Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I saw a very pleasant performance of Swan Lake this afternoon at the Liverpool Empire. I got tickets for my favourite seats at half price in the sale so for £17 inc fees I had a lovely afternoon!  The company now uses a projected back- screen instead of scenery and I thought this worked well, although the flying swans were a bit amateurish and distracting.  Anyone who knows the Liverpool Empire will know it has a pretty large stage, but somehow RSBS managed to make the stage look too small for them?!  I felt the dancers were a bit tight for space at times when all they needed to do was pull the red curtain type side drapes (see pic below) they had at the sides back into the wings a bit and they would have had another 2 meters to play with.  Or maybe they keep it tight so they dance to the same spec at every theatre seeing as they are touring to a large number of venues? 

Odette/Odile was very competently danced by Anastasiia Belonogova - she had very expressive arms and a rock solid technique when it came to the full set of fouettes and more in Act 3.  Her Prince Siegfried was danced by Francisco Gimenez and he was very nice, even if he did land rather heavily from his jumps.  Rothbart wasn't quite menacing enough for me but well enough danced by Egor Oskoin.  They have a Benno in this production and this was nicely danced by Marcello Pelizzoni.  I must single out the Act4 black swans for praise, my goodness they were SO precise in their moves and timing, dancing as one and when the "block" of dancers moved across the stage they kept their lines perfectly, not one put a foot wrong.  Dare I say they were as good as the Mariinsky for precision this afternoon, amazing to watch them.  In general all the swans kept very straight lines and moved pretty much together and the 4 cygnets did their dance really well.  I particularly enjoyed the Spanish Dance in Act 3 and Odile's fouettes were just fabulous she hardly moved off the spot and knocked them out at speed as the orchestra really played fast!  The ending to this Swan Lake is a bit sad as Siegfried jumps into the lake with Rothbart, leaving Odette all alone at the lakeside. Ahhh.  It was a pity that the house was not full but it is fuller this evening, however they got plenty of applause and, in true Russian style, really milked every last clap out of the audience throughout the show LOL!  The costumes were very pleasant and colourful and Odile's sparkling black tutu and red tiara were beautiful.

The orchestra was only small but played really nicely, and at times (Act 3) really fast, under the baton of Anatoliy  Chepurnoy who also had a sense of humour - he conducted the audience's applause when he came on at the start 🙂   His long frock coat had some black diamante on it which I thought was a nice touch!  I like that this production combines Acts 1 and 2 into one half and Acts 3 and 4 into the second half with only one interval so total run time was 2.20.  There are loads more performances in the Tour around the UK throughout this winter/spring so catch them if you can I would say.  A few curtain call pics.

EOV-Wt6WkAU_UWf?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Ensemble

EOV-WtsW4AA0tBq?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Egor Osokin, Anastasiia Belonogova, Anatoliy Chepurnoy and Francisco Gimenez

EOV_t1hWkAA1Hjz?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Anastasiia Belonogova

EOV-WtzXkAAC9e2?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Anastasiia Belonogova and Francisco Gimenez

Edited by Don Q Fan
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for that, DQF.  Do they still have some rather unfit-looking men parading around in the first act? (My abiding memory of last time I saw them).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite enjoyed seeing them in Swindon a couple of years ago 👍

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, alison said:

Thank you for that, DQF.  Do they still have some rather unfit-looking men parading around in the first act? (My abiding memory of last time I saw them).

No I don't think there were any character type artists at all, in fact the company looked very slimmed down compared to previous years and certainly several soloists did 3 different roles each there were about 16 corps in Act 1 plus the 2 PD3 girls who danced with Siegfried.  18 swans tops.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, maryrosesatonapin said:

I've booked to see this and their Sleeping Beauty too - how pretty Belonogova is!  I hope I get to see her.  Thank you for the write-up, @Don Q Fan :)

I really liked her so I hope you see her too.  They opened with SB last night but I didn't see that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the photos @Don Q Fan and the write up. I was there too!  I completely forgot to message the forum to see if anyone else was attending, which I normally do. I've seen the company perform this ballet once before, in Buxton last year. 

 

I think your review is spot on (the artificially shrunk stage, Belonogova nailing the fouettes, the ridiculous cartoon swans on the CGI backdrop) . And your photos are fabulous! 

 

It was a treat to see an 'alternative' Black Swan solo (oboe and harp), which I see mainly in Russian ballet YouTube videos. I infinitely prefer it to the Drigo-Tchaikovsky variation which British companies perform. It was also great to see the Russian Princess variation in the 'black' act - I'd never seen it before I saw this company's Swan Lake.  

 

In honesty, compared to British companies, the production can seem a bit garish, patchy in dancing quality, a bit thin in the orchestra, and as subtle as a sledgehammer dramatically.

 

But you look at their schedule of performances and blimey it looks tough, so they do well to deliver their work to this standard. They deserve much praise, not my churlish comparisons. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much Northstar! I agree considering the length of the run they do well, although we saw them at the start of the tour, so whether it will be the same at the end who knows! Interesting what you say about the Russian Princess, you are right she rarely dances over here. I like that dance and I have to confess I missed the oboe/harp solo.  

 

Alison - I remembered when I went to bed that actually in Act1 there were some character artistes as courtiers to The Queen only about 4 though. 2 ladies and 2 cavaliers I think.  

Edited by Don Q Fan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Risking going off-topic .... here's a performance example of the Odile variation accompanied by oboe and harp (Russian, of course). I love it, it's menacing and punchy, more in tune with my idea of the Black Swan character.  

 

 

Edited by northstar
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the Siberian company tonight in 'Sleeping Beauty'.  A pocket Sleeping Beauty really, given the cramped stage at Wimbledon New Theatre and the small company.  I thought  a couple of the girls looked pretty tired (no wonder!  What a hectic schedule they have to follow)  but was pleased to see the theatre was packed, and the audience responsive.

 

The stand-out performance for me was the Prince, danced by the very young and handsome Italian Marcello Pelizzoni.  He has lovely elegant lines and superb jetés.  His style reminded me somewhat of 'our' dear Muntagirov.  There were a few Italians in the company actually.  Aurora was performed competently by Elena Svinko.  The rest of the company were a bit varied in quality but the story was clearly told so the newcomers to ballet were rapt throughout.  I had a Chinese couple next to me, who really enjoyed their first experience of classical ballet, and on our other side were an elderly Indian couple who audibly 'ooh'd' and 'aaah'd' at the most magical moments.  I didn't mind as it was their first ballet too, they said, and they were thrilled.  So a more mixed audience than one is used to and none the worse for that - I hope ballet gained some converts tonight.

 

The costumes looked very bright and new, but the colours were somewhat garish, and there was minimal scenery.  However the lighting was used to great effect and the orchestra, although pared down, was excellent - it had a lovely timbre and did Tchaikovsky's beautiful score justice.  All in all a good evening.

A pic can be seen here:  https://www.extraloudpurrs.co.uk/ballet-pictures

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drat - I didn't realise they were on at the NWT this week - I must somehow have slipped off the theatre's mailing list.  Wonder if I can get down there this evening?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double drat - it's Swan Lake tonight.  Been there, done that - won't be buying the T-shirt.  Oh well, I probably need to work, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/01/2020 at 19:26, Don Q Fan said:

I saw a very pleasant performance of Swan Lake this afternoon at the Liverpool Empire. I got tickets for my favourite seats at half price in the sale so for £17 inc fees I had a lovely afternoon!  The company now uses a projected back- screen instead of scenery and I thought this worked well, although the flying swans were a bit amateurish and distracting.  Anyone who knows the Liverpool Empire will know it has a pretty large stage, but somehow RSBS managed to make the stage look too small for them?!  I felt the dancers were a bit tight for space at times when all they needed to do was pull the red curtain type side drapes (see pic below) they had at the sides back into the wings a bit and they would have had another 2 meters to play with.  Or maybe they keep it tight so they dance to the same spec at every theatre seeing as they are touring to a large number of venues? 

