A review of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet's
all-Fokine program by Judith Flanders for The Arts Desk.
More credit to the Mariinsky corps and soloists who danced last night, for every one of them was a be-er rather than do-er, holding back with elegant restraint, and letting the shape of the piece, and more importantly Fokine's groupings and tableaux, perform for them. All of the dances were just of soloist level, but all of them handled the material better than many more senior dancers can, or do. Maria Shirinkina, in particular, dancing the Mazurka, was exactly as Fokine must have imagined her. With a lovely jump, good musicality and rock-solid turns, she also let herself be wind-blown by the score, moving seemingly without volition wherever it wafted her.
The corps, as so often with the Mariinsky, made the piece. With their beautiful heads and necks immaculately aligned, they ever so gently allowed their bourées to drift them in front of the music, the Romantic ideal of Fokine made flesh.