The Mariinsky shifts dramatic gear from an intense Anna Karenina and a dreamy Swan Lake to a sensuous depiction of the eponymous Spanish heroine in Carmen Suite, choreographed by the Cuban Alberto Alonso on Rodion Shchedrin’s reworking of Bizet’s classic opera.
The first night Carmen is the acclaimed prima ballerina Diana Vishneva, one of the truly big names of the Mariinsky, whom London audiences have long admired and last saw in a one-woman programme at the London Coliseum two years ago.
The story of Carmen has provided inspiration for many choreographers over the years; Alberto Alonso’s version, created 50 years ago for the great Maya Plisetskaya, is among the least known. Here’s a taster.
In a complete change of mood, the next work in this programme is Wayne McGregor’s abstract ballet Infra. Created for Britain’s Royal Ballet, Infra premiered in 2008.
A dark, earthy creation that examines life beneath the surface of the city, Infra features striking LED lighting and set designs from Julian Opie.
The inclusion of a McGregor work in this triple bill is a good indication of the Mariinsky’s stated aim to extend its repertoire to include contemporary works by international choreographers and present its dancers with new challenges.
The evening returns to a Spanish theme with Petipa’s famous Paquita Grand Pas. The original full-length ballet, Paquita, is set in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars; but this particular Grand Pas sequence is the extract most commonly danced today.
It’s an opulent affair, which offers plenty of showy and exciting choreography, for which the ever reliable Minkus created a sparkling score.
The breadth of work on offer in this triple bill makes it an absolute must for those who want to be taken beyond the expected to discover new depths to this extraordinary company.
|What||Mariinsky Ballet, Contrasts Mixed Bill|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
08 Aug 17 – 09 Aug 17, 19:30
|Website||Click here to book via de ROH website|