"Ocean's Kingdom," McCartney's first ballet, was written and scored by the man himself. It's a love story between two royals from different worlds -- Princess Honorata (Sara Mearns) from the ethereal Ocean kingdom and Prince Stone (Robert Fairchild) from the menacing Earth kingdom. A weak attempt at thwarting their love is the ballet's major plot point. It's a simple story you've heard before in some variation, and it has more than a few plot holes, but those weaknesses alone are not the dealbreaker here -- even the simplest of stories can be made powerful with the right dance routine. It is Martins' passionless choreography that makes the gaps in the plot all too evident.
Each act looks, more or less, like another cycle through the same dance routines. In the most notable motif: the male lead grasps the female lead around the waist from behind and hoists her up against him, as she languishes in his arms. What this is meant to evoke is not clear, as the same move occurs in supposedly happy and sad moments. And that sums up the biggest problem with "Ocean's Kingdom": choreography that confuses a plot in desperate need of clarifying.