If new choreography is the life blood of dance, then it looks alive and well this week in London where two dance companies premiere significant new works. At Sadler’s Wells on Tuesday Rambert Dance Company performs company director Mark Baldwin’s piece The Comedy of Change while at the Opera House on Wednesday The Royal Ballet debuts Wayne McGregor’s Limen.

Both are short works (about 30 minutes) and both are plotless in that they don’t have an obvious narrative, although they do evoke mood. Rambert’s The Comedy of Change celebrates Darwin year in a work inspired by the diversity and ingenuity of the animal kingdom. It is set to a commissioned score by the British composer Julian Anderson, with designs by Paris-based contemporary artist Kader Attia. Baldwin describes it as “blending dance and science into a witty performance”.

At The Royal Ballet, McGregor’s new work, his third since becoming the company’s resident choreographer in 2006, draws on the idea of limits and thresholds. As McGregor puts it: “It’s a meditation on thresholds of life and death, darkness and light, reality and fantasy”.

The music is by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, her first for the Royal Opera House, whose new work is about an eclipse of the sun. The designs are by Japanese visual artist Tatsuo Miyajima whose light sculptures features LED digital counters that examine the passage of time.