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Your Reaction: What did you think of The Royal Ballet's Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern?

Audience and press reviews of The Royal Ballet's new triple bill, featuring a world premiere by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and revivals of works by Wheeldon and Pite.

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

9 May 2019 at 10.45am | 25 Comments

Press reviews:

The Guardian ★★★★
FT ★★★★
The Stage ★★★★
The Independent ★★★
Evening Standard ★★★
Bachtrack ★★★

More press reviews will be added in due course.

What did you think of Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern?
Share your reviews via the comments below, or by using #ROHmedusamixed.

Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern runs until 22 April 2019. Tickets are available here.

Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern will also be relayed in cinemas around the world on 16 May. Learn more and find your nearest screen here.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Julia and Hans Rausing, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund. Within the Golden Hour: Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon generously supported by Kenneth and Susan Green. Generous philanthropic support from Mr and Mrs Edward Atkin CBE. Medusa: Generous philanthropic support from The Taylor Family Foundation, Georgia Rosengarten and the New Choreography Syndicate.

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

9 May 2019 at 10.45am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Production, review, The Royal Ballet, Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern, your reaction

This article has 25 comments

  1. Nick responded on 9 May 2019 at 2:06pm Reply

    I really enjoyed the evening. Great seeing Golden Hour again, and I liked the new costumes. Flight Pattern a moving and magnificent piece - great seeing that again. Medusa was wonderful in parts - I wanted to see it again immediately. The 40 minutes flew by. Some incredible moments in a piece that visually stunned and choreographically intrigued me.

  2. Liz responded on 9 May 2019 at 8:32pm Reply

    Absolutely brilliant night. I agree, new costumes gorgeous for Golden Hour, stunning dancing and music. Loved Medusa, harsh themes of course, but so well done. Flight Pattern really is such a tremendous vehicle for the dancers. Congratulations to all, I loved it so much I have booked to see again. Best RB triple I have seen in a while. ALL of the dancers deserved the loud cheers.

  3. Brian responded on 10 May 2019 at 8:47am Reply

    A terrific triple bill. I like Within the Golden Hour more each time I see it but I thought the costume design was ghastly and worse than before - the floaty skirts distract from the lines created by the body. Yuhui Choe was lovely as always. Medusa was uneven - I'm not sure the choreography fits neatly on the music at all times - but Osipova was stunning. Flight Pattern seems like a masterpiece and was very moving. The orchestra were engaged and on top form throughout. I can't wait to see it again.

  4. Alex responded on 10 May 2019 at 4:18pm Reply

    Mixed feelings after seeing last night's Triple Bill. "Medusa" was not for us and it didn't move us at all. "Flight Pattern" is a stunning and moving ballet offering many corps de ballet dancers an opportunity to be seen. Kristen McNally and Marcelino Sambe were amazing. We were happy to see "Within the Golden Hour" again. Such lovely music, energetic dancing from duo Teo Dubreuil and David Donnelly, but the highlight of the ballet was without any doubt the beautiful 3rd pas de deux, danced by the supremely lyrical Yasmine Naghdi (partnered by Tristan Dyer who we felt was no match for her). Naghdi's technical strength, her luminosity and fluidity of dancing, combined with fine balletic lines, was a visual icing on the cake. Francesca Hayward (ably partnered by Valentino Zucchetti) danced the more subdued and understated 2nd pas de deux, softly and with lovely facial expressions.

  5. Leslie cheesman responded on 16 May 2019 at 8:19pm Reply

    Watching on cinema in Liverpool beautiful original and exciting to watch - wish I were there ! 16th May 2019

  6. Mojo responded on 16 May 2019 at 9:23pm Reply

    Loved Christopher Wheeldon’s “within the golden hour” beautifully danced, can’t wait to see Wheeldon’s “Cinderella” next at the Royal Albert Hall for ENB. #ROHmedusamixed

  7. @mj responded on 16 May 2019 at 9:28pm Reply

    #ROHmedusamixed Watching on cinema from Greenwich. Loved Wheeldon’s piece, can’t wait to see live “Cinderella “ at the Royal Albert Hall in 3 weeks!

