That Sylvie Guillem inhabits the perfect body for dance is a given.

She is slender, so that her exposed back is a contour map of exquisite musculature, but never gaunt. She is strong, so she leaps light as a gazelle, time and again, man-high, settling on her partner's shoulders effortlessly with only the help of his one outstretched hand. She is freakishly but wondrously, meltingly mobile.

We already knew that she was, and at 44 years of age could still be, the star of stars in all the firmaments of classical ballet. We had heard of her firm and feisty defence of her own artistic freedom in both that and the contemporary dance worlds.

But we were still not quite prepared for the arrival of a goddess, at least a high priestess of dance, capable of true enchantments, able to transform the Aotea Centre's stage and packed-to-the-gunwales auditorium, into a sacred space.

She started slowly in the opening solo, titled Solo, clad in creamy, diaphanous pyjamas, wreathing and winding through the rips and rhythms of Carlos Montoya's Spanish guitar.

The scene was set, the quality of Andy Cowton's sound design gorgeous, the lighting by Michael Hulls already exceptional, Russell Maliphant's choreography hypnotic and intensely beautiful, the collaboration perfect and inseparable.

Maliphant danced next in his own solo, Shift, to Shirley Thompson's haunting music, earthed and centred, folding and holding, his power magically doubled, then tripled, then single again, in a brilliant interplay with light, the whole a kinetic riddle of perception and reality.

Then a closely black-clad Guillem was back, only shoulders, arms and her astonishing feet exposed, encased in a cube of light-defined space. Again she started slowly with sinuous movements of amazing arms, twisting spine, deep forward folds, gradually picking up speed to Cowton's gorgeous soundtrack, until she was a whirl of movement, feet and fingers on literal fire.

Push is the final duet in the programme, beginning with Guillem, in the shortest of tunic dresses and her own pale skin, atop Maliphant's stocky frame. If it begins in parody of the classical form of male lifts female, that reference soon dissolves.

Two bodies push and pull in equality, join, separate, mould and define in intimate connection, hypnotic and serene, the whole, like Guillem herself, flawless and beautiful, devoid of artifice, full of art.