Royal Ballet at Covent Garden

The annual performance of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden had all the pupils dancing on and crowding the stage. They were accompanied by Knudage Riisager’s orchestration of studies of Carl Czery which Harald Lander in his Etudes used celebrating the ardours of ballet schooling.

On Friday was the heart lifting complement of the RBS, from the bright faced tots to young artists who now face the stormy seas of life as a professional and the career it brings. Heaven bless them as they looked eager and handsome and the programme for the evening did much to convince us of their dedication and abilities.

The oldest of the students were in their late teens and recollection came for a moment of those baby ballerinas. Today’s RBS young are plenty pampered and much less tested but do quite well according to their lights.

The thought is that Checkmate, by Ninette de Vaois that opened the night, is best done by untried dancers. The cast was decent but these characterizations demand an understanding by professionals which is definitely lacking. The evening honored de Valois and had works the progeny in choreography had made.

Monotones 2 with Ashton’s space-walkers, wonderfully done , sweetly danced Danse Bohemienne by Liam Scarlett for the young students, excerpts from the buoyantly classical Four Seasons by MacMillian and John Cranko’s tensions haunted response to Webren’s Pous Passacaglia was well brought off. It was fine homage to the national ballet school and company founder.