Reviews of Carlos Acosta's "Classical Selection."
Carlos Acosta's summer shows are becoming a seasonal regular. But while some of his previous programmes have been criticised for being too experimental and dance-lite, this year you get a stageful of steps for your buck. Classical Selection offers no less than 13 extracts, ranged across the 20th-century repertory. One or two are gala staples, but many I've never seen extracted before, including the suicide scene from Kenneth MacMillan's Mayering.
It looks lovely but it is a difficult opener, and its reticence characterises a slightly stuttering first half. Melissa Hamilton is a beautiful Dying Swan in Fokine’s famous solo but Ricardo Cervera and Yuhui Choe don’t make much impact in Ashton’s Rhapsody, for all his dazzle and her lyricism.
But this is Carlos’ night. The Cuban dancer comes alive in Scheherezade, showcasing the rowdy strength and soaring jumps that he is known for, perfectly partnered by Marianela Nunez’s wily seductions, beautifully extended leaps and hyper-mobile lines. Nunez plays a charming Diana to his Actaeon, rapturous and excitable, as Acosta’s rough grace powers on.