Magazine article Musical Opinion

The Mariinsky Ballet

Magazine article Musical Opinion

The Mariinsky Ballet

Article excerpt

The Mariinsky

This company, formerly the Kirov, is known primarily for the classical repertoire which has been a major influence on ballet for over a century. However, it is only in the last twenty years that modern choreographers from outside Russia and in particular, the works of William Forsythe, have had any impact on their repertoire.

A little of Forsythe goes a long way and any of the four works in the programme which I saw at Sadler's Wells on 13 October could have worked in a mix of other choreographers. But to have a whole evening of these ballets proved to be a feat of endurance.

Septext began with snatches of Bach unaccompanied cello music, with dancers making exaggerated arm movements, and dislocated changes of position. As is the case with Forsythe, the stage was bare and lit with very strongly contrasted light, so that as arms and legs whipped round, there was a visual echo effect.

Liudmila Sveshnikova played a Thom Willems piano piece to accompany Approximate Sonata, the only live music of the evening. …

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