McGregor choreographs with an unusually wide palette, channelling Frederick Ashton for the eccentricities and robustness of his human characters, and Merce Cunningham for the scattered asymmetries of the raven chorus. Best of all is his tenderly imagined movement for the two women, the Raven's bird-boned brittleness modulating into maternal expressiveness, the Girl's frustrated anger dissolving into swooping flight as she meets her Raven Prince and falls in love.
The imagery follows the book closely, in layers of film, design and choreography. The dancing stops and starts. In his first narrative ballet, McGregor acts out the deliberately simple outlines of the narrative, without doing much to develop it.