We take a look at what critics have been saying about Crystal Pite’s ballet, playing at the Royal Opera House until the 3rd November.

(c) Tristram Kenton

The Guardian: **** “Pite is very clever about the effect of movement and the whole vision. She brings wisdom, craft and class, deep thinking and a desire to connect.”

The Telegraph: **** “With all three sections, moreover, operating on a similar musical and choreographic level, part of me does wish Pite had left Flight Pattern alone; certainly, I hope it lives on as a stand-alone piece. Still, a remarkable, empathetic, cinematically atmospheric evening even so: beautifully danced and warmly recommended.”

The Arts Desk: ***** “This is thought-provoking work that dares you to suppose that ballet could ever be anything less than serious.”

Evening Standard: **** “Does Light of Passage feel sentimental? Yes, a bit. But danced with luminous commitment it also makes a reflective and deeply felt meditation on navigating life at our most vulnerable. For the Royal Ballet, too, it’s a rite of passage.”

The Times: ***** “In 2017 Crystal Pite made Flight Pattern, a one-act ballet about the refugee crisis. Five years later the Canadian choreographer returns to the Royal Ballet to revive her Olivier award-winning creation and add a new second half, all under the umbrella title Light of Passage. And even though — at 60 minutes of dance, plus interval — it must be one of the shortest nights we’ve seen on the Covent Garden stage, Light of Passage is also one of the most eloquent and profound.”

The JC.com: **** “Unlike Kenneth MacMillan, whose greatest creations are his exquisite pas de deux, Pite excels when she is working with large numbers of dancers: they sway and shudder as one; their bodies lurch and rock as they move on to some unknown refuge. Her dancers achieve a sculptural beauty, even when they are depicting the horror of loss.”

The Stage: ***** “Moving, articulate and beautifully choreographed expression of humanity, directed by Kevin O’Hare and with a cast including Marcelino Sambé and Kristen McNally.”

London Unattached: “Light of Passage is a serious work for serious times and the Garden was packed to the rafters with the great and the good of the dance world as well as with Pite’s many fans coming to pay homage. Crystal Pite’s contrapuntal approach to her choreography gives a sense of density to the ballet corps with loose groups of bodies creating a sculptural depth of field which combined with her signature neck and head movements makes for a unique and engrossing experience. If you are serious about contemporary dance then this is a must-see.”

Culture Whisper: *** “The piece achieves moments of great beauty when the ensemble dance as one, their bodies skilfully sculpted by the light, but it was unclear to me whether the repetitive choreographic language was meant to quote from Flight Pattern, or was just limited in its scope.”

The Independent: **** “The Canadian choreographer has turned her award-winning short work ‘Flight Pattern’ into a full-length work for the Royal Ballet.”

Bachtrack.com: **** “Light of Passage may only have been an hour-long but nobody was short-changed as Crystal Pite continues to produce outstanding work around the globe and, in this instance, proves the old adage that many great things come in small packages. “

To book tickets visit: https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/light-of-passage-details


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