Wayne McGregor's Chroma has once again proved a sell-out ticket for the Royal Ballet - and rightly so: the second outing of this White Stripes/Joby Talbot ballet confirms that it is so much more than a mere rock-music novelty. The dancers now have the measure of McGregor's shape-shifting language, insinuating themselves within the clamouring spaces of the music and glorying in the moments of tenderness and sublime power that they find there. Even if one or two are tempted to get just a little bit hip with the choreography, Chroma remains a stunningly poetic piece - enigmatic, alien, romantic.
Why the Royal have opted to follow Chroma with the dour double act of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Different Drummer and Rite of Spring, however, remains a mystery.
Different Drummer (based on Georg Büchner's Woyzeck) is a particularly challenging ballet to revive. It looked dated even at its premiere in 1984, and now the whirl of sexual paranoia, military bullying and religious symbolism that constitute its narrative still seem overwrought and out of focus.
However, the work is a superb vehicle for Edward Watson, who makes his debut in the title role this season. The wan, bony pathos of his face and the flexibility of his body provide a perfect canvas for the harrowing imagery with which MacMillan traces Woyzeck's breakdown. His back arched in febrile hysteria, Watson carries you deep into the ballet even when you have no clear idea what is going on.
MacMillan created The Rite of Spring early in his career, when he was first battering against the limits of his inherited vocabulary, and there are moments in this 1962 work where his experiments look uneasy. Aiming for primitivism, he frequently ends up with bad ethnic pastiche, his choreography's squat-legged jumps and jabbing fingers like a safari holiday for ballet.
Yet after the music of Chroma, it is moving - and revealing - to hear Stravinsky's score assert its own magisterial status. The scale of MacMillan's response to it can be overwhelming, with 45 dancers surging through a series of epic patterns. But as their emotional focus, Tamara Rojo is compelling, with a rare gift for internalising the essence of each ballet. Her performance of The Chosen Maiden registers all the horror and heroism of her sacrificial role.
· In rep until February 23. Box office: 020-7304 4000.