Reviews of the Bolshoi Ballet in London.
The Bolshoi’s Swan Lake is dazzling in many ways, disappointing in others, and immensely rewarding overall. Certainly, any dance lovers out there who’ve been fretting that the company’s morale might have been broken by the events of this year can rest assured: it is, in fact, looking spirited indeed.
I've never been a fan of Yuri Grigorovich's versions of the classics. His tendency to move the action through undifferentiated blocks of pure dance, cutting out most of the storytelling and mime, does serious damage to these ballets' delicate texture. His 2001 version of Swan Lake wreaks more violence than most.
Zakharova, one of the company’s leading ballerinas, is long-limbed, elegant and frosty. She has presence and strong technique, but doesn’t allow much character to affect her smooth, fluid steps. There’s little sign of the Swan Queen’s vulnerability or yearning for freedom. As Odile, the heroine’s wicked double, she adds glittering virtuosity to a distant persona.
As her prince, Volchkov dances and partners efficiently but lacks dash....