This year's Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House features a new commission by Aakash Odedra, which includes Turner Prize winner Ofili painting directly on to the bodies of dancers... Continue Reading
Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH is a joyful finale to the Mariinsky Ballet’s triple bill, bubbling over with invention and fabulous dancing.
A trio of showoffs wind themselves in and out of the action; a loving couple dance wistfully. On Monday, the casting was just spot-on, with the prodigious Kimin Kim fizzing and flying, and Nadezhda Batoeva and Filipp Stepin in spiky, spirited support.
…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