  8. Loretta Tonelli responded on 16 May 2019 at 9:31pm Reply

    Watching this breathtaking ballet from Rimini Italy
    Music, Costumes and of course dancers... are Amazing. It Is as of I were There
    A fantastic experience

  9. Diana Manock responded on 16 May 2019 at 11:34pm Reply

    LOVED Within the Golden Hour, however, Medusa and Flight Pattern were altogether too dark in the storyline, the contemporary dancing was not really ballet.

  10. Rebecca responded on 17 May 2019 at 12:26am Reply

    I was so happy to see tWithin the Golden Hour at ROH again, but sorry, I didn't like the new costume. The previous one was incomparably nicer...

  11. Elise Chrees responded on 17 May 2019 at 8:06am Reply

    Watched the live screening in Littlehampton last night. All three pieces were excellent and the whole programme was a very moving experience in so many different way.
    Only one disappointment was the difficulty in seeing the dancers in Flight Pattern clearly on screen, nevertheless the piece was superb and thought provoking. Thank you.

  12. Patricia Berry responded on 17 May 2019 at 8:54am Reply

    Having seen Fight Pattern two years ago at the Opera House I felt it was somewhat diminished on the screen. The close camera shots muddled the opening section and lost the sense of a group of people being moved around, regrouping, moving and regrouping over and over. Crystal Pite's patterns were no longer clear. I always admire Ross MacGibbon's work but wondered if on this occasion a more static camera in the early part would have served the piece better. Despite that it was wonderfully performed and very moving.

  13. Sharleen Kelly responded on 17 May 2019 at 9:08am Reply

    Always a joy to see Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography and “Within the Golden Hour” didn’t disappoint. Wonderful timing, in both the dancers and the orchestra. The elegance, fluidity and strength of the dancers was a delight to watch. “Medusa” was a complete disappoint. Trying to do too much in the time. Choreography seemed unpolished and scrappy.
    But “Flight Pattern” what a contrast! The most beautiful, moving thing I’ve seen all year, if not in years. Everything about it was just perfect. The dancers all seemed to be truly feeling every move. Words fail me of how much I loved this ballet by Crystal Pite. This is a ballet that will stay with me for a long time.

  14. Sharon Keogh responded on 17 May 2019 at 10:01am Reply

    Last night I enjoyed my second viewing of this mixed bill but with the added bonus of close up shots. For me the standout couple in Within the Golden Hours were Sarah Lamb and Alexander Campbell. They were just gorgeous and danced So well together. Campbell' s technique was excellent and the camera closeups revealed his interpretive artistry in relation to the music and with his partner. Yet again I wondered why this wonderful dancer has not been cast as Romeo when he knows the role and especially when in BRB was so great in it!

    • Fiona M responded on 18 May 2019 at 11:32pm

      I absolutely agree with you - within the Golden Hour was outstanding and Sarah Lamb and Alexander Campbell were mesmerising. I really like Steven McCrae, but Alexander Campbell has grown on me and loved loved his performance.

  15. Roger Oates responded on 17 May 2019 at 2:47pm Reply

    Two out of three, a good score I’d say. And both classics that will stand the test of time in the repertoire.
    A beautiful Golden Hour and a tear moving Flight Pattern. Congratulations all involved. Now want to see them live.
    As comments above Medusa left me cold.
    Fantastic work from the dancers that but it didn’t add up to anything. Where was the raw violence and passion of the Myth. It all become a bit genteel.
    Unlike the masterpiece Flight Pattern with its simplicity reeking of pitilessness and humanities cruelty to itself. A wonderful company piece.

  16. BalletBore responded on 17 May 2019 at 2:48pm Reply

    We loved the visually enhanced Golden Hour. It’s such a clever piece and the corps were particularly strong last night (cinema relay night). Medusa felt chronically limp. Very little of it made sense or landed. All the key points of her narrative were underwhelming or mistimed. Music didn’t suit. Sadly have nothing positive to commend it other than Osipova bravely trying to make it work and nice to see Olivia Cowley being feaitured. Thank goodness for Flight Path. Every single aspect of this work is fully realised. It’s amazing and important and all hail Crystal Pite.

  17. Marion Kinnear-White responded on 17 May 2019 at 3:58pm Reply

    This was my first time viewing a live performance at the cinema and I found the whole experience to be life-enhancing and breath-taking. The 3 works were so different: I loved the radiance and shimmer of Within the Golden Hour; the utterly mesmerising Medusa - dramatic, with every nuance contributing to the powerful narrative; and Flight Pattern, so moving. The presentation was excellent - the interviews gave insight and appreciation of each dance. I felt I had been welcomed in back stage.Thank you for such a world class evening of dance.

