An absolutely dazzling kaleidoscope of sensual dance and drama, Northern Ballet’s Casanova is proof that great art can transport you on to a higher plain.
But where to begin? Do I start with Giuliano Contadini’s star performance as the legendary lothario himself, who oozes charisma and charm with every turn? Or that very first scene in the abbey, full of monastic symbolism as a berobed young Casanova starts out in the world.
I have never seen a ballet tell a story so directly, so much so that I didn’t need much knowledge about the plot beforehand to follow what was going on.
The costumes, particularly those of the sinister apostles and inquisitors, sent a chill down my spine and the giant pillars on set treble up as the foundations of an abbey, the streets of Venice and the galleries of Versailles.
Talking of costumes, I loved the women in their white powdered wigs, colourful corsets and side panniers jutting above their suspenders - everything about this ballet gave off such a strong visual display.
And talking of visuals, the trists between Casanova and his many lovers are dynamic and involve many pairs of legs in the air but the dances are robust and sexually charged without ever being becoming explicit.
Highly recommended, Casanova plays at Milton Keynes Theatre until April 22. See here for tickets.