…the imprisoned cavaliers embalmed in a stone frieze, and the terrifying entrance of Kostchei’s fluttering, lurching, winged and taloned monsters. I must have seen dozens of Firebirds, and few match this for fairytale shock and awe.
Alexander Golovin’s fantastical forest and Bakst’s principal costumes with their gaudy palette of mauve and turquoise have a pop-up storybook magic and the rear wall made from the petrified corpses of knights gives additional force to Stravinsky’s sublime resolution.
I think the whole thing a marvel, marvellously danced by the present Mariinsky cast, with Viktoria Tereshkina an extra marvel as Titania, with our local boy, Xander Parish, a splendid Demetrius, and the whole troupe on magnificent form. A great ballet, superbly done.
…there are lovely moments, including one solo where dancer Dane Hurst (himself South African) lunges slowly across the stage and seems to be deeply inhaling the harmonies. Ultimately it’s a warm-hearted and entertaining endeavour. And the singing is irresistible.
It’s a full-length Dream, padding out the familiar Mendelssohn score with additional musical extracts. And while it follows Shakespeare’s play more faithfully than [Frederick] Ashton, it delivers a fraction of the latter’s humane sweetness and jokes.
…Viktoria Tereshkina’s Titania was as light and delicate as gossamer, Timur Askerov noble and accomplished as Oberon. Vasily Tkachenko’s Puck cast a girdle round the earth in a series of casual jetés and Anastasia Matvienko’s Hippolyta appeared out of nowher…
[Xander] Parish has pure line and a high jump, but he’s good in the quirky details too – the young god walking on his heels, or swinging an arm like a Pete Townshend guitar hero.
The stage design is admirably simple – just a few packing cases that serve as chairs, baggage and boats. The dancers are dressed in leather kilts, with their features sometimes concealed beneath tribal masks.
...the whole evening was strung together with performances as lustrously beautiful as beaded cultured pearls of the finest quality. Continue Reading
…they are a constantly generous presence, and their 11th-hour line-up across the width of the entire stage – those voices soaring out as never before – is a thing of simple but stirring beauty,
Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev are blessed with talents placing them among the world’s greatest of today’s dancers. But based on last week’s shudderingly embarrassing West End season, one virtue is absent from their considerable endowments – common sense.
...free-flowing pas de deux framed within the elegance of a sparkling corps de ballet, including a central divertissement of melting sweetness that is incongruously led by another couple, in this case a captivati… Continue Reading
Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev test their range with a specially-created evening of contemporary work. They dance these new styles with guts and conviction, but we’re only getting glimpses of their talent.
Osipova’s unfettered joy as she prances around the stage in her wedding dress is hugely infectious and Vasiliev’s panic at the prospect of marriage is palpable; as he rips off his formal suit, his short-lived liberation inspires some of his spectacular leaps.