While the ingredients themselves are fine, the ways they’ve been put together have a progressively numbing effect on the quality. The opening half is the best.
MacMillan’s works are engrained in her [Leanne Benjamin] body and her heart; every tiny inflection is just right, and she turns the gala into a mini master class of how to dance them
But the talent is undoubtedly present. As Odette/Odile, Svetlana Zakharova is a magnificent creature – a genuinely credible Swan Queen with liquid arms and expressive line.
But emotionally, the whole thing is off key… The extra-long-limbed, legs-go-sky-high Svetlana Zakharova plays the two swans, Odette and Odile, nailing the steps with zero emotion.
It’s left to the dancers to save the stage, and here the Bolshoi come into their own. Certainly, Svetlana Zakharova’s Odette may be the finest performance I’ve seen from her.
In Swan Lake, the first ballet of the season, the corps of swans flood onto the stage, speedy and strong. Their footwork is quick, while their upper bodies are bold and assured. They’re hampered by Yuri Grigorovich’s sluggish production
All five international princesses on first night at Covent Garden were superb, from Anna Tikhomirova’s missile-like entrance on stage to Daria Khokhlova’s exquisite ballon.
Two men – Vadim Muntagirov and Esteban Berlanga, both fine – laboured as Béjartian schmaltz piled on Mahlerian sorrows. Here is choreography soggy with self-pity, but handsomely danced, and decently sung by Nicholas Lester.
It seems appropriate that a tribute to one great Russian male dancer should be dominated by outstanding performances by another in today’s generation Continue Reading
Muntagirov again dances beautifully, but here he has the rosy, nuanced, and glittering Daria Klimentova to react against. Together, they not only honour the choreography’s rich detail, but in their intimations of grandeur and sensuous delirium they evoke the love…
Muntagirov is what this triple bill is all about. He conjures the restless ghost of Nureyev – how might he have performed the Béjart, one wonders? – while revealing the promise of his own greatness.
It’s a sentimental duet, with the vague joys and sorrows of life overshadowed by melancholy. Vadim Muntagirov is superbly lyrical in the Nureyev role, flowing through jumps and turns with linear clarity. Esteban Berlanga is vivid and engaged as the death figure.