Three MacMillan Ballets is the next program in the Arts on Film series to be screened this Wednesday July 4 in Arts.

Opus Arte, c2010

Featured are three very different ballets by renowned British Choreographer, Kenneth MacMillan, celebrating his unique vision, versatility and talent in creating diverse and challenging dance performances for The Royal Ballet.

The program begins with Elite Syncopations, a light, frothy and theatrical romp set to the ragtime rhythms of Scott Joplin’s music.  A blazered band sits at the back of the stage, while in front colourfully clad dancers engage in various group and individual displays of 1920s style dances including the Charleston and cakewalk.  

The Judas Tree, in stark contrast, is an ultra-violent, horrific and disturbing ballet with a menacing score by Brian Elias, set in an industrial pressure-cooker environment depicting the fate of a woman in a story with biblical themes.

After this, Concerto, the final ballet in the triple bill, is an abstract relief!  With no plot or characters, Concerto is set to Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and comprises three movements.   The second movement, dominated by a pas de deux, showcases MacMillan’s special genius at creating steps for just two people.

Hand-coloured lithograph by Villiers Huët based on a painting by Antoine Cardon. Courtesy Wikkimedia Commons.

The program features artists of  The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden.  With the  Orchestra of  The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.  Three conductors are assigned to each ballet – Robert Clark for Elite Syncopations ; Barry Wordsworth for The Judas Tree, and Dominic Grier for Concerto.

Three MacMillan Ballets commences at 12.00 noon and concludes and 1.55 pm (approx). It will be held in the Arts Listening-Viewing Room. Enter via the Arts Reading Room and Audio-visual Centre (from Trescowthick Information Centre). Admission is free. No bookings required, but come early as seating is limited. Enjoy!

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