Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Review: Swan Lake loses its magic

14:15 10 February 2013

Russian State Ballet of Siberia performing  La Fille

Russian State Ballet of Siberia performing La Fille

Archant

Swan Lake, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, Regent Theatre, Ipswich

BILLED as the most romantic ballet of all times, a performance of Swan Lake is usually a chance to indulge your imagination, to journey to another world encased in love and hatred, where good battles evil and beauty prevails - at least in parts.

It was the third in a trio of performances taken on by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia during their three-night stay in Ipswich but sadly it was a step too far for the company.

From the first scene it was obvious to even the untrained eye that the choreography was beyond some members of the company.

As the court paraded before Prince Siegfried there was more than one battle going on. The characters vied for the attention of the eligible bachelor in true fairy tale style, but the dancers faced their own struggles.

Many fought with timing issues, rogue arms were flung in the air a second or two after the rest of the chorus and some dancers managed to miss some of the more intricate steps out completely.

All of this was accentuated by the fact the dancers were of such varying heights and sizes and it was hard to tell if this was a canon routine or designed to be performed in sync.

Prince Siegfried also failed to impress, he regularly missed his cue, leaving the orchestra and audience waiting, and stumbled throughout the performance

The dancer playing Odette was by far the strongest performer on stage. Her perfectly executed solos did exactly what they were designed to do, portraying the innocence, beauty and loneliness of this inspiring swan, captivating the audience as well as the prince.

There were stand out members of the chorus who performed an intricate, fast-paced jig during the second act that was near-on perfect, surprising considering the struggles faced with less complex routines earlier on but a rare glimpse of the true talent of this company.

Speaking of talent, the orchestra were amazing, often your eye was drawn away from the stage and down towards the pit where these musicians were holding the performance together.

The flautist stood out in particular and the conductor’s applause at the end of the performance was on a par with that of Odette’s.

Traditionally told in four acts, the ballet was compressed into two and came to a slightly abrupt end, leaving the audience wondering if this was an unusual interpretation or if we had just missed something.

2 comments

  • ..and traditionally 'cue' rather than 'que', and 'corps' rather than 'chorus' ;) I broadly agree with the review - Odette was a class apart from the rest of the very young cast, though completing Odile's fouettes looked a bit of a struggle (not surprising perhaps given the punishing touring schedule). Siegfried was lacklustre, and Rothbart was just a gangly prancing youth rather than a menacing, imposing magician. The famous cygnets' pas de quatre (maybe the jig referred to in the review?) was really very well performed and deserved its applause. The string section of the orchestra was underweight, so many well loved passages sounded rather thin, but overall the orchestra turned in a creditable performance given its constraints. The performance was also creditably (and presumably quite dynamically) adapted to the Regent's small stage - for example where typically three sets of OdetteOdile's movements are performed to traverse the stage, two were performed, but without losing synch with the music. Swan Lake needs scale - full orchestra, large stage, a host of swans - so this was always going to be a compromise. It was worth seeing and if nothing else serves to underline the brilliance of the performances available on DVD from global primas such as Zakharova and Semionova, which I'll no longer take for granted..

    Report this comment

    r flory

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • Great headline! It's vs. its, basic grammar :(

    Report this comment

    On Two Wheels

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

It is difficult to imagine that there was a time, right up until the later part of the Victorian era, that towns like Ipswich did not have a fire brigade available to everybody, writes David Kindred.

Rail passengers travelling from London to Clacton, Colchester and Ipswich tonight are facing cancelled trains or delays of up to 45 minutes due to a defective track on the outskirts of London.

Margaret Mary Tempest was born at 28 Fonnereau Road on May 15, 1892 to Charles and Frances Tempest, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

A Christmas tree made from marshmallow and gingerbread is one of more than 400 unusual festive firs drawing in huge crowds to a popular annual Suffolk festival.

The latest stage in Felixstowe Pier’s multimillion pound redevelopment has been captured on camera by a drone.

An Ipswich shopkeeper who sold “legal highs” with labelling which failed to give customers information about the use and risks of taking them has been given a community order.

Here is your spoiler alert: In the improbable event that your child gets hold of this page of the newspaper, do not let them read on - warsn mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Through our iwitness24 site, readers are able to share their photos of Suffolk’s top beauty spots, of landmarks and of some of our amazing wildlife in action.

Father Christmas and his friends from the Ipswich Round Table are preparing for the 2016 Rudolph Run but what route will they take this year and when will they visit your street?

Inspired snappers in Kesgrave enjoyed the summer sun and braved the wintry weather to share their stills in the latest Kesgrave Photography Competition.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24