Lachrymae features piano and violin on stage and the music is melancholy and haunting. The stage is dark and bare, there is nothing to distract us from the dancers and their interpretation of the music. The choreography is a perfect fit, conveying the tenderness and poignancy of the original poem on which Britten’s music is based, John Dowland’s “If My Complaints Could Passions Move”. The costumes had an oriental look which I didn’t think quite worked with the piece and didn’t show off the dancers’ bodies or movements to their full advantage. There was also a wardrobe malfunction later in the performance when one of the dancers got tangled up in her top but she managed to extricate herself beautifully without revealing all.
The second piece, Brink, is set to Japanese composer Ayuo’s Eurasian Tango. The pace is more energetic and lively and the three couples twist and turn to the rhythm. This isn’t the tango familiar to the Strictly Come Dancing audience but it is certainly as entertaining.
The third piece, Illuminations, was my personal favourite. It tells the story of the love affair between the young French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, and his older lover, the poet Paul Verlaine. It is full of passion and intensity and the two male leads are excellent.
And finally there is The Devil in the Detail, a much more light hearted piece set to the music of Scott Joplin and played expertly on stage by pianist Jason Ridgeway. I wasn’t the only patron to be humming the familiar strain of The Entertainer on the way home. All in all, another evening of high quality dance from a deservedly very popular company.