A review of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet
in "Swan Lake" by Zoe Anderson in The Independent.
Uliana Lopatkina is the Mariinsky's reigning ballerina. She's best known for the classical repertory, sticking to the refinement of roles such as Swan Lake. On opening night, she danced a simpler, clearer Swan Queen, dropping the exaggerated mannerisms that had distorted her performance. Her limbs still unfold with smooth authority, but with a lot less art nouveau twisting. She even responds to her partner, the warmly attentive Daniil Korsuntsev.
As the betrayed heroine Odette, she dances with mournful softness, her phrasing long and steady. As Odette's wicked double, the black swan Odile, she spins with fierce accuracy. In one whirling sequence, there's a burnished precision to the way she flings up one curved wrist.