St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Review
by Frank L.
22 – 26 Oct 2019
St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre was founded almost twenty five years ago by Konstantin Tachkin to bring the Russian classical ballet repertoire to cities all around the world. This week the company is at Bord Gais with its production of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. Here is an opportunity to see the ballet as devised by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov in the nineteenth century in all its glory. The sets and the costumes are traditional and are on a grand scale. The RTE Concert Orchestra perform the much loved score, so all the trappings are in place.
What electrifies the performance was the magnificence of Irina Kolesnikova as Odette/Odile. She appeared to be so fragile as she mesmerised Prince Siegfried (Alexander Volchkov) with her achingly beautiful movement. But to do what she does with such grace she is anything but fragile as is apparent when she danced with the evil spirited Rothbart (Dmitriy Akulinin). It was breathtaking to watch. The other performance of the principals which stood out was that of Sergei Fedorkov as the Jester. Small of scale he skipped around the stage with a mercurial gaiety which was enchanting. His split second comic timing added to the delight. These individual performances take place against the corps de ballet of the Company. They are a highly trained troupe clad as twenty four white swans moving in synchronised unanimity. It may well be traditional but it remains a joy to behold live with the swelling sounds of the orchestra propelling the visual magnificence along. Finally mention must be made of the four little swans whose famous set piece brought a wonderful sense of delight.
The programme indicates that the principal roles will be shared with other performers during the company’s stay in Dublin. Given that the depth of the roles allow for interpretation it is likely that these different principals will reveal different facets of this ballet colossus. Dublin does not very often have the opportunity of seeing a classical ballet performed by the book. It is a great opportunity to revel in it and appreciate fully the art form that is classical ballet.