Paul McCartney’s ballet debut

Alastair McCaulay, The New York Times dance critic, has spoken and he’s lukewarm about Paul McCartney’s first ballet score, Ocean’s Kingdom.

In a gala premiere on Thursday, Ocean’s Kingdom was danced by the New York City Ballet with choreography by the company’s ballet master-in-chief, Peter Martins.

Ocean’s Kingdom is “in no way an important addition to the corpus of ballet music, but it deserves a better staging than the one it’s been given by New York City Ballet. Never less than agreeable, it has plenty of color and melody”.

Martins comes off worst among the collaborators. Macaulay writes that “for decades now most of his new work has been stale: lacking either felicity of invention or stylistic individuality”.

The scenario appears to be inspired by the Romantic age (think Ondine) with the lovers coming from the worlds of water and earth.

A Youtube preview shows Martins and McCarthy discussing the ballet along with some rehearsal snippets.

As an antidote, you might like to watch Alessandra Ferri with Sting. The dancing begins about half way through the video.

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Peter Martins with Paul McCartney, gala premiere for Ocean's Kingdom

Peter Martins with Paul McCartney, gala premiere for Ocean’s Kingdom, photo © Andrea Mohin