Kirov gives Portman a run for her money

8 Mar

The Mariinsky Ballet Theatre, otherwise known as the Kirov Ballet came to Toronto last week to dazzle audiences with their traditional interpretation of Marius Petipa’s Swan Lake.

As soon as the curtain opened, a beautiful set of the Royal court set the scene.  The jester stole the show as a quirky character, and showed his personality while dancing.  The pas de trois was a bit off, but that was the only instance of the evening.

Then came the swan queen.  Uliana Lopatkina was dazzling and graceful as ever. The “danse des cygnes” was beautifully executed with perfect footwork.  The most jaw-dropping part of the evening was the corps, comprised of 24 girls in fluffy white tutus performing as swans.

Lopatkina was delicate and fragile as white swan, but commanding and strong as Odile, especially in her coda.  The Kirov Ballet is revered for its technical prowess, and all the dancers were blessed with perfect feet with high arches and brilliant technical skill to match.

It was a privilege to watch Swan Lake performed with such perfection and attention to detail.  At the end, Odette’s last pas de deux was amazing to watch, and her feet even quivered in between turns like a real wounded, dying swan.

This traditional take on ballet’s old standby wasn’t stuffy or boring.  It was a testament to the art, beauty and grace of ballet brought to life by the world’s best company, bringing the audience to their feet in a standing ovation.



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