ENB – St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is a wonderful building, but a terrible place to watch ballet. The architectural and decorative splendors distract you from everything you see on stage, although the level seating means you won’t see most of it anyway.

Despite these problems, English National Ballet were roundly applauded at St Paul’s. The reason is that it was the last hurrah for Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks. The husband and wife dancers have been stars at ENB for two decades where they disappointed nobody with their enduring artistry. They are now retiring and going home to Estonia.

For their final UK appearance, they danced the lead couple in Les Syphides, and they could have flat-footed their way through it and we would still have cheered. Happily they danced like thistle-down, she airy ease, he the dignified Poet.

The rest of the rather short programme included The Dying Swan, a new piece choreographed by Edur for three couples to Estonian music, and an orchestral playing of Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding.