Reviews of the Mariinsky Ballet.
Shklyarov is a thrilling principal dancer. His soaring leaps and soundless landings are mesmerising, his jetés are arrow-sharp and his first-night ovation with Vishneva was fully merited. But it was no less fascinating to watch Parish's performance with Tereshkina. Four years ago, languishing in the Royal's corps de ballet, Parish accepted an offer to join the Mariinsky, the first Briton ever to do so. Last week he returned to Covent Garden as one of the Russian company's stars, delivering a performance that was as confident as it was elegantly shaped. An ardent Romeo, intoxicated by love, he partnered Tereshkina with an almost disbelieving tenderness. It was a fine homecoming.
In fact, so deep is the Mariinsky communion with Swan Lake that the production has an almost impersonal completeness. It envelops the spectator, which is not quite the same thing as engaging us.
Similarly the first night leads, Oxana Skorik and Timur Askerov, were momentous rather than moving. When one is accustomed to dancers like Tamara Rojo or Johan Kobborg investing every last hand gesture with dramatic import, this more distanced style takes some adjustment, and to me it will always feel as though there is an emotional dimension missing.