For this is a programe that shows – thrillingly, movingly, delightfully – not only where British ballet has been, but also where it is going. The three pieces are sufficiently similar in tone to make it feel like a coherent package, and yet more than varied enough to avoid any repetition. And what is so heartening about this particular tripytch – the generally high quality of the performances aside – is that it suggests a future every bit as rosy as the past.
Asphodel Meadows, his 2010 setting of Poulenc's double piano concerto, is impressive in so many ways: in its flickering, textured interaction between principals and chorus and in its masterly handling of the music's stylistic transitions. Acid to sweet, jazzy to mournful, it would be easy to let Poulenc's argument dominate the choreography. But Scarlett sidesteps the obvious, and instead draws the music into his own world. It's a world of lovers haunted by death and, in the opening cast, the touchstone performance is Leanne Cope in the middle duet: her limbs liquefying in remembered tenderness and hardening with sudden desire.