Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Last night Denis Rodkin debuted in Swan Lake -- the Mariinsky II was the testing grounds for his skills and I believe the audience would agree that he passed with flying colors....
Skorik was his lovely, polished Odette-Odile. She has made incredible strides in her interpretation which is now well honed and highly professional, infused with the appropriate nuances and coloring.
I agree with this completely, Catherine.
From the moment that she appeared there was a noticeable maturity and a special quality. The best I can do to describe it is to call it a Purity. There was a Perfectness to what she was doing. Yet it was alive with drama and fineness of motion. For example, her hands over her head were beautifully brought together and positioned. They were poetry.
There was a sense of calligraphy in her arms. They were speaking. (I’ve felt something similar with the unusually talented and one of a kind Simone Messmer (SFB, formerly ABT)). It’s not a common quality in ballet, perhaps being more apparent in Far Eastern dance.
There was such an overall fineness to her dance. Her timing and phrasing were wonderful. There was exceptional Cleanness and Clarity in her spins, especially noticeable in her arms.
Above all there was a Perfectness in her Totality. There was something classically fine about it. There was no excess, no need to embellish or amplify. But it was also Soulful and Alive. And it had Depth. She seemed to know exactly where she was, what she was projecting and it was done with complete surety, both in her dance and in her character. It was as if she had achieved a summit. All that I’ve seen her do in the past had finally come together in this culmination of Magnificence.
And still there was a a sense of progression and direction. Nothing was going to stop here. Tomorrow was going to offer new accomplishment, new meaning and new Magnificence.
I’ve mentioned before that I love a feeling of continuity in Swan Lake stemming from and echoing the famous Act I White Swan duet. This duet is the soul of Swan Lake. Rather than see the other highlights such as the Odile contrast, the lovely dance of the four little swans and character dances being distinct, I love to see them reinforce and be integral with the Enchantment created by the duet. Last night there were passages where this was highly noticeable. Both the dancing of the little swans and the big swans that followed the duet echoed it’s fineness. This dancing was outstanding and was a continuation of what Oxana Skorik had accomplished and the spell that she had created. There were also times in the Act II character dances that achieved the same feeling. The White Swan Act III, as usual, brings back much of this aura.
Denis Rodkin (Bolshoi) was excellent as Siegfried. I will admit once again that my attention is almost 100% on the ballerina, but what Oxana Skorik did could only be possible with her trust in her partner. He was rock solid physically and heartfully supportive emotionally. His own dancing and presence were also extremely fine.
Of further interest is that the initial Act III Corp de Ballet dance patterning seems somewhat restructured. There is a new kneeling of the swans at the right and an asymmetrical patterning that also becomes more dynamic and focussed to the right. The whole thing also felt slightly more streamlined. I thought it was effective and very well put together.
As usual there is so much more that could be said. I’ll just add that the Corp de Ballet has been outstanding this year, always to be counted on for consistency in holding any performance together and making it shine even more.