Concussion stops Royal Ballet

Concussion stops Royal Ballet


norman lebrecht

February 10, 2014

A weekend performance of Wayne McGregor’s ‘Tetractys — The Art of Fugue’ was cancelled at Covent Garden after the Royal Ballet’s new Bolshoi recruit Natalia Osipova sustained mild concussion during the Saturday matinee.

The RB posted this statement:

We are sorry to announce that tonight’s performance of Tetractys – The Art of Fugue will not go ahead, due to an injury sustained by Natalia Osipova during the matinee. Thiago Soares is also unwell.

It is clearly an unusual step to cancel a performance, but the complex nature of Tetractys – The Art of Fugue has made it impossible to rehearse a second cast in the time available.

We are hopeful that the cast will have recovered in time for the next performance of the mixed programme on Tuesday 11 February.

Rhapsody and Gloria will both go ahead tonight, but patrons will either have the option of leaving and requesting a full refund, or of staying for the two ballets and receiving a third of their money back.

We would like to apologize again for the inconvenience and disappointment caused.”

American Ballet Theatre

Photo: Rosalie O’Connor


  • Fritz Curzon says:

    it must be time for crash-helmets to become compulsory in ballet

  • yeah,and the subsequent consequences of concussions are still not fully researched..

  • Ellen West says:

    Dear Norman

    Just to flag that I have corrected the statement I published on Saturday night – there is in fact a second cast for Tetractys – The Art of Fugue. The performance could not go ahead as there was insufficient time to integrate two new performers into the existing cast. For the revised statement see the website:

    Natalia Osipova will not dance tonight, but we are hoping that she will have recovered for Thursday.

    Best wishes


  • Michael says:

    I have seen hundreds of new ballets ranging from the neo-classical to the outrageously and incomprehensible modern over the past nearly 50 years. Tetractys was without doubt the dullest, emptiest and most boring of these – and it was not without some stiff competition! Those present when the third performance was cancelled last Saturday can consider themselves lucky not to have wasted 35 minutes of their lives. I have often disagreed with his views on a number of modern pieces, but Clement Crisp will go down in dance criticism for this perfect and elegant summary in his FT review:-

    “…….amid music that fascinates the ear, but which the dance burdens with muscle-wrenching tedium. And at last, gasping for air, for choreographic clarity, we see the curtain fall. Tetractys is garrulous, old-fashioned, a neon-lit cliché, and should lie unregretted where it falls.”

    The Royal Ballet has sought to place Wayne McGregor on the same level as Ashton and MacMillan – “three defining choreographers of The Royal Ballet” – in my view an appalling insult to those two truly great choreographers. In the ghastly emptiness of Tetractys, I hope McGregor has now been found out. He is no worse than many current choreographers, but raising him to an iconic position in the dance world is at best obviously premature and at worst simply daft.