The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre company has arrived at The London Coliseum, with their production of Swan Lake. For fans of ballet, the announcement was very welcome news. They have a long-standing reputation as being the best ballet dancers in the world. This production shines with all of the gloss, elegance and beauty that one could ever hope for.
The story of Swan Lake tells the tale of Prince Siegfrid, on his journey to find love, and to seek out his future Queen. Act 1 features a garden in front of the Prince’s Castle. The current Queen – Prince Siegfrid’s mother invites potential suitors – who she hopes that the Prince will clasp eyes on, and want to marry. This is his 21st birthday party, and guests include the beautiful Ladies of the Court, royalty, and close friends. Love did not happen for the Prince on this evening. He spends the evening happily dancing around and enjoying himself – showcasing his freedom – excellently executed by the sublime ballet skills of Bolshoi-trained Denis Rodkin. The Jester played by Mikhail Tkachuk performs a cheeky showcase of his talent, with a very charming and energetic playful ballet dance sequence. The party ends as a dashing display of White Swans flow past.
The most beautiful performances of the evening and some of Tchaikovsky’s most sublime work can be seen and heard in Act 1, Scene 2. Irina Kolesnikova plays the roles of Odette/Odile, and she is elegance and ballet perfection personified. Her movement is fluid, like water and her composure and grace is pure art, she is mesmerising to watch in the roles. She has played the roles – and been prima ballerina for over 10 years. Watching her dance, it is clear to see why Russia has the outstanding reputation that it does for ballet performance. The dance of the Four Little Swans is also a visual feast. Expertly tiptoeing rhythmically, the Four Title Swans glided across the Coliseum stage with serene beauty in perfect symmetry. It was such a beautiful moment and iconic sequence to witness.
There are a lot of intervals during Swan Lake – one between each act! But each act has its own energy and importance, and one is treated to a new visually stunning set each act. Act 2 is set in the Castle Ballroom and we are taken back to a by-gone era, with fabulous, huge costume dresses and lots of grandiose. Following the story, the Queen holds the most spectacular Grand Costume Ball that the world has ever witnessed. magic, drama and intensity follows during this act. In the final act of the evening, the Swan Maidens, who are under a spell gather to protect Odette. Watching them dance is like watching a group of Gazelles move in the wilderness. They are long-limbed and full of feather-light movement. They are beautiful and serene. We all love a happy ending, and Swan Lake is no different. Capturing a Disney-esque sense of ‘ahhhh’, how lovely, it reaches its zenith with the message of love conquers all. ‘Amor Vincit Omnia’.
This production of Swan Lake is simply spine-tinglingly outstanding. The stunning set-design, world-class ballet performance, with live music performed by The Orchestra of English National Opera makes the whole experience extraordinary. Bravo to the entire production for showcasing such a stunning visual treat that everybody must witness.
Cast: Irina Kolesnikova and St Petersburg Ballet Theatre Venue: London Coliseum. Dates: 22nd August – 2nd September 2018. Time: 7.30pm. For tickets click here.