A review of the Mariinsky Ballet by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.
The Firebird opens what has easily been the best programme of the Mariinsky London season. In Marguerite and Armand, the company are pushed interestingly beyond their comfort zone: Ashton's elusive combination of dramatic naturalism and supercharged romance is a stylistic challenge. While Timur Askerov's Armand opts for a disappointingly wooden midpoint between the two, Uliana Lopatkina is a revelation. Her grand classical line makes Marguerite unquestionably queen of her own court, yet her body looks hollowed by illness, her happiness a fragile puff. Both exquisite and ravaged, this performance opens up fascinating views of Lopatkina's artistry in this late phase of her career