Cipollino, London Coliseum, London
Monday 26 July 2010
A ballet for children, Cipollino tells the story of a heroic young onion resisting the fruit aristocracy. Yes, really. As you might have guessed, it was created in Soviet Russia.
It's a slight but cheerful work, which the Mikhailovsky Ballet dance with plenty of bounce.
The ballet is based on a fairy tale by Gianni Rodari, by way of a Russian animated film. The composer, Karen Khachaturian, having written music for the cartoon, was so fond of Rodari's characters that he went on to write a ballet, first staged in 1973.
The vegetable proletariat are happy in the sunshine until Prince Lemon threatens to make them pay for it. As the people express their dismay, Cipollino accidentally steps on Prince Lemon's foot. In revenge, his father is arrested. After a few subplots, the oppressive Lemon and his sidekick Signor Tomato are overcome, letting everyone else live happily ever after.
Genrikh Mayorov's choreography has big, simple outlines with some virtuoso steps. He has fun with the details of his scenario. In one scene, the villagers build a house, with dancers becoming wheelbarrows to carry the bricks. Tomato gets some moustache-twirling villainy, which Aleksandr Omar dances with gusto. Prince Lemon has an honour guard of girls in yellow.
As Cipollino, Aleksei Kuznezov jumps and spins with determination, but could do with more brio. He's also stuck with the pudding-basin haircut of Soviet comedy heroes. The exuberant Sabina Yapparova plays his girlfriend, Radish, sailing through her steps with a wink at the audience. Irina Kosheleva dances serenely as the fairy figure Magnolia.
Valery Leventhal's designs are a strong point, with colourful costumes and charming scenery. One scene shows a red-roofed Italian town, in distorted perspective, surrounded by patchwork-quilt fields. Delightfully, it looks like something Dora Carrington might have painted after eating a lot of E-numbers.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Blink-182 split: Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful' say Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia