dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Russian Ballet Icons review at London Coliseum – ‘disappointing gala performance’

Maria Sascha Khan and Nicholas MacKay at Russian Ballet Icons at London Coliseum. Photo: Marc Haegeman Maria Sascha Khan and Nicholas MacKay at Russian Ballet Icons at London Coliseum. Photo: Marc Haegeman
by -

Celebrating the 200th birthday of Imperial ballet master and choreographer Marius Petipa, there was a wealth of dance talent on display on the Coliseum stage for the annual Russian Ballet Icons gala – including stars of the Bolshoi, Mariinsky and Royal Ballet companies – but somehow it resulted in a bizarre and uncomfortable evening.

The grand pas de deux gala staples – from Don Quixote, Le Corsaire and Swan Lake – were all marked by unfortunate tumbles, shaky partnering and odd musicality. Mariinsky soloist Kimin Kim recovered nobly from his fall in Le Corsaire, compensating with eye-widening elevation and speed.

Vladislav Lantratov, of the Bolshoi, delivered flash and finesse in Don Q, but Maria Alexandrova’s performance was strangely underpowered. The pair returned later for the first UK glimpse of Yuri Possokhov’s controversy-stricken ballet Nureyev, in which Alexandrova’s voluminous tulle skirt eclipsed the slender Lantratov in lift after lift to the strains of Liszt. Little of the bombast that characterised Nureyev emerged – save for some hammy emoting and heavy pouting.

An extract from Julian and Nicholas MacKay’s upcoming ballet based on Russian painter Nicholas Roerich amounted to clumsy Caucasus campery and cod-mysticism. Royal Ballet soloist Fernando Montano jumped masterfully but wasn’t given a mention in the programme. Natalia Osipova’s absence also went unexplained.

Dishearteningly, strong performances from Mayara Magri (opening the event) and Francesca Hayward received scant applause.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Vladislav Lantratov and Kimin Kim excel in an otherwise disappointing gala performance
^