  18. Annabel Charles responded on 17 May 2019 at 5:34pm Reply

    I thought it was a wonderful, varied and thought-provokign triple bill - an evening of great riches - and such an array of incredible talent on show that it seems unfair to single anyone out. I must just agree that Sarah Lamb and Alexander Campbell were utterly beautiful - and couldn't take my eyes off the bewitching Beatriz Stix-Brunell. All the main characters in Medusa were stunning - and Natalia Osipova mesmerising. I was also struck by the amazing versatility of people like Ryoichi Hirano, Matthew Ball and Marcelino Sambe who have appeared recently in roles ranging from Romeo to Perseus and Poseidon and Mercutio to a distraught refugee. Huge congratulations to all involved. (I do agree with an earlier post about the dimness of Flight Pattern - it was too dark to see properly which spoilt it a bit)

  19. Manon1753 responded on 17 May 2019 at 9:32pm Reply

    Saw this good triple bill at the local cinema. Golden Hour looks much better in the new costumes. I had written it off as "boring", but on third viewing (previously SFB and RB), it is a well crafted, delicious piece of fluff that shows off all of the dancers brilliantly. Special mention for the luminous Lamb and Campbell, and the infectious enjoyment of Muntagirov and BSB. One point (and this has been raised before), and that is the mishandling of cast changes. Is it really that much trouble to read out them out? To treat dancers who are standing in last minute as if they were spare parts of a car, is not very respectful. And to tell the ausdience,"you can look it up on the website later" - honestly! Even if there is no time left before the show, what's wrong with showing the names of the replacements at the end of the act?
    I did NOT like Medusa. At all. What a waste of dancing talent and Purcell. The least said the better. Loved Pite's Flight Pattern. Wonderfully clever use of Gorecki's canon structure, recreated in the subtle crowd movement, each individual still retaining his or her specific identity. Wow! Scenery and lighting were fabulous. I thought the camera work did the ballet full justice. Seeing this ballet (again) after having seen her Statement for NDT, I would say, Pite has lots to say, and says it well - a very major choreographer, a treasure for the RB. Thank you dancers, musicians and conductor - and those who put this bill together.

  20. Manon1753 responded on 17 May 2019 at 9:42pm Reply

    PS: And WHERE exactly on the ROH website does one find last night's cast changes, i.e. 16 May 2019??

  21. Peter Field responded on 20 May 2019 at 10:49am Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed all three ballets, superb dancing as usual by The Royal Ballet. My favourite pieces were Within “The Golden Hour” and “Medusa” quite apart from the awesome dancing by Natalia Osipova. The costumes in both the above from the scary head piece and the stunning black and red dress worn by Osipova, to The Klimt inspired costumes in The Golden Hour, simply beautiful and the transparency of the costumes allowed the physicality and lines of the dancers to appreciated by the audience.
    Moving on to “Flight Pattern” altogether more somber and poignant story with such a large ensemble and wonderful choreography. Not forgetting the fabulous music in all three ballets and singing in Medusa and Flight Pattern. Congratulations to all at The Royal Ballet.

  22. Dick Vardy responded on 24 May 2019 at 8:10am Reply

    Delayed comment on seeing the triple bill 'as live' the other day. Golden Hour and Medusa were both excellent - and such amazing technique in the dancers. We couldn't really make much of Flight Pattern though - a real disappointment given some of the comments we'd already see. Too dark too really see what was going on - what we saw had nothing like the clarity of some of the production photos we have seen. Was this more a problem with the video production than the staging?

  23. Hellema Ibrahim responded on 27 May 2019 at 6:30pm Reply

    What a fantastic evening! The production, the costumes and the music were wonderful. I really enjoyed Medusa. It was great to this triple bill because I had a chance to catch up with my friends!

  24. Peter Menendez responded on 19 June 2019 at 9:15pm Reply

    saw the wonderful triple bill last night in Miami. the extraordinary Within the Golden Hour was the treat for me. this presentation came here a little over a month after it happened in London. two 15+ minutes intermissions added empty space heavily to a long night. please consider trimming in the future this waste for the not direct transmissions.

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