Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swan That Fails to Defrost

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swan That Fails to Defrost

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE JENNINGS

SWAN LAKE/Birmingham Royal Ballet * (GOOD) Sadler's Wells

IN Peter Wright's production, first mounted for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet in 1981, the curtain rises on a court in mourning and a prince sunk into a torpor from which neither courtesans nor his friend Benno can rouse him.

Philip Prowse's wintery gothic designs faithfully reflect this subzero emotional temperature, but last night they framed a performance that never fully defrosted.

Andrew Murphy is a fine dancer and the very model of a handsome leading man, but his performance as Siegfried is fatally undercut by a lack of ardour. On encountering Odette, and in all their dealings thereafter, his expression is one of flat, passionless solicitude. He goes dutifully through the motions as a suitor, but his fires are cold.

Leticia Muller is a performer of presence - her Morgan le Fay lingers pleasurably in the memory - but she is essentially a staccato rather than a legato dancer and Odette is not yet a happy fit for her. …

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