Expect The Unexpected In This Innovative Royal Ballet Triple Bill

The Illustrated 'Farewell'/The Wind/Untouchable, Royal Opera House ★★★★☆

Expect The Unexpected In This Innovative Royal Ballet Triple Bill The Illustrated 'Farewell'/The Wind/Untouchable, Royal Opera House 4
Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae. © ROH, photo Tristram Kenton

Those who only like classical or romantic ballet should avoid this Royal Ballet triple bill like the plague. All other dance lovers, however, should seriously consider an evening that reminds us that 'innovative ballet' does not constitute a single entity.

Each piece is radical in a different way. Hofesh Schechter's Untouchable eschews all traditional balletic techniques as it creates something earth-bound, angst-ridden and full of spiky insouciance. Twyla Tharp's The Illustrated 'Farewell' takes a classical symphony by Haydn and reveals both its playful side — through an extended pas de deux — and its smooth qualities through mass, but not necessarily orthodox, movements.

There is some powerful dancing in Arthur Pita's The Wind, the only ballet in the evening with a narrative, but it feels eclipsed by the special effects as even the audience can feel the impact of the huge wind machines that grace the stage. Still, no-one could argue that the spectacle created by huge sheets flying in the breeze wasn't innovative.

The Illustrated 'Farewell'/The Wind/Untouchable, Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E, £3-£50, 6-17 November

Last Updated 07 November 2017