Reviews of the Stuttgart Ballet.
The Evening Standard
There are great dancers in this company, like Alicia Amatriain (specialism: 200-degree splits) and Friedemann Vogel, but not enough dynamic material, and they have their work cut out to keep the energy and focus in this format that undermines the talent it’s supposed to show off.
Unfortunately, while the format certainly maximises variety, it also makes for a very scrappy viewing experience. It's no accident that the most satisfying work of the evening is also the longest and most self-contained, the third movement from Cranko's 1972 ballet, Initials RBME.
...The drama comes from the physical extremes and ingenuity of the chorography and, in this respect, the influence of American-born choreographer, and one-time Stuttgart dancer, William Forsythe is evident. Unexpectedly, there is also humour, with Christian Spuck’s Le Grand Pas de Deux (1999) spoofing ballet’s sacred cows. However, the quiet hit of the evening is Edward Clug’s Sssss, a sombre solo that shows off the charismatic dancer Pablo von Sternenfels.
The Arts Desk
The menu proper is preceded by an amuse-bouche which sets the tone for the evening: John Cranko's short Hommage à Bolshoi (1964) is a vélouté of classical loveliness (perfectly rendered by the stunning lines of Maria Eichwald) with a piquant garnish of set-piece “Russian” lifts. It's over in a flash, but lines, lifts and love will be constants in this programme, which showcases the company's principal dancers in nine pas de deux, three solos, and only one ensemble piece.