27-28 March 2015
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
Swan Lake is one of the most famous classical ballets and last night I went to the Opera House in Manchester to see it being performed by the Moscow Cirty Ballet.
It is Prince Siegfried’s 21st Birthday and everyone has gathered to celebrate when his Aunt arrives to remind him that his coming of age means it’s time for him to marry. Siegfried is not keen on the idea of losing his carefree single status and when his friend Benno, spots a flock of wild swans in flight, suggests a hunting trip to cheer him up. When the hunting party find themselves by a lake in the woods Siegfried spots the flock of swans and his eye is drawn to the most beautiful swan who turns into a maiden, Odette Queen of the swans. Odette and her friends have been placed under a spell by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart living during daylight in swan form and from midnight till dawn returning to their human form. The only way that the evil sorcerers spell can be broken is by the love of a pure man. Rothbart, assuming the form of an owl, sees Siegfried and Odette together and vows to ensure their love can never be.
From the moment the curtain went up to the very end the dancers were all perfection itself. Odette/Odile is danced with pure elegance by Liliya Orekhova. As Odette you feel her innocence and shyness, she moves beautifully, swan like, creating fabulous shapes with her body. As Odile, the black swan she takes on a more confident and sensual role, captivating Prince Siegfried and the audience alike. As beautiful as her solo pieces are it is when she dances with the Prince, Talgat Kozhabaev, that left me holding my breath, they really are a perfect pairing. It must take such complete trust in your partner to be able to perform the moves they did and make them appear so seamless.
The evil sorcerer Rothbart is danced by Daniil Orlov, he performs his routines without fault, he is sinister and calculating as he tries to succeed in his plot to keep the young lovers apart. An injection of humour is brought by the court Jester, Valerij Kravtsov, he has an infectious energy and delivers with apparent ease some truly amazing moves.
The sets are simple so you remain captivated by the dancers and it would be amiss not to mention the orchestra, who deliver a wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky score. This is a classic production with outstanding choreography and flawless dancing.
I would defiantly recommend seeing Moscow City Ballet’s Swan Lake, it was one of the most memorable ballets I have had the pleasure to watch.
For other shows at the Opera House in Manchester visit www.atgtickets.com/operahouse.
Opera House Manchester. 3 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP | 0844 871 3018