Swan Lake The Bristol Hippodrome 7/10
THE 1966 Cold War spoof film The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, could well be a subtitle to this week's entertainment in the Bristol Hippodrome.
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, who present two of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's most popular ballet's, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, have a strong line-up of Russian-born dancers to play the leading roles in these two much loved ballet's.
With a flamboyant conductor, Alexander Yudasin, determined to bring out all the drama and power in this wonderfully melodic score, and colourful sets and costumes by Maria Smirnova-Nesvitskaya, everything was set fair for the first of the productions, Swan Lake.
This music just begs to be interpreted in a dramatic mix of power and passion – but not all of Sergei Bobrov's revised choreography, based on Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov's original work, took advantage of these invitations.
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Greater use could also have been made of lighting to heighten tension, particularly in the temptation scene, where Alexander Kuimov's powerfully danced but never fully menacing Von Rothbart, tries to hide the fact that it is Odlie not Odette who is dancing with Prince Siegfried.
None of this detracted from Maria Kuimova's beautifully stylish interpretation of the doomed Odette and highly tempting Odile.
Kirill Litvinenko's Siegfried was at his best, showing far more confidence, when partnering Maria Kuimova, bringing out all the romance in this loving relationship.
Kirill Bulychev enjoyed the opportunities that came his way to display his skills as the prince's friend Benno, and there was a high level of support from the well disciplined Corps de ballet.
The five beautifully dressed prospective brides all left a pleasing distinct mark on this attractive production, with Margarita Nosik's Spanish Bride leaving the most lasting impression.