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  1. Not sure if anyone else went to see this last night, but I thought I'd write a few words! For starters, having booked the cheapest seats available (still fairly pricey at £27 including booking fee!) it appeared that tickets didn't sell brilliantly well, so the entire Balcony was closed. Balcony ticket holders were upgraded to Dress and Upper Circle which was a nice surprise. I imagine the poor sales has been due to the lack of advertising, as well as the fact tickets only went on sale a couple of months ago (I believe?) which considering this is a busy time of year didn't really give people much time to advance plan etc. Anyway, I digress. The evening was made up of two works - Like a Breath, choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti with music by Handel, and Gabrielle Chanel, a new ballet receiving it's London premiere (a collaboration between choreographer Yuri Possokhov and composer Ilya Demutsky). Like a Breath I really enjoyed. The music was recorded, but complimented the choreography well. A sparse dark stage with clean lighting. There were lots of nice solos and pas de deuxs for the various Bolshoi dancers, who were all technically excellent and really highlighted the excellence of the 'Russian' style (there is now way you could have confused them for the Royal Ballet!). The costumes were quite interesting, almost couture/fashion like tutus with interesting shapes. Zakharova was excellent, pitch perfect to the music and made everything look effortless - from her high leg extensions to her flowing arms. It was nice to see some comical/light hearted moments in some of the pieces, and I think gave all the dancers involved good exposure and didn't revolve solely around Zakharova (I'm aware most people probably went to see her but considering the calibre of the other dancers it was nice that they were given more meatier things to do too). Sorry I can't describe much else - I find it difficult to describe contemporary works considering I am not a ballet expertise, but I thought it was a very interesting piece of work. Gabrielle Chanel was the 'main' piece, however I found it a overly long and felt it used a lot of exposition (with some french text interspersing the scenes to set the tone, I can't speak French and no English translation was provided which was a bit annoying), including video screens as backdrops for various settings (cafe/the races/the beach etc) and some of it just felt a bit too 'obvious'. The choreography didn't really do much for me to be honest, I felt an over reliance on the screens, props and costumes to tell the story. It felt a little like a promo piece for Chanel clothing and lifestyle to be honest, everything looked wonderful as you would expect, very sophisticated and glamorous, but for me there was some real emotional core missing. Having said that, Zakharova is a very emotive dancer who really 'feels' a character and gets into the work (it was quite touching to see her emotional response to the audience at the end, nothing over the top but from her face I really felt she appreciated sharing her dancing with us) and I'm glad I got to see this side of her in this narrative ballet. Despite this, unfortunately I didn't really feel this work moved me or excited me in any way. In conclusion - I'm glad I got to see a little more of the Bolshoi, especially their 'contemporary' side, and finally got to see Zakharova perform in the flesh. It's a shame it didn't sell as it should have done, despite not liking the Chanel piece the first work was worth going to see. It would be nice to see the Bolshoi (and other international companies) bring more contemporary works to London (I'm aware this wasn't an official Bolshoi evening) rather than just bringing the old classic three act ballets, but I guess it depends on what sells.
  2. I think this has been mentioned already somewhere, but details are now up on the Coliseum website: https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/modanse-starring-svetlana-zakharova/
  3. At the back of this summer's Bolshoi brochure is an advert telling us that Zakharova will return to London between 3-8 December 2019 in this role which was created especially for her, together with a brand new Wayne McGregor piece. 'Booking opens soon.'
  4. It's far too late to be writing on the forum but I still haven't come down from seeing the first performance of Spartacus tonight (or rather, last night!) It was superb. It's a long while since I saw it (with Irek Mukhemadov in the nineties) and this production seemed very different. I was expecting to be dazzled by the quality of the dancing but was surprised at how moving it was. Denis Rodkin was not only bold, brave and athletic but also tragic and convincing in his love for Phrygia, played with vulnerability and passion by Anastasia Denisova (of whom I've not heard before). Belyakov enacted Crassus in an appropriately bombastic manner, and took full advantage of being able to snog Svetlana Zakharova at every opportunity Zakharova was just wonderful. I always think of her as rather sweet, dignified and virginal (as in her Aurora) but here she embodied a cruel and cunning courtesan with every well-honed muscle. She was probably the oldest dancer on stage but also the most lithe. Of course, this ballet is a typical Bolshoi warhorse and suits their style perfectly. The production is ageing well - I think Virsaladze's design still looks fresh (whereas his Swan Lake could do with an update maybe). The orchestra was seriously good. Every male dancer looked extraordinarily handsome - especially Denis Rodkin! And he seemed to enjoy his time on stage so much. He was captivating. The whole evening was beautiful and worth the ticket price (£180 something pounds!) as I will remember it for the rest of my life.
  5. Anyone know anything about this triple bill that's appeared for 20-25 November 2017 at the Coli? Amore Svetlana Zakharova triple bill https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/amore-svetlana-zakharova/
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