A disappointment from the Kirov ballet, but worth seeing for Kolpakova
I have loved classical music, opera and ballet for as long as I can remember. Seeing this Sleeping Beauty was from the Kirov ballet, I expected great things, but was disappointed. I very recently saw this production and the 1989 production with Larissa Lezhnina, I think this production has the better Aurora but the 1989 production was better for me everywhere else.
My main disappointment was the lighting, which was very dim excepting at the beginning and during the forest scenes. Also some of the sets are rather gaudy in colours for my tastes particularly with Florestan's court which was devoid of the pageantry I see usually. The conducting was good on the most part, and the orchestra too apart from some mistakes and moments of being out of tune. My last point is more an irritation, the clapping of the audience got too much after a while. The applause not only went on too long after each individual item, but also during the dancing too, Act 3 was the worst for this.
That said, the costumes are great, and the choreography and dancing are wonderfully intricate and detailed. I did enjoy the camera work on the whole, but there are some scenes such as the Garland Waltz where the beautiful shapes look rather messy. The story is still the timeless one we know and love, and Tchaikovsky's music is phenomenal. The dancing is very good. Once I got over how the disappointment that was Carabosse's entrance, more to do with the camera work than the dancing and music, Carabosse is genuinely imposing and intimidating. You also get not only a Lilac Fairy that is elegant and beautiful, but also one on pointe and a somewhat more expanded role, which I personally found a treat actually. Sergei Berezhnoi is a dashing Prince Desire, and is a very clean and efficient dancer too. But the best asset for me was Irina Kolpakova, who is a brilliant Auora, not just for her graceful dancing and impeccable legato line but also for her subtle transition from innocent young girl to a bride of radiance.
All in all, a disappointment but worth seeing because the music and Kolpakova are so good. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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