Five stars to Northern Ballet Theatre’s As Time Goes By, an evening of classical to contemporary ballet. The performance opening premiered former NBT dancer Daniel de Andrade’s Glass Cannon, a rambunctious dance for ten dancers, set to Eastern-inspired jazz by Scottish band Moishe’s Bagel. The dancers’ relentless blasts of movement seemed to “shoot” their bodies into the air or across the stage. Andrade briefly played with the bounds of contemporary ballet with men partnering men, and women partnering women. Composer Phil Alexander warmly commended the dancer’s interpretation to his music, “I thought it was great. I was thrilled to see it.”
Isabella Gasparini and Hironao Takahashi delivered a satisfying Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux. NBT’s Artistic Director David Nixon showed off his dancers’ athleticism in his work, Powerhouse Rumba. Nixon’s cutting-edge choreography resembled William Forsythe improvisational methodology, complete with blue and green Umiko dancewear.
The audience was stunned by Victoria Sibson’s solo performance in Ossein, set by acclaimed choreographer-in-residence at the Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor. With impeccable precision and control, Sibson portrayed one woman’s struggle to find freedom from confines of rigidity. All that was visible in the spotlight was her chiseled body as it sliced the air, a striking contrast to the harmoniously complex piano music.
American choreographer Mark Godden used broom sticks and chairs to captivate the simplistic life of the Shakers in his work Angels in the Architecture. A ‘well made Shaker broom would stand on its own’ was Goddard’s inspiration for the opening image of the piece where six broomsticks stand alone. The women and later the men manipulate the brooms, and hung them on the backdrop like swinging pendulums as part of the set.
The title piece of the night, As Time Goes On, delivered an appealing mixture of classical ballet with Jazz and Swing. Decked out in black evening gowns and tuxes, couples graced the 1920’s dance club set. Tweny-two year old Jazz sensation Peter Grant sang live in this finale of the evening, including Always and Sophisticated Swing. NBT exceeded expectations in As Time Goes By, undoubtedly the perfect date night out. Showing February 23 through 25 at the Grand Opera House, Leeds.