This evenings performance was excerpts from La Fille Du Pharaon (2002) with Tsiskaridze, Gracheva and Alexandrova, Pierre Lacotte appears for curtain calls.
I usually very much enjoy the costume designs for most Russian productions, but tutus at Pharoah's court demands a bit more of suspended belief than I am prepared to give. However, that didn't affect the dancing one iota.
Gracheva is fine, but has a bit of a problem fully pointing her foot quickly enough in some steps that are initiated by a degagé or a battement. Not all the time, but some of the time. Oh, I know, picky picky me.
In this ballet there are a number of sequences in which the two principals dance side by side in a series of very fast petit allegro enchainements; almost Bournonville-esque. Tsiskaridze's feet actually sparkled and were cleaner than the ballerina - and she was very good.
The next part of the tape was not marked on the menu I had been sent, and so was a surprise - a very, very pleasant surprise, indeed. The Vision Scene and Act III Grand Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty. Since it was not marked on the menu, I don't, unfortunately, know who the ballerinas were who danced either Lilac Fairy or Aurora.
Shall I repeat my constant refrain of how impressive Nikolai is? How he eats space? How light and effortless everything is made to seem? No, I won't bore you again (assuming anyone is reading this
But I will mention two more things I noticed about him. He never hurries. Whether it is in a blazing petit allegro, a superman series of tour de force turns, or simply getting to where he needs to be....it's all done with never a rush or hurry. He is just is there. On the music, in time, with no thought of hurry.
The second thing - he doesn't finish anything and then adjust. You know, turn, turn, turn, stop - adjust. Nope. He just finishes, and that's it. No adjustment necessary, thank you very much. The other place he doesn't adjust is when he is about to take off, like in a triple tour en l'air. He doesn't start in fifth and then just a mite before taking off, loosen up that fifth. Nope, he goes right from that tight fifth. And then he lands in that tight fifth. And stays there. Simple. He makes it look so simple.
There was another huge and well deserved ovation after the Sleeping Beauty too. Oh, yes, the Bolshoi audience joined me and my husband in the ovation.