The Royal Ballet annually produce Draft Works. It is the first showing of short pieces of choreography by both members of the Royal Ballet and choreographers. I went in 2013 and thought it was a really great evening of dance so was delighted to be able to see it again this year.
In the Linbury Studio the dances are done without costumes and fancy lighting. It is all quite raw. Prior to each piece the choreographer explains the thinking behind their piece and where their inspiration came from. They are very open and honest even admitting that it perhaps hasn’t quite worked as they had anticipated. But that is the point of Draft Works. It is to show work in its early stages.
Real highlights included seeing the work of Sander Blommaert, Aakash Odedra, Kenta Kura, Valentino Zucchetti and Ludovic Ondiviela. I was especially looking forward to the piece by Kristen McNally. In 2013 her work was extremely humorous and something my friend and I talked about for a long time afterwards. She has a warmth to her that comes across in her work and is certainly a favourite of the audience.
If you’re wanting to introduce someone to ballet this is a great starting point. Each piece is short, perhaps 5 to 10 minutes in length, and are all so different. The evening is certainly more digestible for a novice than a 3 hour classic on the main stage.
Draft Works will be returning to the Royal Opera House in February.