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AUTHENTIC PRODUCTION FROM MARIINSKI THEATRE
on 4 December 2015
For lovers of this ballet, this production should be a 'must have' purchase. The magnificent Mariinski Theatre with it's huge stage is the spiritual home of this Tchaikovsky ballet & this spectacular version does it more than justice.
Not since Natalia Makarova has Russia produced an 'Odette/Odile' as heart-rending & captivating as Ulyana Lopstkina who's performance brings a unique combination of emotion, flawless technique & that exciting almost heart-stopping flourish of fouettés - every other a double - in the celebrated 'Black Swan' solo of act III. She is ably partnered by the 'Siegfried' of Danila Korsuntsev who gives a an assured performance with flashes of virtuosity in his solos & is entirely believeable as a Prince who is drawn into this drama, which of course being a Russian production has a happy ending rather than European versions which has Odette & Siegfried drowning in the lake, to be re-united in a redemptive eternal life.
However, the rôle of the'Jester', no matter how brilliantly danced, (here by the obviously talented Andrei Ivanov), tends to upstage & distract from the action & ultimately becomes tiresome!
The evil 'Rothbart' is in the capable hands of Ilya Kuznestsov, a character artist/dancer with years of experience in this rôle. Mention must also be made of the non-dancing rôle of the Queen, here given the finest interpretation by Alexandra Gronskaya. Tall, regal, with acutely delivered mime perfectly conveying all facets of feeling, expectations, & finally shock & heartbreak at the end of the ballroom act. After Lopatkina delivers a devastating beguiling and transfixing performance as Odile to hypnotise Siegfried into believing she is Odette, there is one of the most dramatic and upsetting scenes in all ballet. The evil couple reveal their true intentions and depart, throwing the court into chaos, Siegfried, distraught, dashes off into the night leaving his mother to collapse into the arms of her attendants....
The final act by the lakeside Is heartbreakingly beautiful and Tchaikovsky’s music is nothing short of miraculous.
All the music is included here, some of which is always cut in European productions & will be unknown to many.
The designs have been realised into stunning scenery & sumptuous costumes. Thankfully, the usually over-done hand gestures from corps de ballet members & courtiers, as soloists dance by, have been eliminated! All Russian ballet suffers from this distracting practice!
The huge orchestra gives a thrilling account of Tchaikovsky's famous score & this DVD has the added bonus of Valery Gergiev as conductor.
It will be a long time before Swan Lake will be given a production to top this!
This is arguably the best Swan Lake ever to be placed before an audience!
Excellent booklet included.