Alastair Macaulay’s review of the Bolshoi Ballet in The New York Times is one of the most scathing reviews I have read in a long time. Some choice quotes:
- “Returning to New York after nine years, the Bolshoi Ballet — the most heroically warm-blooded of ballet companies — seems keen to prove that it has reverted to the ghastly artistic torpor it enjoyed in the last two decades of the Soviet era.”
- The three productions in New York, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Spartacus…”all deriving from an earlier era, have been seen here before — a lot — and none of them are good.”
- The great Bolshoi Orchestra “…couldn’t save the company from making “Swan Lake” a bore.”
He has even worse things to say about Principal Dancer Svetlana Zakharova:
“Though she is beautiful, nothing about her radiates. You watch but do not feel her dancing. When she raises her arms or bends forward, you observe with detachment; when the corps of swan maidens does the same, something in your own body answers. Hers is toneless dancing (even or especially when she throws in her specialty ultrahigh kicks and extensions). Both her Romantic pathos as Odette and her flashy virtuosity as Odile consist solely of hollow, unoriginal effects. Irksome, too, is the vanity she shows in bows, conducting the audience in applause as if to say, “Do you have any notion how splendid I am?””
Veronika Part in Giselle
For those wanting to see ABT’s Veronika Part (in the BalletFocus banner at the top in Sleeping Beauty) in Giselle…fly to Russia. For some reason, she has not been cast in the role at ABT and in prime time slots in the 2014 Met season, but will perform with the Mariinsky Ballet on Friday, August 1. Her partner has not been announced.