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The Big Ballet

Published Wednesday 28 February 2007 at 12:35 by Kevin Berry

What fun this show is. What an absolute tonic.

The extremely large women dancers of the Big Ballet company are on their first UK tour and on the evidence of their rousing opening night, they are certain to be asked back.

The Big Ballet company hails from Perm, a town in the Urals. It was brought into being by the esteemed choreographer Evgenii Panfilov. The minimum weight requirement for the dancers is a hefty 110 kilos. Big they certainly, are but there is nothing cumbersome about them. They have balance and grace and a wicked sense of humour. They glory in their shape and weight and in their ability.

An anarchic tale told in classic ballet style takes up the first half of the programme. Katya Yurkova stars as Madam Hen, displaying sublime comedy and outraged facial expressions and having great fun lifting her hooped tutu. The corps dancers make exquisite lines and fun.

For the second half, the women are joined by slim young men from the Fighting Club dance company to display a mix of popular styles. Opening contributions from the young men are rather pallid but when they join the women for an Amazon number, audiences will go wild. What the women do with the raunchy Tom Jones number Sex Bomb really has to be seen. It is way beyond this reviewer’s descriptive powers.

Dancing in voluminous skirts is usually a difficult business, but not for these dancers. Their gypsy number is a swirling kaleidoscope of colour. Their show should not be missed.

Production information

New Theatre, Hull, February 27, then touring until March 27

Vladimir Galkin
Amande Concerts UK
Cast includes:
Katya Yurkova, Tatyana Gladkih, Pavell Mitt, Katya Jarantseva
Running time:
2hrs 10mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15