Dance / The Kirov Ballet at the London Coliseum

The Kirov Ballet perform at the London Coliseum (0171-632 8300) 8 Jul-9 Aug

Back in 1961 when visits by Russian ballet companies were few and far between, people would happily take their sleeping bags along to the box office with an enthusiasm now reserved for rained-off tennis tournaments.

Tickets are still available for the Kirov's season opening at the London Coliseum on Tuesday. Why? Are ballet-goers now less passionate? Have they become spoilt by too many Russian visits? Or is the Kirov of today lacking the magic of the company that astonished the world in the Sixties? All three are true - up to a point.

Spoilt by frequent treats, ballet audiences have begun to pick holes in performances that would once have left them totally satisfied. The style is certainly changing. The younger generation of dancers conform to an increasingly common international look - long on line and short on expression. Nightmarish budget constraints mean that the dancers can't afford to bash their point shoes about before dancing in them so that the once silent corps de ballet clatters across the stage like a hailstorm of white tulle.

Details. Mere details. The Kirov present eight programmes of 19th- and 20th-century ballet. The casting has (unusually) been announced in advance, revealing a solid star presence. Altynai Asylmuratova, widely regarded as the world's greatest ballerina, dances one performance of each full- length ballet, partnered by the likes of Igor Zelensky, her husband Konstantin Zaklinsky and gorgeous, pouting Faroukh Ruzimatov. Around these stars revolve the Kirov's other great strengths. The corps de ballet remains a formidable manifestation of the power of collective unconscious. Its character dancers are superb. An eminent critic recently observed that a particular British dancer tended "to leave a void where once a character had been". Kirov dancers do the opposite and pack the stage with drama and incident.

The other thing that makes the company an enduring pleasure is its magnificent orchestra - under Viktor Fedotov's baton you can enjoy the Kirov with your eyes shut.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific