Swan Lake Comes to Canterbury

By Timea Koppandi

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia brought to Canterbury a series of performances; three by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty) and one by Léo Delibes (Coppélia). Swan Lake presented the audience with ice-cold precision of movement and a vibrant portrayal of emotions. We witness Georgy Bolsunovsky in the role of the love swept Prince Siegfried. His performance was beautiful to watch; it had so much force and stability, however, what made him stand out from the other performers was his expressions. He seemed to live the moments at its fullest, bringing a touch of personal intimacy on the stage with his emotional input. Another performer who captivated my attention right from the start of the ballet was Marco di Salvo who was playing Prince Siegfried’s friend, Benno von Somerstein. The young Italian dancer stole my attention with his leaps, flexibility, and ease with which he presented his moves. There is no doubt that he is a very skilled and resourceful dancer. His performance brought a tint of youth and a splash of colour onto the stage.

The costumes by Maria Smirnova-Nesvitskaya were entirely enchanting. The details of the dresses set up a certain authenticity to the story and it created a lovely setting for the story. The Swans had a beautiful performance, they were synchronised and precise. It is worth to mention the performances of the Hungarian, Spanish, Neapolitan, Russian, and Polish bride as well. They have been very joyful, gracious and exact. It is undeniable, however, the performance of Sayaka Takuda as Odette and later on Odile. She was simply mesmerising. We were watching a swan on the stage. Her movements were precise, clear and remarkably sharp. However, I would have preferred to see more emotion in her expressions. She appeared blank most of the time, which usually works for the swans and the cygnets, however as the main dancer, I would have wanted to see more of Odette as as a person. The orchestra complemented the whole performance with its softness and precision. The entirety of the show flew beautifully. Overall, Swan Lake ballet brought a fresh wave of rigor and beauty to the stage of the Marlowe Theatre.

Images courtesy of The Marlowe Theatre and Kent Online

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