No smoke and mir­rors in Rus­sian bal­let

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT -

This per­for­mance from the Im­pe­rial Rus­sian Bal­let isn’t lack­ing in power.

Though the mean­ing of the word may vary be­tween acts, it is there sit­ting com­fort­ably along­side drama and the­atri­cal­ity.

A Fes­ti­val of Rus­sian Bal­let opens with Don Quixote, a story about a man a trav­el­ling the roads of Spain search­ing for glory and grand ad­ven­ture.

The set, the props and the cos­tumes all pro­vide a sense of grandeur, how­ever, the show is not lack­ing in hu­mour and hi­jinks.

In Act One, witty moments min­gle with gen­tle ones.

In­com­pa­ra­ble, al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble, amounts of flu­id­ity and poise, tell the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Kitri and Basilio.

Power is present in the prac­tise.

Whether its los­ing count of lead Lina Seve­liova’s spins, or watch­ing in won­der at the in­fal­li­ble lifts, as mere spec­ta­tors, the dancers are noth­ing short of in­spir­ing.

It’s hard not to think some form of trick­ery must be in­volved in the lifts - the way Seve­liova glides through the air looks ef­fort­less be­yond hu­man be­lief.

But there is no smoke and mir­rors.

The Im­pe­rial Rus­sian bal­let Com­pany is as good as what I’ve been told.

After a 20-minute in­ter­mis­sion, the sound of rain fills the theatre. A lone fig­ure is an­nounced when light­ning crashes.

As the eyes ad­just, bal­le­rina bod­ies ap­pear on the floor. The dancers, cloaked in black, awaken one by one.

Bolero is a strik­ing and dra­matic bal­let. It’s hyp­notic jour­ney cli­maxes after a crescendo of mov­ing pieces. It was a ‘‘wow’’ mo­ment among many of the night.

The short­est of the three acts, Bolero left a fan­tas­ti­cal im­pres­sion.

After a shorter break, the com­pany re­turns to the stage with high­lights from the world’s most beloved bal­lets.

These in­clude grace­ful ex­cerpts from Giselle, Swan Lake and Le Cor­saire, as well as the hu­mor­ous opener Dance of the Horses.

Fin­ish­ing the show in a flour­ish, and leav­ing the au­di­ence in fits, was the ex­pertly chore­ographed Can Can.

The Im­pe­rial Rus­sian Bal­let Com­pany will now travel to Aus­tralia for a three­hour bal­let ex­trav­a­ganza. Pic­tured is leads Lina Seve­liova and Sergey Khey­lik.

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