23 August 2018 (released)
25 August 2018
Spending a night in the Coliseum for The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake is like stepping back a hundred years. The vast grandeur of the building never fails to excite and as the ENO orchestra begin to play the familiar strains of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, there is a ripple of pleasure around the theatre.
There is nothing groundbreaking about the St Petersburg ballet Theatre’s production. In fact the first Act feels a little tired with its sepia hues and formal palace dancing. Perhaps we are so used to directors ripping up the rulebooks in London that it takes a while to adjust to a performance quite so traditional.
Denis Rodkin as Prince Siegfried is a beautiful sight from the start, as he floats across the stage in his white tights. However when Prima ballerina, Irina Kolesnikova makes her entrance, with an intoxicating blend of power and fragility – at last the ballet bursts into life.
Kolesnikova’s Paris debut with the role of Odette and Odile (the black swan) was in 2007 and it’s easy to see why it catapulted her into the international limelight. The sinuous un-furling of an arm with a slight feathered tremor is enough to see what Kolesnikova is capable of and when she returns in the bold avenging turn of Odile in Act 2 she dominates the stage with such grace and power that you begin to feel rather sorry for the gentle prince.
Individuals aside, there is nothing quite so romantic as the site of a chorus of immaculate swan maidens emerging from the misty lake in the forest of Act 1 scene 2. And with the quality of the ENO orchestra led by Maestro, Timur Gorkoenko and Irina Kolesnikova taking the lead, it’s a night not to be missed.