sun 20/08/2017

Mariinsky

La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

There are half as many performances of La Bayadère in this Mariinsky tour as performances of Swan Lake (four vs eight). The preponderance of Swan Lake is driven by audience demand, but if audiences knew what was good for them, they'd demand more...

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Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

There are two approaches to a triple bill: make all three pieces similar so you get one crowd with definite tastes, or make them very different so you have a chance of pleasing everyone. The Contrasts bill that the Mariinsky ballet showed at the...

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Swan Lake, Mariinsky Ballet review - Xander Parish lacks the spark of wildfire

It's a Cinderella story: Xander Parish was plucked from obscurity in the Royal Ballet corps and trained by the Mariinsky to dance the greatest roles in the repertoire. Now, not only is he the first Briton to join the historic Russian company, he has...

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Don Quixote, Mariinsky Ballet review - gentle charm, impressive principals

One of the most Russian things you can do in ballet is dance Don Quixote, which is 100 percent set in Spain. Don't think too hard about it, and definitely don't think too hard about the plot (which is barely there). The point is, the Mariinsky -...

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Sergei Vikharev, master ballet-reconstructor, 1962-2017

Just as the 200th anniversary is about to be celebrated of the great genius of 19th-century classical ballets, Marius Petipa, the creator of The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, half of Swan Lake, and many other masterpieces, his oeuvre's...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Aida Garifullina

There are certain roles where you’re lucky to catch one perfect incarnation in a lifetime. I thought I'd never see a soprano as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace equal to Yelena Prokina, Valery Gergiev’s choice for Graham Vick’s 1991 production....

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Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Does Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi director and current world-leading classical choreographer, really love Prokofiev's Cinderella, or did he choose to create a new one for Australian Ballet in 2013 principally because he wasn't happy with his...

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Mariinsky Ballet: Concerto DSCH, Sacre, Wales Millennium Centre

On Thursday the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra swooped into Cardiff for the ballet company’s only UK dates this year. Appearing at the Wales Millennium Centre for just four ballet performances, plus a family concert of Peter and the Wolf, the...

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Tchaikovsky Competition Winners Tour

For a few very lucky competition winners there is a shopping trip where they are paraded around the world. A terrific opportunity, though a horrible experience, probably. Most competition winners have only a new line in their CV to stare at after...

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Best of 2014: Dance & Ballet

You usually know a good piece or performance when you see one, but sometimes you only identify a great one as such significantly after the fact. What better way to test a work's durability, then, than by seeing what remains of it in the memory after...

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Levsha, Mariinsky Opera, Barbican Hall

Of course unavoidable circumstances do strike, and concerts do get delayed, but it’s astonishing just how often those circumstances seem to conspire against Valery Gergiev. Last night’s UK premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera Levsha – the second...

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Betrothal in a Monastery, Maryinsky Opera, Cardiff

It’s one of the ironies of life and art that Prokofiev’s tenderest and most romantic opera was composed at a time when he was abandoning his wife in favour of a Moscow literature student half his age. Betrothal in a Monastery is a setting...

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