Odette/Odile was very competently danced by Anastasiia Belonogova - she had very expressive arms and a rock solid technique when it came to the full set of fouettes and more in Act 3.  Her Prince Siegfried was danced by Francisco Gimenez and he was very nice, even if he did land rather heavily from his jumps.  Rothbart wasn't quite menacing enough for me but well enough danced by Egor Oskoin.  They have a Benno in this production and this was nicely danced by Marcello Pelizzoni.  I must single out the Act4 black swans for praise, my goodness they were SO precise in their moves and timing, dancing as one and when the "block" of dancers moved across the stage they kept their lines perfectly, not one put a foot wrong.  Dare I say they were as good as the Mariinsky for precision this afternoon, amazing to watch them.  In general all the swans kept very straight lines and moved pretty much together and the 4 cygnets did their dance really well.  I particularly enjoyed the Spanish Dance in Act 3 and Odile's fouettes were just fabulous she hardly moved off the spot and knocked them out at speed as the orchestra really played fast!  The ending to this Swan Lake is a bit sad as Siegfried jumps into the lake with Rothbart, leaving Odette all alone at the lakeside. Ahhh.  It was a pity that the house was not full but it is fuller this evening, however they got plenty of applause and, in true Russian style, really milked every last clap out of the audience throughout the show LOL!  The costumes were very pleasant and colourful and Odile's sparkling black tutu and red tiara were beautiful.

The orchestra was only small but played really nicely, and at times (Act 3) really fast, under the baton of Anatoliy  Chepurnoy who also had a sense of humour - he conducted the audience's applause when he came on at the start 🙂   His long frock coat had some black diamante on it which I thought was a nice touch!  I like that this production combines Acts 1 and 2 into one half and Acts 3 and 4 into the second half with only one interval so total run time was 2.20.  There are loads more performances in the Tour around the UK throughout this winter/spring so catch them if you can I would say.  A few curtain call pics.

EOV-Wt6WkAU_UWf?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Ensemble

EOV-WtsW4AA0tBq?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Egor Osokin, Anastasiia Belonogova, Anatoliy Chepurnoy and Francisco Gimenez

EOV_t1hWkAA1Hjz?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Anastasiia Belonogova

EOV-WtzXkAAC9e2?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Anastasiia Belonogova and Francisco Gimenez

 

I am glad you enjoyed the Siberians, Don Q Fan. I have seen this company a number of times in recent years, and I am fairly certain that the dancers you saw as Odette/Odile and Siegfried are actually Anna Fedosova and Yury Kudryavtsev. Unfortunately, the company can be notoriously inaccurate in their cast sheets, if that's what you were going by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, James said:

 

I am glad you enjoyed the Siberians, Don Q Fan. I have seen this company a number of times in recent years, and I am fairly certain that the dancers you saw as Odette/Odile and Siegfried are actually Anna Fedosova and Yury Kudryavtsev. Unfortunately, the company can be notoriously inaccurate in their cast sheets, if that's what you were going by.

You are quite right, @James.  I just checked the photos of the cast in my own programme (as all the ballets are in one book) and the above pair are indeed Fedosova and Kudryavtsev.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went to see the Siberians' 'Swan Lake' at Southend Cliffs Pavilion this evening.  Francisco Gimenez as Siegfried was suitably handsome and princely, an excellent partner to Anastasiia Belonogova's Odette/Odile.  Belonogova was excellent, outshining everyone else on stage, not only in her technique and grace but also in her acting - especially as Odile.  The costumes were a trifle garish and the projected backdrop isn't great, but is understandable given that they are going to so many small theatres over such a gruelling tour.  I think the orchestra is superb; it is small but with a big, tuneful and rich sound. The greatest star of all for me tonight was the violin soloist - her instrument soared and sang Tchaikovsky's wonderful music to the point I was moved to actually go and thank her afterwards, which is a first for me.  

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...