DANCE/ Critical Round-Up

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The Independent Culture
The Kirov Ballet opened a season's hard-currency hunting at the Coliseum with Leonid Lavrovsky's 1940 Romeo and Juliet, choreographed for the company but later revived for the Bolshoi:

'What is on offer now at the Coliseum is a virtually unrecognisable shadow of (the Bolshoi) staging, tawdry in design, sometimes ludicrous in characterisation. Worst of all, with the exception of the two principals (Nina Ananiashvili and Yuri Posokhov), it is very badly danced.' Mary Clarke, Guardian.

'Could this be the Kirov? Was this really Leonid Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet? The opening performance of the Kirov season was one of those occasions when doubt replaces delight, and you seek excuses for what is on view rather than superlatives.' Clement Crisp, Financial Times.

'Sergei Vikharev's Mercutio is an outstanding performance: he makes the character's campness amusing but with a slight undertaste of irony, and he rises to the long death scene with a sad bitterness. The duel between Mercutio and Tybalt in this version is more dancey than usual; Vikharev and Dimitry Korneev carry it off with flair and finesse, but I wish Korneev would let his Tybalt go a just little more over the top.' John Percival, Times.

'The company's dancers can rise to an exquisite eloquence in their execution of the classical repertoire, but in this more robust, sprawling work many of them appear stranded in a foreign element. They tend to either overact wildly . . . or else to somehow absent themselves from their bodies while they are performing.' Judith Mackrell, Independent.