Running only for a few weeks in October, I was lucky enough to be able to see it in the Royal Opera House.
The set design was fascinating, combining blackout backdrops with projected images on a darkened, semi-transparent screen. Recurring imagery of eyes, wings, nests, ravens and mutilation were seen projected in moments during the performance, setting a somewhat uneasy atmosphere which both reflected and heightened the scenes. The minimal use of physical props and set helped to create an almost dream-like landscape, with illuminated objects and figures dancing in black voids.
Once the Raven Girl got her wings, stunning shapes and movement arcs with captivating balance of form were constructed, and the mood of the scenes evolved from bleak despondency to a hopeful nirvana. Subtle changes in lighting from a cold, dull ice-grey to a slightly warmer peach-blue also helped to accommodate the shift in atmosphere.
The costumes were also beautifully designed- it was thoroughly impressive that they were able to create bird-like figures without simply sticking some clunky, awkward beak on the dancers- instead, a gently angled black mesh helmet, almost, with the implication of a beak through a streak of crystals down the centre(see below for images). The Raven Girl's costume also evolved throughout the ballet- when she first 'hatched', the dress was a thin, delicate black lace leotard with a single layered sheer black skirt, but by the time she had grown up, the dress was a tight, opaque black corset, and a heavy looking, multi-layered ragged skirt(see below for images). The costume's evolution seemed to mirror her growth as a character; from being innocent and open to closing off and hardening in the face of all that had happened to her.