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The Snow Queen

Published Monday 11 January 2010 at 10:45 by Gavin Roebuck

With snow outside and snow on the set, this is just the thing for the current cold season.

Daria Klimentova (The Snow Queen) and Yat-Sen Chang (Kay) in The Snow Queen at the London Coliseum

Daria Klimentova (The Snow Queen) and Yat-Sen Chang (Kay) in The Snow Queen at the London Coliseum Photo: Tritram Kenton

Michael Corder’s excellent choreography is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story. With foxes, wolves, sprites, cheerful peasants and icy courtiers, it is set to an arrangement of music by Prokofiev played by the excellent ENO orchestra which is superbly conducted by Gavin Sutherland.

Gerda’s quest to find Kay who has been put under the Snow Queen’s spell takes her on an amazing journey to the Snow Queen’s Palace. Only Gerda’s warming love for Kay can release him from the spell and break the Snow Queen’s curse of eternal winter. The 67 dancers of the English National Ballet are magnificent in this sumptuous ballet with plenty of glitter to dazzle. There are yards and yards of Swarovski crystal edging and thousands of individual stones incorporated into Mark Bailey’s impressive set and costumes. Paul Pyant magically lights these and the dazzling ice scape.

Sarah McIlroy in the title role thrills and chills with a wicked icy gem encrusted glamour. As Gerda, Crystal Costa excels with charm and joyful dancing partnered by Yat-Sen Chang as Kay who performs his powered leaps with verve. Begona Cao and Dmitri Gruzdyev lead as the gypsies with disciplined abandon.

Corder relishes step making and shows faith in the ballet idiom by using classical academic technique to create inventive fluent choreography and - apart from a few smudged moments - the ENB dancers are on fine, confident form and are a joy to watch. Well worth a visit.

Production information

Coliseum, London, January 8-17

Sergei Prokofiev
Michael Corder
English National Ballet
Cast includes:
Sarah McIlroy, Yat-Sen Chang, Crystal Costa, Begona Cao
Running time:
2hrs 45mins

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