Braving miserable weather, my mom and I spent the afternoon with the San Francisco Ballet at Sadler’s Wells. This outing had been my suggestion for her birthday treat. We narrowly avoided umbrella disintegration at the Waterloo Bridge bus stop to damply arrive in perfect time to collect our tickets for seats in the 1st circle.
The programme started with George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 set to Mozart’s chamber piece. With delicate shades of blue and yellow this ballet from the 1950’s followed more traditional formations, but it also revealed several contemporary movements that Balanchine developed in his later work. I was impressed by the speedy and complex footwork in this my favourite of the evening. It was interesting to note Balanchine’s ‘American’ style, particularly noticeable in the high arm placement.
Next was Edwaard Liang’s abstract ballet Symphonic Dances, set to Rachmaninov’s composition of the same name. I particularly liked this piece of music which was beautifully played by the orchestra conducted by Ming Luke. The dancing was both fast and sinuous and the pas de deux of Maria Kochetkova and Vitor Luiz in particular was a joy to watch.
The third short choreography was Christopher Wheeldon’s Number Nine. Sharp and colourful, this piece closed ‘Programme A’ on a positive note.
The San Francisco Ballet dancers displayed exceptional balance across all three pieces. They performed dynamically and with infectious enthusiasm. I found much to inspire the work I’m developing for our senior choreography competition; from dancer movements and patterns to the costumes and unusual lighting.
We happily retraced our steps homewards in better weather, witnessing a most interesting [and unrepeatable here] incident on the train. Thank goodness travel in London is not usually so memorable.
The Sadler’s Wells Theatre which stands on Rosebery Avenue, today is the latest in a long line of theatres built on this site since 1683, making it the second longest established continuous place of entertainment in the United Kingdom after the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. More information about this modern theatre and about those that came before it on this site can be found here.