Monday 8 November 2021

Curated By Carlos - Review

Sadler’s Wells, London


Carlos Acosta

Birmingham Royal Ballet teased the capital with their tantalisingly brief visit to London’s Sadler’s Wells to perform Curated By Carlos, a beautiful three-act show that offered a fascinating and meticulously prepared narrative, immaculately performed and brimming with both emotion and talent.

Opening with a love letter to Birmingham, in City of A Thousand Trades the company delivered a modern abstract ballet inspired by the city's diverse cultural and industrial heritage, including stories of people who have decided to move there. While Birmingham may have been the focus of the piece, its narrative could have applied to any large English city. Places that albeit densely populated, are still lonely and isolating, especially for immigrants who may have left their families to move to this different country. 

City of a Thousand Trades was created by choreographer Miguel Altunaga and co-directed with Madeleine Kludje, with music inspired by its legacy as the birthplace of Heavy Metal, composed by Mathias Coppens.

The second act Imminent invited the audience to recognise that a window of opportunity is now calling upon us and that there is hope. It focussed on the the importance of letting go of the past, to take action and move boldly on.

Completing the triple bill, Goyo Montero’s Chacona featured the world premiere of a new duet created for Carlos Acosta and Alessandra Ferri. Having danced Manon together in Havana many years ago, this duet sees two of the all time greats reunited. Montero’s thrillingly physical work is set to an electrifying Bach score, performed live on stage by violin, guitar and piano

If the stories may have been abstract the dancing was impressive, filled with humanity, passion and sublime physicality. The evening offered a fabulous glimpse of modern ballet and the opportunity to admire what human bodies are capable of.

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