These astonishingly beautiful works showed why Nacho Duato is such a highly regarded choreographer, matched with peerless dancing from the whole company. Compared to the recent Royal Ballet triple bill, this was a class above. Duato’s choreography seamlessly mixes classical ballet with elements of modern dance in a way I have never seen before. It also shone musically with the use of a Schubert cello sonata for Without Words contrasting with the shallowness of the Chopin that the RB seems to love so much. Nunc Dimittis was danced to a pre-recorded score (I accept getting an organ, church bells and a choir would have been tricky) but the dancing by Ekaterina Borchenko for whom it was created was spellbinding. For Prelude, the full orchestra played an excellent blend of Handel, Beethoven and Britten, featuring soprano Svetlana Moskalenko, whilst the dancers shone again. I only wish I had the technical expertise and linguistic fluency to praise this more precisely.
A fascinating ballet in which the central character does not even dance. The excellent choreography is based on the original by the Marius Petipa but the neither the story nor the music by Minkus can compete with his great Tchaikovsky trilogy. I saw the matinee so did not get to see the new ‘superstars’ Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova. I cannot imagine they could have been much better than Denis Matvienko and Oksana Bondareva who expended an astonishing amount of energy, deserving the barrage of applause and carpets of flowers they received.
I was sitting in the last row but one of the stalls and took the picture above with my iPhone – it isn’t cropped and shows how big the Coliseum stage is but the Mikhailovsky is such a huge company they amazingly managed to make to make it look small and cramped! My only regret is that I did not see their Giselle this time as there was no matinee. I should be able to go out in the evenings again soon.