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Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Reviews of the July 13 opening night performance of "Swan Lake."

Laura Thompson in The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

Sarah Frater in The Evening Standard.

The Evening Standard

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Swan Lake
Mikhailovsky Ballet
Coliseum
London
13th July 2010


If as a ballet fan you listen to recordings of Swan Lake conducted by a maestro with no background in the ballet, chances are you will find the tempi incredibly fast; that’s because the conductor will be interpreting the original score and not some slowed down version demanded by a ballerina who considers that a drawn out tempo makes her look better. It is therefore wholly refreshing that the Mikhailovsky Ballet ditches the funereal pace to present this ballet with a far more balanced musical reading. Probably the reason for this ‘back to basics’ musical approach is that the version we are watching is one originally by Asaf Messerer, uncle of Mikhail Messerer who is responsible for this revival, based on the choreography of Alexander Gorsky and last seen at the Bolshoi in the 1960’s, in other words: pre Grigorovich. They certainly picked their feet up back then. The framework of the ballet is traditional with the biggest choreographic changes appearing in the fourth act, notably with those cheerful passages of music for the swans before the entry of Odette being excised so that the air of impending doom predominates.

This is a very conventional reading of Swan Lake despite the unfamiliar areas of choreography, with the framework of this production generally following the time-honoured sequence of events, though in the first act I wasn’t entirely happy with the cheerful solo for the Prince danced to the music familiar from Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux. Siegfried is a melancholy man and I much prefer the more pensive music given to him in western versions that reflect his innate loneliness. The second act mainly, but not quite entirely, follows the standard Russian version credited to Ivanov. The third act includes more prominence for the jester, with four sprightly girls as a backing group to his virtuosity, Fiancées without those wretched fans (nice touch, that) and the most splendid Mazurka and Czardas dancers whizzing through the steps with the brio that seems to come so naturally to Russian dancers. Sets and costumes looked very good throughout; the lighting was well done too with a level of moonlight in the lake scenes that flattered the dancers rather than obscuring them

In the leading role Ekaterina Borchenko is more at home as Odile than as Odette with her white swan appearing as something of a sketchy affair, almost a preliminary drawing rather than the complete picture, but her Odile is a different matter altogether as she dominates the stage with an air of callous superiority and dances the pas de deux with technical authority. What I like best about Borchenko is her reluctance to use the exaggerated extensions so popular with her compatriots, though of course with a faster tempo there isn’t time to unfurl the leg in slow motion, but on the whole she was very good. Her Prince was Marat Shemiunov, a lanky chap who failed to establish a rapport with his partner, though his Evil Genius opponent, known outside of Russia as Rothbart and danced by Vladimir Tsal, gave a brilliant account of his role making me think he would be the victor in the final moments, but no, it was that familiar Soviet happy ending and presumably happy ever after.

To be honest it was the ensemble dancing that impressed me the most, and I know from their previous visit to London that this company is hugely versatile and highly entertaining, They could well be on track to rival the Kirov before too long.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Zoe Anderson reviews "Swan Lake" in The Independent.

The Independent

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Sarah Frater reviews the Mikhailovsky's production of "Giselle" in the Evening Standard.

The Evening Standard

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Gerald Dowler reviews "Swan Lake" in the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Sarah Frater wrote:

"Irina Perren [Mikhailovsky Principal Dancer] in the title role was evenly excellent, catching the character’s earthly innocence in Act I and her sorrowful after-life in Act II."

She is someone that I would really like to see.

She will also be appearing July 24 (evening) as Odette-Odile ("Swan Lake") and other days in other works.

Casting is here....

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/london2010/

(Mikhailovsky site -- click on the ballet name at the bottom and then the performance date above)

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Luke Jennings reviews "Swan Lake" in The Observer.

The Observer

Judith Mackrell reviews "Swan Lake" in The Guardian.

The Guardian

Jenny Gilbert reviews "Swan Lake" in The Independent.

The Independent

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Ismene Brown conducts a wide ranging interview with choreographer Vyacheslav Samodurov for The Arts Desk. Samodurov has choreographed a new work, "In a Minor Key" to Scarlatti sonatas for the Mikhailovsky Ballet, presented on Sunday, July 18 at The London Coliseum.

The Arts Desk

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Ismene Brown reviews the Sunday, July 18 gala programme at The Coliseum, including a rare performance of Petipa's "Le Halte de Cavalerie" and Vyacheslav Samodurov's new "In a Minor Key."

The Arts Desk

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Terry O'Donovan reviews "Swan Lake" for The Stage.

The Stage

Author:  Gavin Roebuck [ Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Laurencia rehearsal photo by John Ross - Mikhailovsky Ballet at the London Coliesum. tickets eno.org

Attachments:
File comment: Laurencia -Mikhailovsky Ballet rehearsal- photo by John Ross
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Judith Mackrell reviews "Giselle" in The Guardian.

The Guardian

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Gerald Dowler reviews the Sunday, July 18 gala programme in The Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

I'm really enjoying the Mikhailovsky season and in the past week have seen the following:

Giselle
This was quite easily the best performance in a classic that I’ve seen in London all year. Irina Perren gave a very individualistic interpretation of the leading role, with one of the most convincing mad scenes I have ever seen. Her Albrecht was Denis Matvienko who plays the first act as a complete cad but dances the second with a touch of divinity performing a series of brisés so perfect that I caught my breath. A great shame the company has only scheduled two Giselles as the production has real substance and was danced impeccably by everyone on stage.

Cipollino
Is a relentlessly jolly piece for children and although the first time I saw it in Moscow I couldn’t make head nor tail of the story line, the Mikhailovsky Ballet thoughtfully supplies a narrator. Lots of attractive dancing to catchy music with heroes to cheer and villains to boo, with fun performances from everyone. The story by the way is about the consequences of not applying for official planning permission, try and see it and you’ll see what I mean. :lol:

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mikhailovsky Ballet visit London July 2010

Laura Thompson reviews both "Laurencia" and the gala programme in The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

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