Robert Tanitch reviews New English Ballet Theatre at Peacock Theatre, London WC2
New English Ballet Theatre was founded in 2011 by its present artistic director, Karen Pilkington-Miksa, and its mission is to nurture young talent and launch the careers of emerging ballet dancers, choreographers, designers and musicians.
Each of the ballets is prefaced by a video recording of the choreographers talking not very coherently about themselves and their ballets.
LAND OF NOD is by Portuguse dancer Marcelino Sambe and danced to music by Nathan Helper and Yann Tiersen. It is, he says, “a surrealistic dream in the land of the subconscious!” There is nothing surrealistic about the two bare-chested young men grappling with a young woman.
STRANGERS is by British dancer George Williamson and danced to music by Brahms. It examines, he says, “the breakdown of a relationship in dream-like episodes, exploring the inner dialogue of lovers who have become strangers to each other.” The shipwrecked relationships have no emotional depth.
MOONSHINE is by British dancer Kristin McNally and danced to Alexandre Desplate’s film score for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It explores, she says, “a person’s journey or search for moral or spiritual significance” ’McNally’s joking, of course. There is no pilgrimage. The choreography is a lot of silly, jerky body language which is occasionally funny. The coda is a totally unnecessary anti-climax and should be cut.
ENTICEMENT’S LURE (ghastly title) is by Italian dancer Valentino Zuchetti and danced to music by Rachmaninov. It is, he says, “an investigation of the character of two couples and how temptation and desire can destroy relationships.” What temptation exactly?
VERTEX is by Brazilian dancer Daniela Cardim and danced to music by Carmargo Guarnieri. It is the best of a disappointing bunch. It was, she says, “created in close collaboration with the dancers, finding the dynamic and the intention of the movements in response to the music and the mesmerising drawings of Ann Christopher RA” You may have seen Christopher’s Lines of Time exhibition at the Royal Academy earlier in the year. On the other hand you may not.