation was breathtakingly beautiful, thank you; I'm really looking forward to seeing next Saturday's cast, particularly Valentino Zuchhetti and Francesca Hayward performing that beautiful pas de deux.
    I enjoyed Obsidian Tear and think it will really benefit from a second viewing, and I will look out for Calvin Richardson who I'd not seen before but I thought he really shone.
    Similarly, I don't think I've seen Yasmine Naghdi before but she was wonderfully graceful in The Invitation and deeply moving. I'm not normally a fan of narratives but thoroughly enjoyed this, despite or perhaps even because of its unsettling and horrific ending.
    Lastly, many thanks to Nicki Spencer and Amanda Lane and their house team for helping me out with such excellent customer service, very much appreciated.

  2. Nina Battleday responded on 29 May 2016 at 7:31pm Reply

    What a marvellous triple bill, just about the best I've seen for years. All three ballets beautifully danced at the Saturday evening performance, it would be unfair to pick out individual performances, but particularly good to see Calvin Richardson and Matthew Ball in Obsidian Tear. So glad that I've booked to see the second casts later in the run. What a very strong company we have at the moment-please look after them very carefully!

  3. ML responded on 30 May 2016 at 12:58am Reply

    I enjoyed Wayne McGregor's interesting new work very much- what a very different piece from the marvellous Woolf Works of last year. It's difficult to produce an all-male work (or all-female one) without it looking gimmicky but he has managed to do so successfully here. The choice of Salonen's beautiful music was inspired and how lucky we were to have the busy and sought after Salonen coming in to conduct the first few performances. Superb solo playing from Vasko Vassilev too.

    The Invitation I've often found a tricky work - it's thought provoking but certainly not a "feel good" ballet, although the topic couldn't be more timely in today's climate. Excellent dancing from a very committed cast- in particular I found Hayward and Yanowsky's performances very powerful.

    Within The Golden Hour is definitely "feel good" and gorgeous (with a delightful score), and the entire ensemble look wonderful dancing it. Lamb, McRae, Cuthbertson, Golding, Stix-Brunell and Muntagirov are simply marvellous in it.

  4. Robert Garbolinski responded on 30 May 2016 at 10:10am Reply

    [edited] First ballet interesting. The second was far too long, awful music, story could have been done in half the time, could not wait to get a drink. Third one very good with some decent music thank goodness. but as an experience not one I would wish to repeat and would never see that triple bill again.

  5. Nick Byrne responded on 30 May 2016 at 11:16am Reply

    Went to the the first night with a friend. Thought Obsidian Tear amazing - the spins in the central section almost beyond belief. Can't wait to see it again - there's a lot of detail and emotion that you can't get in one viewing. The Invitation was stunning - it was triumph for all the cast not just the key roles. And these individuals were incredible - Zenaida Yanowsky in particular. And the Wheeldon was a delight. This was the perfect triple bill to show off the strengths of the RB : innovation, drama and technique. A great way to end the season.

  6. Dr David Montgomerie responded on 31 May 2016 at 9:25am Reply

    Obsidian Tear offers little new
    and The Invitation is well passed
    its sell by date. The Royal Ballet
    would do well to draw inspiration from
    the ENB

  7. Eric Firkins responded on 1 June 2016 at 8:10am Reply

    Fantastic Triple Bill.. Loved every minute of it. Obsidian tear was very emotional and dramatic with excellent music. Jasmine Nagdi's performance in The Invitation was outstanding as the young innocent girl who suffers violence by a older married man. Within the Golden Hour is a piece that has sublime musicality throughout demonstrating ballet of different speeds.A ballet evening to savour.

  8. francois responded on 2 June 2016 at 11:13pm Reply

    Obsidian Tear shows an exceptional wedding between music and dance, every intention from the composer being translated in the choreography. It is a fascinating ballet, probably the best that McGregor had created until now. And it was a really enjoyable luxury to have Mr Salonen conducting the orchestra. He was more than an outstanding conductor, he also showed strong empathy with the dancers. Please do invite more conductors like Mr Salonen to the Royal Ballet, it provvides such a different experience (why not inviting Sir Tony Pappano to conduct a ballet one day?).

