St Petersburg Ballet Theatre

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Taiwan     2011 
“Bravo! Bravo!” – Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s Prima Ballerina Irina Kolesnikova conquered the audience with her lovely renditions of the Black and White Swans. The sorrowful grace and soft tenderness of the White Swan and the cruel indomitability and vital suppleness of the Black Swan touched the hearts of the audience. Many stood to applaud at the end of the performance; the mood in the auditorium is well expressed by the following words: “Just like the Queen of the swans it is as if we have been resurrected from death unto life”.

“This is the best Black and White Swan that I have ever seen in my life”, exclaimed Fan Yuiven who has seen “Swan Lake” many times all over the world, Moscow included. Irina’s interpretation of the White Swan was particularly superb in his opinion; the weightlessness of her suppleness and grace seemed to be imbued with a lightness and gracefulness of poise and movement.

Hardly had the curtain at the State Theatre gone up when, thanks to the magical scenery the audience found itself in a medieval royal courtyard. In act one, the appearance of the Jester and the duet between the White Swan and the Prince, the corps de ballet of swans and the quartet of little swans, seemed to spark the audience into action: a child began flapping his arms in imitation of the dancing and someone began humming along to the swan melody. In act two the Black Swan rushes on stage and the audience simply cannot believe that the same performer can create such a contrast between the grace of the White Swan and this energetic, bright figure. In the final scene, when, after the Prince’s victory over the Evil Genius (Rothbart), the Prince and the White Swan meet the breaking of day together, the audience is filled with rapturous inspiration upon seeing that the Evil Genius and his daughter the Black Swan, although having been victorious once, are now powerless against true love.

Syui Minmei, retired teacher of the famous dancer Tszen Sinin recalls the well-known staging of 40 years ago with Margot Fonteyn and maintains that Irina certainly holds her own; “the beauty of her dancing has reached such a level as to take the audience’s breath away!” The dance master is particularly impressed by the natural way she shifts from one character to the other and with how she maintains a feeling of reserve.

“Swan Lake” will be performed four more times but tickets are nearly all sold out.

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