A few thoughts on Irek Mukhamedov & Company last night (Friday) at Sadlers Wells:
I enjoyed the opening 'Class Concert' choreographed modestly but pleasingly by Irek himsel to unidentified piano music The whole company zipped into it with commitment and enthusiasm It was difficult to look at anyone but Asylmuratova, who wafts perfumes of forgotten ballerina glamour, but Mara Galeazzi and Chloe Davies more than held their own, as perhaps they would in any company.
Of note was 'Sita' choreographed by Darshan Singh Bhuller and danced by Mukhamedov and Asylmuratova to a score by Talvin Singh. Most critics didn't like this but I adored it; Bhuller's contemporary choreography is pared-down but elegantly sculptural. Asylmuratova's slender body looked ravishing in Linda Rowell's simple yellow costume of trousers and tunic and she abandoned herself utterly to Bhuller's earthy, sensuous, choreography with its floor-bound rollings and tender cradlings. Both she and Mukhamedov responded as of birthright to Talvin Singh's Asian score. It would have been instructive to see what this piece would have looked like with anyone other than Asylmuratova, but as it is I hope it survives somewhere; I don't think it would look at all out of place in the Royal's repertoire given the quality of some of some of the Royal's recent mixed-bill offerings.
The only other piece of note was William Tuckett's 'Unobtrusive Detail' to Chopin piano music played by Stephen Lade and Zoe Mather, danced by Chloe Davies and Martin Harvey both dressed in black trousers and shirts. The piece was full of tender lifts and turns, but Tuckett adds tension by having Davies twice wrapping her legs urgently around Harvey's upright body. I loved it.
I'm not going to mention the six other numbers because they were unremarkable, but the dancers were not: Natalia Ogneva from the Moscow Classical Ballet, Yat Sen Chang from ENB, Alina Cojocare and Hubert Essakow from RB and the elegant Vladimir Grigoriev from the Vaganova School all performed brilliantly. An entertaining and worthwhile evening.