Royal Ballet principal Carlos Acosta is becoming a familiar face in Birmingham and this time he was joined by fellow principal Zenaida Yanowsky in Premieres Plus, a series of short dance pieces.
Chosen by Acosta and featuring choreographers such as Kim Brandstrup, Russell Maliphant and Birmingham-born Will Tuckett, the programme played to the strengths of both performers.
The grace, strength, sinuosity and precision of both were simply breathtaking as they held intricate balances, moved just the slightest muscle or undertook dexterous lifts.
The pieces all worked well together, blending almost seamlessly from one to the other. Pared down staging and costume alongside strong lighting all helped this process.
Each audience member will have had favourite pieces but I found Cuban choreographer Miguel Altunaga’s Memoria the most dramatic as it interchanged the tiniest movements with Capoeira style leaps and shapes, emphasising Acosta’s control and athleticism.
The Godiva Awakes Choir provided some beautiful singing but their wandering around the stage throughout the pieces was an unwelcome distraction whose apparent lack of choreography jarred with the precision of the rest of the performance.
Acosta is without doubt one of the leading figures in UK dance, able to master both classical ballet and more cutting-edge productions. This programme was short but it left us in no doubt as to his talents.
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