|| The London Times
|| July 10, 2013
|| Debra Craine
For its second London programme, the visiting Boston Ballet presented a triple bill of works by living choreographers, to highlight its commitment to the more modern side of the repertoire. It's the sort of mixed bill that every international company seems to offer these days, so in a way it presents more of a challenge. How do you distinguish yourself from every other ballet company on the block?
The Second Detail (1991) is one of William Forsythe's finest works, one in which the heady perversion of his supreme classicism, is most glowingly on display. And here the Boston dancers really did stand out. They delivered his nonchalant brilliance with a dynamic glee. Ballerinas used their long legs like sexy weapons; their male partners ate up the space like hungry panthers. Even the electronic score by Thom Williams, a composer who usually views music as a punching bag, was bearable.
Polyphonia (2001), by Britain's Christopher Wheeldon, is a work often seen in the UK and the challenge for the Boston troupe was to bring something different to its presentation. This they didn't quite achieve, though what I did like about them was how their strong sense of personality maximized the languid mystery of Wheeldon's choreography.
Bella Figura (1995), which closed programme two, is one of Jiří Kylián's most annoying and tedious ballets, so all credit to the dancers for making it look as good as it did. Kylián is a great choreographer with an immense facility for making steps, but he undermines his talent with pretentious trappings and self-important nonsense. Some of this piece is very beautiful and phrased with remarkable fluidity, but there is far too much empty-headed posturing. The mishmash recorded score, including Pergolesi, Vivaldi, and Lukas Foss, is a mess.