Friday, 15 February 2013

Swan Lake - review

Written by: Lily Grouse (@LilyKG)

Richmond Theatre, London

Swan Lake, set to Tchaikovsky's wonderful score, is one of the world's best-known ballets, and the audience’s enthusiastic response in Richmond Theatre is a testament to this production’s perfect execution. I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing the Moscow City Ballet, a company with such a fantastic reputation, reviving their signature piece, and I certainly was not disappointed.

I've always heard that it is best to already know the story of the ballet you're about to see, as there's only so much storytelling that can be clearly communicated through the medium of dance. I truly believe, however, that even the most clueless audience member would be able to follow Prince Siegfried's journey in this production. The principals were especially expressive and precise in their characterisations, making the plot extremely easy to follow. The entire piece was a beautiful marriage of impressive musicianship, detailed choreography and breathtaking performances.

Lilia Oryekhova had the particularly difficult job of portraying both Odette and her twin sister Odille (the white swan and the black swan, respectively). Her performance is absolutely outstanding - so outstanding, in fact, that an extremely passionate fellow sitting near me exclaimed "Brava!" at the end of each of her solos. Oryekhova’s stamina is remarkable, and her ability to switch seamlessly from Odette’s wounded demeanour to Odille’s lasciviousness, whilst delivering wildly complicated choreography, left me stunned.

The company worked together marvellously. There was no weak link, to the further credit of Oryekhova, whose performance still managed to stand out among such a talented collective.

I can't recommend this production enough, and I suggest you try to catch the end of their UK tour. Only then will you fully understand my 'fan-girl' response. My apologies if I sound like I'm gushing; it was just an incredibly good production.

This production has now closed.

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