Reviews of the Royal Ballet.
Still, if Sweet Violets remains hard to follow for a first-time viewer, there's much to admire about the way Scarlett has compressed his interconnected stories of murderous men and the sisterhood of models, prostitutes and dancers doomed to be their victims. The violence is brutally imagined and the characters subtly realised, with Lauren Cuthbertson bringing a delicate inner life to the role of Mary-Jane Kelly.
The final choreographer on the bill, Christopher Wheeldon, studied the works of the American master at close quarters in his years with New York City Ballet. Although the British choreographer is very much his own man, DGV - Danse à Grande Vitesse shows Balanchine’s sense of structural rigour in its clever manipulation of choreography for four leading couples within the larger context of a corps de ballet. Propelled by Michael Nyman’s score, it’s an exhilarating piece, demanding and receiving precision performance.
The Financial Times
It was first given in 2012, and I had assumed that this rachitic drama – a throwback to the worst British B-movies of the 1950s – would die where it fell, so inscrutable its action, so predictable its mumming. But here it is again, confusing as ever, garrulous, abusing its score. The company’s artists beat themselves improbably up in seeking to make sense of this farrago. A good deal of scenery – plus Lord Salisbury as floorwalker and a couple of sinks – comes and goes. Throats are slit. Time passes very, very slowly.