Top critical review
GOOD PRODUCTION, WOODEN SWAN
on 30 April 2015
With regard to the performances in this particular version of Swan Lake, whilst I liked the actual production, I was extremely disappointed with the principal ballerina. I have always found Yulia's interpretations though technically proficient, to be very dull and wooden (and I am not alone in that view). It's as if the current Russian dance system only recruit tall, skinny, long-legged dancers to the exclusion of all else (Basketball Ballerinas, I believe they are called). And whilst there is nothing wrong with tall and skinny (a dance fan pointed out that it should be about body proportions, not height, or lack of it), it seems that all the artistry and dramatic ability has been abandoned in favour of technique and pyrotechnics, with the result that we end up with blank-faced, cookie-cutter ballerinas. Yulia, alas, is not the only one. The Russians used to lead the world. Not any more. Osipova is perhaps a rare and wonderful exception: a true artiste.
I would recommend ABT’s version with Gillian Murphy (sublime) and a fab adaptation, the Royal Ballet’s acclaimed production (recently recommended as the closest version to the original revised production from the 1890’s, which is high praise indeed), and others. (Check out some other wonderful interpretations on U-tube, especially those from different eras. There are some real treasures from the archives and the fans show equal passion for their favourites).
I would add, though that I appreciate any view of the various productions and dancers will always be subjective.