A magnificent showcase for the Kirov
Ballets of Balanchine, Rating: *****(out of 5)
by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian
When George Balanchine left Russia in 1924, he may have been abandoning a culture in chaos, but he was taking with him precious assets: two centuries of dance tradition and a revolutionary's confidence in the new. With these in hand, he went on to define a whole new school of neoclassicism in the west, and to create a repertory in which his old company at the Maryinsky would dazzle when they were finally allowed to dance the exile's steps.more...
I agree with Ms Mackrell. The Company looked very fine in this triple bill as they did in 'Jewels'. These two Balanchine programmes show the Kirov at its best. Over this season, the Kirov dancing is rarely less than wonderful, but the productions of the cosmeticised 'Manon', the kid's story 'Le Corsaire' and the long-winded original setting of 'Sleeping Beauty' have not impressed me.
I saw their 'Swan Lake' last year, but missed it this time. However, i have to say that I consider the English National Ballet production markedly better. In the Kirov version, the Jester, no matter how impressive his dancing, does seem to get in the way and the happy ending takes away much of the tragic resonance.
Clearly the Balanchine style suits the Kirov and I look forward to further productions. Any suggestions for which Balanchine works you'd like to see the Kirov performing?
[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 04, 2001).]
<small>[ 19 December 2003, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>