Some of the most talented dancers in the world gathered for this evening to honour Anna Pavlova at London’s Coliseum Theatre. Photo montage and small extant film clips were used to suggest her charm. (Please see this website for these clips). The evening belonged to the ballerinas, with the exception of Sergei Polunin, who can suggest to us the leaps of Nijinsky.
Rather than offering a critique of the three hour performance, I would like to give an opportunity to show you the outstanding soloists, and if possible, what they danced.
The audience was very amusing, consisting of dignitaries and royalty, Russian oligarchs and their families, a claque from the Royal Ballet ,other artists and mere mortals. One middle-aged, fastidious Russian gentleman in a box brought along his young wife whose attire, in my daughter’s words, ‘resembled a magnificent pink flamingo’.
The first moment of stage excitement was the appearance of Alina Somova in the role of Giselle:
After such a beautiful presentation, Ulyana Lopatkina danced a spirited Russkaya:
Next Iana Salenko (whose feet were particularly beautiful) and Marian Walter of the Berlin State Ballet danced Romeo and Juliet which I do not have, so here is Sleeping Beauty:
Tamara Rojo was brilliant in Life is a Dream, a piece of choreography by Fei Bo to music of Wu Na: It concerned a fish, and indeed, on the stage in a large bowl was a fish in his first performance. With Sylvie Guillem and her dog and now Tamara Rojo and her fish, I think the influence of the fauvists is creeping literally into the ballet. Unfortunately, I lack this pas de deux with fish but here is Rojo:
Let us look at Sergei Polunin in Cuba. He performed [above] in Raymonda but there is not a film of this:
Alina Cojocaru and Alexandre Riabko performed La Dame aux Camelias which has the most complicated lifts. As Cojocaru dancing Dame does not exist, I will present her in Manon, which also has beautiful lift:
La Dame by the Paris Opera:
Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov performed a sensitive and delicate Manon. Here is Muntagirov in Le Corsaire:
and Klimentova and Muntagirov in taster clips from lips from Giselle, Cinderella, Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet:
Svetlana Zakharova danced Cor Perdut to cheers:
Here is Zakharova in Revelation, which I have posted before. She is as moving in contemporary as in the classical repertoire:
The last three are Giselle:
Splendid Isolation III was choreographed by Jessica Lang (b.1975). In this the costume is the set in the dance:
It was danced as in this film by American Ballet Theatre’s Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belersokovsky.
Finally, here is Lucia Lacarra:
She danced this piece with music by Cesar Franck and Camille Saint-Saens.
I have tried to bring my Feast for the Gods to you.
Clement Crisp and Graham Watts made important contributions on Pavlova to the programme notes. Clement Crisp quotes a French critic describing Pavlova: ‘Her expressiveness outruns fancy. She is The Dancer: she is Dance itself’.
Lest we forget: