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Polyphonia / Sweet Violets / Carbon Life: Royal Opera House

by OnStage

The Royal Opera House hosted a fantastic triple bill of contemporary ballet on Thursday 5 April: Polyphonia by Christopher Wheeldon, Sweet Violets by Liam Scarlett and Carbon Life by Wayne McGregor with music by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow.

Topping the bill in terms of commercial value was Carbon Life, of course, as it featured six pop singers alongside award-winning producer, Mark Ronson. It is a cycle of nine Ronson tracks sung by Boy George, Alison Mosshart of The Kills, Jonny Pierce of The Drums, Wale, Black Cobain and Hero Fisher. The designs have as much to be admired as the performance, with fashion designer Gareth Pugh adding his flamboyant flare to the costumes on set. What did the audience make of the designs; and can pop and ballet harmonize together? Vogue-meets-MTV-meets-Royal Ballet? We wonder if it puts a new perspective on the art of ballet?

Alongside Carbon Life, there is world premiere: Sweet Violets, from budding choreographer Liam Scarlett. Scarlett is in fact a Royal Opera House dancer, so he is a great candidate for directing dance. Sweet Violets is inspired by Walter Sickert’s ‘Camden Town murder’ series – an allusion itself to Jack The Ripper – and so the young choreographer offers up a gruesome take on the tale, in ballet, set to the sounds of Rachmaninov.

Polyphonia is the third of the ballet bill, by Christopher Wheeldon; it adds refinement to the evening with eight dancers performing to piano music by Ligeti and reflecting a series of emotions.

With so much to experience on Thursday evening, which performance/s did the audience enjoy the most?

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