Review – Bolshoi Ballet triple bill (“Class Concert,” “Elsinore,” “Upper Room”) – London Coliseum

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I went to the ballet tonight, hoping to be right distracted, but during the Arvo Part music/Hamlet themed ballet I was thinking about costumes, and the job sitch. Okay, let’s be honest, I was thinking about the job sitch all day and was completely NOT focused on doing any sort of work at all. But we’ll skip all that for now and just talk about the show I saw, which was the Bolshoi mixed rep at ENO.

Capsule review: piece one, “Class Concert,” to music of various Russian masters (in the order, Composer, his student, his student, his student) was GREAT, extremely energetic, building to a frenzied head as the dancers worked through harder and harder dance moves. It just felt SO much like members of the corps showing that they were ready for being promoted to bigger roles, and the energy was incredible. The section where the danseurs were THROWING the ballerinas through the air was crazy! (PNB needs to add this to their rep.) Section two, Chris Wheeldon’s “Elsinore,” didn’t really do it for me – the partnering was nice but actually having a story would have been more engaging than just being “atmospheric.”

The third bit, Twyla Tharp’s “Upper Room,” benefitted from some Phillip Glass music (recorded, though I think it didn’t matter), but watching these poor Russian ballerinas attempt to get some urban dance grooves going was painful. They’d absolutely hit these ballet moves (made so much clearer in my mind by watching the first piece), then struggle to shrug their shoulders in any kind of rythmn. One girl was actually “on,” and once ‘d pointed her out to me, I kept my eyes glued on her and enjoyed the rest of it more. But, well, of course, there were always the lovely macaroons my date had picked up from Paul, and great visits over the intervals … so it was a good night out, and I am reminded that I must get my dance tickets purchased for the Sadler’s Wells events and the City Ballet trip to London in the spring.

(Later: PS: The website says, “Completing the Triple Bill is Class Concert, the iconic ballet by Asaf Messerer not seen here since 1965. Using all the Company‘s principal dancers, the ballet reaches an exciting climax which only the Bolshoi Ballet’s legendary bravura can produce.” Um. Just what are they selling here again?)

(This review is for a performance that took place August 14th, 2007.)

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