REVIEW: Swan Lake, Lyceum

Swan Lake, Moscow City Ballet, Lyceum, January 8-12 2013
Swan Lake, Moscow City Ballet, Lyceum, January 8-12 2013
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IF you’re feeling overweight and sluggish after the excesses of the festive period, then seeing the Moscow City Ballet in action may just shame you into shaping up.

Their two-and-a-quarter-hour production of one of the world’s best-loved ballets, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, is a tour-de-force of poise, grace and strength.

With a superb orchestra playing the familiar but still stirring score and additional choreography by the distinguished Victor Smirnov–Golovanov, Swan Lake is the epic love story of Prince Siegfried and Odette, who would rather die together than live apart after they are tricked by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart and his daughter Odile.

Matthew Bourne’s modern reinterpretation of Swan Lake turned the classical ballet world upside down but this performance from a Russian company who have been visiting Britain for more than 20 years, adopts an ultra-traditional, but nevertheless spectacular, approach.

The members of the corps de ballet showcase their talents in the sometimes overlong divertissements and Siegfried (Talgat Kozhabaev) is outshone by the dynamism of the master of ceremonies.

The production is probably designed for a bigger stage, but is made special by a captivating performance from a dazzling Lilia Oreyekhova as Odette/Odile, pictured below.

Act Three demands that the prima ballerina perform 32 fouettés as the Black Swan Odile.

I can’t vouch for that number, but her execution of the notoriously difficult 360 degree spins on one leg are out of this world.

Swan Lake is on until Saturday.

Tim Cotton

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