Bolshoi Ballet Triple Bill, Royal Opera House, London
Tuesday 03 August 2010
The Bolshoi Ballet's triple bill is all over the place. It starts with a bad Petrushka, pulls up with Alexei Ratmansky's Russian Seasons, then abandons the Russian theme for the pretend-Spanish dazzle of Paquita. It's an unbalanced evening, but there's plenty to enjoy by the end.
Petrushka is the blot on the landscape. Current dancers struggle with the character-dance style in Fokine's ballet. In Sergei Vikharev's production, they've also got the steps wrong.
Petrushka is a puppet with a soul. Trapped in his cell, he laments his fate – so it's bizarre, as well as inaccurate, when he launches into flashy jumps and spins. The ballet is badly blurred, from missing details to almost unrecognisable dances.
As Petrushka, Mikhail Lobukhin struggles with a text that doesn't make sense. Nina Kaptsova has a bright, mechanical bounce as the ballerina doll. The Stravinsky score, and most of the Benois designs, are still wonderful.
In Russian Seasons, composer Leonid Desyatnikov and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky draw on folk material. The dancers dance as a community. There are implied stories, laments and celebrations, ending with what could be a wedding.
Ratmansky's choreography is full of flowing lines and juicy folk details, flexed feet and dipping shoulders. In a melancholy solo, Ekaterina Krysanova seems to be remembering lost happiness as dancers dash around her. Natalia Osipova is gleeful in Ratmansky's prancing steps. Yana Ivanilova sings with rich, complex tone.
Petipa's grand pas from Paquita looks grand in Yuri Burlaka's staging. It's a big, leisurely showcase. Everything glitters, including the performance.
Maria Alexandrova is secure and spacious as Paquita. Nikolai Tsiskaridze is on extravagant form. Vladislav Lantratov stands out in the pas de trois. Paquita is a show of strength for the company, bringing on so many soloists. Nina Kaptsova's style is Old Soviet Bolshoi, with trailing hands. Ekaterina Krysanova dances with lovely, delicate energy. Natalia Osipova romps gloriously through her solo, her sheer star power overwhelming.
Due to a production error, an earlier review of the Bolshoi referred to "Tchaikovsky's Giselle". Adolphe Adam composed Giselle.
Season runs to 8 August (020 7304 4000)
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Interstellar: What we know about Christopher Nolan's new film so far
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth sent home in double firing
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Benedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours: 'I probably shouldn't be saying this'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year