Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Draft Works, ROH, June 4th 2014

Last week, I attended ROH's Draft Works for the first time. Draft Works is an evening of choreography by dancers of the Royal Ballet. It is annual event that has been happening regularly for a few years now.  

David Donnelly 
in Aakash Odedra's 'Untitled',
ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2014
For many of the dancers it was their first time choreographing, and, with an eye on the Deloitte Ignite festival, many are hoping to expand their work into something bigger. All the pieces of the evening were created outside the Royal Ballet's regular schedule, and choreographers and dancers gave up their free time to put the evening together. The nine pieces performed that evening were refreshingly varied. Works that stood out for me were Sander Bloomaert's choreography inspired by his previous collaboration with ice skaters, Kirsten McNalley's twisted 1950s Stepford Wives scenario, and Ludovic Ondiviela's work inspired by a schizophrenic photographer. 

Tara-Brigitte Bhavani and Romany Pajdak
in Ludovic Ondiviela’s Untitled,
ROH / Tristram Kenton, 2014
Hosted in ROH's smaller Linbury studio theatre, the evening had an intimate feel. It was curated by resident choreographer Wayne McGregor and each piece was introduced by the choreographer. During the interval and at the end of the evening, the audience was encouraged to approach them in the bar and share their impressions. (Also, on an excited side note, I saw Monica Mason in the audience!). 

Sander Blommaert’s Les Deux, Comme Un,
ROH / Tristram Kenton, 2014

But most importantly, the evening represented an opportunity to see dancers from the corps de ballet up close. I was particularly impressed by David Donnelly's one man performance of Erico Montes' Prometheus. But more generally, there is some serious talent in the ranks of the Royal Ballet!

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