Thursday, 12 April 2018

Bolshoi's Giselle Second Time Round

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Bolshoi Ballet  Giselle 8 April 2016 Pathé Live

The recording of Giselle (for which the Huddersfield Odeon charged me £15.15 even with a 10% discount) was first performed on 11 Oct 2015.  I reviewed that performance in The Bolshoi does the Business - Giselle streamed from Moscow the next day.  I liked it then and I still liked it when I saw the recording on Sunday though I would have much preferred to have seen a live work.  The Bolshoi was dancing Spartacus on Sunday with Denis Rodkin in the title role, Lantratov as Crassus, Zajharova as Aegina and Nikulina as Phrygia.  Now why couldn't the Bolshoi and Pathé Live have shown us that?

However, it was good to see Zakharova, Polunin, Shipulina, Tsvirko and Khokhlova again.  In contrast to his Swan Lake about which I had expressed reservations in Grigorovich's Swan Lake in Covent Garden 31 July 2016 after I saw it in London, Grigorovich's Giselle is one of the best I have ever seen.  I explained why in my 2015 review: a superlative cast, a fin orchestra and although I found the backdrops somewhat dowdy in contrast to the Royal Ballet's they are a good deal better than the sets for the Bolshoi's Swan Lake.

I am writing this article at a time of increasing tension between my government and the government of Russia following events in Syria and Salisbury.  Though I agree reluctantly with the decisions that my government have taken in solidarity with its international partners on those issues, I am and always have been a great admirer of Russia and its people for their contributions to science and technology as well as the arts.  I have never been to that country or learned Russian but have always wanted to do so. I look forward to better days.

While watching the recording of Giselle I received an email from Kirklees Active Leisure accepting my booking of the dance studio from at Huddersfield Leisure Centre from 15:00 to 16:30 on 26 May 2018 (see We now have a studio 8 April 2018 Powerhouse Ballet). If you would like a free 90 minute ballet class in Huddersfield with an inspiring teacher click the button marked "Register" below.  You will find more details in the Powerhouse Ballet blog.

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