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Sofia Ballet, Swan Lake, 25 Jan 14


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The thread about Sofia Ballet's 2013 UK Tour piqued my interest, so, long story short, I went to Sofia to see Swan Lake.  A few comments/thoughts:

 

Audience behavior.  A wonderful audience.  Quiet during the performance and loud, long-lasting applause after each Act.  I must confess, I was the bad one.  Before the performance, I took a photograph of the orchestra and, immediately after doing so, an usher ran to reprimand me - "no pictures are allowed, ever!"  Okay, now I know.

 

Performance.  Marta Petkova danced Odette-Odile and Nikola Hadjitanev danced Siegfried.  Both were outstanding individually, but I did not see the chemistry between them.  Marta was a joy to watch, She was truly in character, including her smirks as Odile.  The corps de ballet of swans were spectacular.

 

Theater.  The theater is relatively small, compared to Royal Opera House or Metropolitan Opera House.

 

Seating.  My seat was in the fourth row.  I never sat so close to the stage.  What's that old saying, oh yeah, I was "unable to see the forest for the trees."  I found myself being distracted by the dancers.  I could see them breathing heavily.  I could see the dancers' eyes.  I though to myself, such things as: Why is she looking stage left?  What is that pattern on her tutu?  Is that a string holding his hat on his head?  Oh, the zipper is coming undone?  Then applause.  Oh, merde, what did I miss?

 

Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

 

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I am glad you enjoyed it Willie. I saw the Sofia National Ballet Swan Lake at Milton Keynes (not quite as exotic as Sofia) and that was also Marta Petkova and Nikola Hadjitanev. I thought their Swan Lake was really good. I went to two performances of the Bolshoi Swan Lake at the ROH a week or two after the Sofia and whilst the Bolshoi were technically superior I still found I enjoyed the Sofia more.

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Great to read this! We saw Petkova/Hadjitanev several times in Sofia in 2011, and on the strength of being very impressed - and not only by those two -, did quite a lot of trailing around the UK to catch them here last year. Well worth it -  a serious and committed group, I think!

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