Yorke Dance Project joins five national ballet companies for Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration at The Royal Opera House this autumn

10 Jul 2017

Image: Pari Naderi

At the Royal Opera House, Yorke Dance Project will present MacMillan’s rarely-seen 1988 work Sea of Troubles which artistic director Yolande Yorke-Edgell revived for her company last autumn, working in close collaboration with MacMillan’s widow Deborah MacMillan, who designed the work, Susie Crow, one of the original performers, and Jane Elliott, the original Benesh notator.

An intimate work created for six performers, Sea of Troubles was a gift from MacMillan to Dance Advance, an ensemble of former members of The Royal Ballet. Set to music by the 20th-century masters Anton Webern and Bohuslav Martinů, the piece takes as its starting point the death of Hamlet’s father. With the appearance of his father’s ghost and Hamlet’s realisation of the need for revenge, his tormented world becomes a nightmare.

Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration is an initiative by Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet to bring together Britain’s leading ballet companies under one roof to demonstrate the profound impact of MacMillan’s vision on dance in this country. Over two weeks some of the choreographer’s most celebrated and enduring works will be performed alongside a programme of talks exploring his legacy.

Yorke Dance Project has won acclaim as a company committed to presenting new work alongside the choreography of past masters. For its regional tour of four UK venues, it presents its mixed programme Rewind Forward which perfectly exemplifies the company’s ethos.

Rewind Forward’s four works are: Kenneth MacMillan’s Sea of Troubles; Robert Cohan’s latest work Twilight, a new version of 1979’s Songs, Lamentations and Praises danced by the entire company to music by Vivaldi; Self by Charlotte Edmonds, the first participant of The Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme, inspired by the famous trio from MacMillan’s Manon to Donna McKevitt’s commissioned score for four solo cellos, girl treble and electronica; and Yolande Yorke-Edgell’s Untethered, a work about self-discovery and transformation set to music by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

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