Homage To Nureyev, Coliseum, London
Thursday 25 March 2010
A gala should not be an endurance test. Ensemble Productions' Homage to Nureyev has a starry international cast, and some fine performances, but heavens, it's long. Close to four hours of short numbers, this tribute to the great 20th-century ballet star was epically episodic.
Most items had some kind of link – often tenuous – to Rudolf Nureyev, but the programme had little sense of organisation or pace. A badly edited film section showed random clips of Nureyev in performance and interviews, making the running time even longer.
Homage to Nureyev was an exhausting lucky dip. At its best, it gave us the Royal Ballet's Alina Cojocaru and Sergei Polunin in an enchanting duet from Coppélia. It also turned up Adagietto, with Gil Roman emoting interminably in Béjart's rambling setting of Mahler.
The Bolshoi Ballet's Svetlana Zakharova swept her long legs into the twitches and wriggles of Krzysztof Pastor's Tristan and Isolde, partnered by Andrei Merkuriev. The Royal Ballet's Ivan Putrov, Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson were sharp and intelligent in a movement from Glen Tetley's Pierrot Lunaire.
Manuel Legris, one of the stars Nureyev promoted when he was director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, did his charismatic best with Patrick de Bana's horrid A Picture Of..., another angsty male solo. Former Kirov star Faroukh Ruzimatov stalked through The Moor's Pavane, but couldn't give José Limón's choreography enough momentum.
The Mariinsky Ballet's Ulyana Lopatkina was coy in a Russian dance, her folk-inflected steps needing more juice. She was bold and authoritative in Hans van Manen's Trois Gnossiennes, partnered by Ivan Kozlov. Loptakina unfolds into grand poses, introduces quirkiness by flexing a foot, then stretches triumphantly out again.
With Thiago Soares injured, the Royal Ballet's Marianela Nuñez hastily switched partner and repertory, dancing an elegant White Swan pas de deux. English National Ballet's Erina Takahashi was buoyant as the Black Swan, partnered by Dmitri Gruzdyev.
Polunin and Cojocaru gave the evening's happiest performance; he soared gleefully through the Coppélia duet, his dancing grand and easy. Cojocaru danced with gorgeous freshness and witty musical timing. Spinning through brilliant turns, she held out her skirts, a virtuoso at play.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer sees Katniss lead rebellion against the Capitol
The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace