Theatre Review: Premieres Plus at the London Coliseum

Beautiful dance lacks emotional impact in Carlos Acosta’s Premieres Plus.

A new programme of contemporary dance is brought to the stage by the ever tantalising Carlos Acosta.

The Cuban-born ballet legend has branched out in recent years to stage and perform his own selections of contemporary choreography, but this second programme in the Premiere’s series is lacklustre.

Muscular Acosta is joined by Royal Ballet principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky, in a night which holds the occasional surprise and some of the innovation of the original Premieres staged last summer.

Yanowsky is shown at her elegant best in Sirin, a new work created by Yuri Yanowsky, as her willowing arms move enchantingly through choreography with contemporary echoes of Swan Lake.

Acosta’s sublime strength and grace come to the fore in Russell Maliphant’s Two, as arms spin with the fizzle of electricity and light bounces off him with beautiful spark. Here is a dancer at the absolute height of his powers.

The most successful sequences see boxes of light and sampled sound-scapes merge with the dancer’s bodies in a multi-sensory experience, as shifting light caresses graceful limbs.

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But a slow motion film of two lovers moving underwater is jolted into the programme this time round, and the singers of the Northern Lights Choir are on stage too much, distracting from the dance.

It all feels jumbled and the production lacks the full multi-media vision of the original Premieres. While beautiful to watch, it has far less emotional impact.

* Premieres Plus was shown at the London Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane, WC1, from July 27-30 and is at the Birmingham Hippodrome from August 18-20.