    The Invitation was outstandingly danced but the ballet lacked tension sometimes, except of course in the spectacular last 20 minutes.

    Within the Golden Hour was a magic conclusion to a globally excellent performance.

  9. Atlantic Quavers responded on 4 June 2016 at 5:02pm Reply

    We came to this without researching the programme at all and discovered it was a mesmerising triple bill, with two extraordinary dramas in Obsidian tear and The Invitation (each heart-rending and shocking) and a wonderfully soothing antidote in The Golden Hour. Bodies were twisted into incredible shapes and all the choreography, costumes and execution were deeply impressive.
    The orchestra was phenomenal. What a showcase! Vasko's massive solo wove an intricate tapestry with incredible mastery and flexibility of style.

  10. alex responded on 4 June 2016 at 5:43pm Reply

    What a Triple Bill this is! Great choreographers and amazing dancers. The Royal Ballet at its best. Showcasing contemporary ballet as well as traditional ballet. Stand-out performances in all three but most of all I was deeply moved by Yasmine Naghdi, dancing the Principal role in the Invitation. How she conveyed her physical and emotional pain after the rape scene had me in tears. She not only dances exquisitely but she was able to emotionally drag me into the story. She clearly needed time herself to come out of the story during her curtain call. Olivia Cowley, David Donelly and Thomas Whitehead all greatly contributed to making this one of my fav ballets. Within the Golden Hour is a beautiful ballet and the perfect one to end this Season.

  11. Brian barford responded on 5 June 2016 at 1:01pm Reply

    This was a terrific Triple Bill. The Invitation is searing and the Saturday matinee cast for In the Golden Hour was the best balanced in terms of physiques and musicality that I have seen. Quite glorious. Please make Yuhui Choe a Principal now!!!!

    • Lucy responded on 8 June 2016 at 4:50am

      Second that! Yuhui's promotion is long overdue! Fingers crossed for her for the upcoming season. :)

  12. Nick responded on 5 June 2016 at 2:18pm Reply

    Having seen the rehearsal last week and yesterday's matinée, I fully agree with Nick Byrne. For me, Obsidian Tear did indeed benefit from a second viewing and also, perhaps, from the increased elevation from the Grand Tier (where I sat for the matinée) over the Stalls Circle (where I sat for the rehearsal). As with all the performances at the matinée, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a mix of First Soloists, Soloists, First Artists and Artists, who all performed superbly and bode well for the future.

    I was lucky enough to see the same cast perform The Invitation - whilst on the one hand it is always nice to see others' interpretations, I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's performance and, again, I thought Yasmine Naghdi was wonderfully graceful and expressive in what surely must be an emotionally draining role.

    And then there was Within The Golden Hour. This is one of my favourite ballets, and I just love the beautiful music and the mix of sinuous and geometric dance. I had really been looking forward to seeing the dancers in this performance taking more central roles, Valentino Zuchhetti in particular, and they all put in breathtaking performances, leaving myself and my friends teary eyed.

    Each ballet complemented the other, I thought the running order spot-on, and there would be few better ways to end the season than with Within The Golden Hour.

    Many thanks to everyone for a thoroughly enjoyable season.

  13. Daisy responded on 11 June 2016 at 6:26pm Reply

    Fabulous triple bill - wonderful to see so many of the Royal Ballet's rising stars shining so brightly. Sorry that Yuhui has been overlooked for promotion again. Just hope she doesn't take her talents elsewhere.

  14. Jenny responded on 11 June 2016 at 6:41pm Reply

    What a wonderful triple bill. I didn't read reviews before but found Obsidian Tear thrilling and emotional. The dancing from all the men was superb and I wanted to thank the Royal Ballet for a superb season - I think the company is in fine form with immense talent in the soloists which is thrilling to watch. Have a complete rest and I look forward to the next season. Thank you thank you.

  15. Ian responded on 12 June 2016 at 8:12am Reply

    Memorable end to another interesting and innovative ballet season - thanks Kevin! The Invitation was dark, at times all too literally. Within The Golden Hour was a wonderfully uplifting finale. Question: cast changes were announced before the start of the evening performance on 11th June, presumably these changes were too late for the cast sheet. What were they?

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