Men in Motion : 27th January 2011 : Sadler’s Wells

A buzzing and packed Sadler’s Wells gathered to witness Sergei Polunin’s last performance in London (after his shock resignation from the Royal Ballet earlier in the week). There were notable gaps, for instance Andrei Merkuriev – absent because of visa difficulties. The programme was unbalanced, more circus than ballet. A box of different flavoured chocolates, rather than the themed banquet that we expected.

That said, some wonderful performances, individual but gorgeous. Igor Kolb in a workmanlike Le Spectre de la Rose, the most notable pink in his “bonnet de bain”. Polunin dazzling, powerful – a stallion, ┬ábut with tenderness and feather touch in Narcisse (who chose this piece?). Ivan Putrov controlled and expressive both in Ithaka and Dance of the Blessed Spirits.

The work that will transform lives though was Afterlight (Part One). Daniel Proietto drew us with liquid grace to discover unsuspected emotions. The music of Satie forever transformed. The rest of the programme executed Men in Motion, this piece expressed the movement of mankind.