foteini christofilopoulou

Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares in Onegin, Royal Ballet, London, January 2015. © Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

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.

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The Bolshoi Ballet season opens with the London premiere of a new restaging of Alexei Fadeyechev’s staging of Petipa’s “Don Quixote” at the Royal Opera House, 25-28 July 2016

On photo (1,2,3,4): Olga Smirnova as Kitri and Denis Rodkin as Basil in “Don Quixote”, Bolshoi Ballet, London, Royal Opera House 25 July 2016

On photo (5,6): Anna Tikhomirova (Street Dancer), Ruslan Skvortsov (Espada)

On photo (7,8): Margarita Shrainer as Kitri    

Photos © Foteini Christofilopoulou 

Adrienne Canterna as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Rasta Thomas’ Dance Company, London, March 2015, © Foteini Christofilopoulou.

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.

Ballerina Evgenia Obraztsova in Emeralds - Prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet and with the Mariinsky Ballet - Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou

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.

Alison McWhinney in Giselle. English National Ballet Emerging Dancer Competition, March 2013. Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou.

McWhinney’s dress fluttered as she glided elegantly from one glissade to another, plumes of taffeta rising as she did so. Her slow and delicate arm movements added to the lilting atmosphere. A memorable image was Nathan Young spinning McWhinney round with ease as her body and arms hung like a rag doll and her leg was extended in the air.

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.

Viktoria Tereshkina and Andrei Yermakov in Concerto DSCH. Mariinsky Ballet, London, Royal Opera House, 11 August 2014. © Foteini Christofilopoulou.

At the start of the slow movement, corps members collapse only to rise again, except for one. They console each other as Tereshkina and Yermakov walk in to start their pas deux, witnessed by three couples. The yearning duet to the piano’s soulful melody is danced with an exchange of demands, resistance, imploring, regrets, without milking emotion.