Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells Reviews

Men in Motion: Ivan Putrov and Sergei Polunin from YouTube

Men in Motion. Image Source: YouTube, Standard License.

Several Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells Reviews are in. As promised, here are  three dance critics from three top British news sites as they chime in on what impression the much awaited part 2 of Men in Motion left them.

  • Zoë Anderson from The Independent shares her impressions of Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells performance on March 13. Her review is not favorable.
  • At The Daily Telegraph, Sarah Crompton’s review is kinder but still not positive.
  • Finally, Ismene Brown from The Arts Desk gives a dismal review of young Polunin.

Read ahead.

Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells Reviews

Ivan Putrov’s Men In Motion suffers from the law of diminishing returns.

His first version of the show, unveiled in January, received an unexpected boost through guest star Sergei Polunin’s shock resignation from The Royal Ballet. Polunin made front page headlines, and Men in Motion was a chance to see what the fuss was about. As the news story fades, Polunin is back to make his choreographic debut – which does nothing to lift a desperately weak evening.

Polunin’s new work is a solo for himself, inspired by James Dean. Danced to two snatches of film scores, it’s a naïve mix of virtuoso steps and teenaged angst.

Dressed in Dean’s iconic jeans and white t-shirt, Polunin tugs at the sleeve of a jacket drapes over a chair, pulls unhappy faces and launches himself into jumps and spins. His technique is clear-cut, but has little to do with the vague acting sequences. Thus far, James Dean is another incoherent gala number. Then, for the ending, Polunin runs off stage to amplified car crash noises, prompting stifled giggles from the audience.

Full review by Zoë Anderson can be found here.

Sarah Crompton from The Telegraph gives Putrov’s progam a more benevolent review, though her thoughts on Polunin’s piece are not as favorable.

In tight-fighting skinny jeans and a white T-shirt, he [Polunin] paints Dean’s tormented inner state, dashing off dazzling variations but occasionally returning to commune with a coat.

It is a bit silly in truth, but notable for the extraordinary emotion Polunin brings to it, a kind of anguish that would make me worry about him if I were his mother or his friend.

Read entire article by Crompton.

Men in Motion Part 2 was surely an impromptu media event, created by the storm of press surrounding shooting star Polunin’s exit from his company in Covent Garden (and in which he most clearly belongs, as his performance here blatantly showed), and riding on the coattails of the misfire of Men in Motion in January.

But this one, generated by essentially aggrieved dancers – Putrov (who could be very good if he’d just pull out a few stops to refine his superior gifts) and Polunin (who has a genuine promise of greatness) – keeps emitting rather sulky, inconsequential choreography.

The Arts Desk ‘s Ismene Brown shares her review.  

Men in Motion at Sadler’s Wells Reviews

Sadly, Men in Motion did not live up to audiences’ expectations. There were some highlights as noted in the article sources above. But the much awaited performance of Sergei Polunin as James Dean did not deliver.

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About Romy Macias, Senior Editor

Romy danced with the Ballet Clasico de Queretaro Fernando Jhones for 10 years having reached 1st soloist position. She presently takes on character roles and teaches at the company's junior academy. This site is a testament to her passion for classical ballet. You're invited to be part of our community and join in the joy for this amazing art form.

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