Nuñez cogently highlighted the heroine’s shyness and built the whole drama around it. Her Tatiana is not just an asocial bookworm, but someone who takes refuge behind the cover of a book because she does not feel confident to interact with the rest of the world. The outcome of such reading is breathtaking and bestows vibrancy to all the ensuing actions.
Viktoria Tereshkina as Odette/Odile and Xander Parish as Prince Siegfried, The Mariinsky Ballet dances “Swan Lake”, choreography: Konstantin Sergeyev after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, music by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky at the Royal Opera House, 27 July - 7 August 2017
When left on her own, the woman begins to paint designs on her body and costume with black paint. Her partner returns and solicitously keeps trying to clean away the paint. Although there are moments of nuzzling tenderness in the duet, there is something deeply unsettling and disturbing about the encounter, suggesting needs or desires that, despite all efforts, cannot be reconciled.
Svetlana Zakharova as Princess Aurora. The Bolshoi Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty. Royal Opera House (July – August 2013). Photo Foteini Christofilopoulou.
Zakharova was bred for the role of Aurora, her superb control of balance with exquisite line, especially in arabesque, and the delicate radiance of her port de bras are ideally suited to the extreme test posed by the Rose Adage, which she accomplished with confident, elegant authority. Zakharova convinced us to believe in a young princess half her age (she is 34) but enjoying all the attendant maturity and skill of Russia’s prima ballerina.
Yuhui Choe in Mayuri Boonham’s The Human Edge, April 2014. Photo: Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House.
The Human Edge is a piece with feelings and emotions to be communicated. Inspired by Sati, the first Hindu goddess, in less than 15 minutes it races through her life which ended in self-immolation. It was led by the Royal Ballet’s Yuhui Choe looking very un-balletic, powerful, inscrutable and features a short duet with her fellow ballet dancer, Kenta Kura.
This is Canterna’s show. Her (mostly) barefoot Juliet bursts with excitement, passion and expression, delivered with a cocktail of personality and movement that mixes a bit of Barbie, a quirky dollop of Lady Gaga, a touch of burlesque, the length of Sylvie Guillem’s limbs and the hyper-flexible spine of an Olympic gymnast.