By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian
Only a few months ago, I would have assumed that London's first view of Alina Cojocaru in Swan Lake would be dominated by her performance of acts two and four - the White Swan rather than the Black. Anyone casting Cojocaru to type would have thought of maidenly reserve, of classic lyricism, of the vulnerability of Odette rather than the evil glitter of Odile. But that was before Cojocaru confounded expectations with the queasy eroticism and manipulativeness of her recent debut in Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling. During Monday's Swan Lake, it became evident that Cojocaru was far more excited by Odile the seductress than by poor, tragic Odette.
Not that her interpretation of the latter was lacking in intelligence, or in astonishing dance moments. Cojocaru thinks her roles through with infinite care, and I have rarely seen the story of this ballet told so clearly. click for more
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Swan Lake
by debra craine for The Times
ANTHONY DOWELL’s production of Swan Lake is back in the Covent Garden repertoire for 19 performances, the longest single run it’s ever had. The last time the Royal Ballet performed it in London was just two years ago, but Monday night’s audience made it clear that the dance public is as keen as ever to flock to Tchaikovsky’s great ballet.
Dowell’s production, first seen in 1987, is holding up well, although Yolanda Sonnabend’s fussy designs, inspired by Fabergé but looking as though they were found in a junk shop, teeter between grand and tatty. And what has happened to John B. Read’s curious lighting? It’s getting so dim in Act IV that the Swans are practically in the dark. click for more
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Dance of the disenchanted
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times
There are several Swan Lakes trying to make their presence felt at the Opera House as this celebrated old trap for the unwary returns to the stage. There is, most importantly, the text itself: as true to the late 19thcentury original as we can hope to see - and this is the production's claim to fame and respect. There are, rather less importantly, Anthony Dowell's production ideas, which update the action to Tchaikovsky's time, introduce some tiresome "effects" and anachronisms - such as drunken cadets, arquebuses, and a ball peopled with mad people who are playing "Look at Me!". There are Yolanda Sonnabend's fascinating, hallucinatory designs, which propose a world that is part addled Fabergé egg, part haunted dream, ravishing to look at and framing, rather oddly, the academically proper choreography. click for more
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Study in cool detachment
Ismene Brown reviews Swan Lake at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden for The Dail Telgraph
After the horribly real travails of Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling this autumn, another prince is being put through the mangle over the next few weeks with Swan Lake. Ballet's supreme masterpiece is back at the Opera House, its serious drama of darkness and light challenging dancers and audiences who have been wallowing in realism to claim the higher ground of poetry and metaphor.
Alina Cojocaru with Johan Kobborg: her admirable, fearless technique is not matched by any suggestion of interior passion
The new run was launched by the debut of Alina Cojocaru as the Swan Queen and her black doppelganger (her three performances on the Royal Ballet's Australian tour last summer counting as the warm-up). click for more