The season caters for a range of balletic tastes. As well as the crowd-pleasing classics of the Mariinsky’s repertoire, it will give London audiences an opportunity to see Alexei Ratmansky’s Anna Karenina and a mixed bill entitled Contrasts that includes a work by Wayne McGregor.
It all kicks off with the Petipa classic, Don Quixote, an exuberant work that affords both ensemble and principals plenty of opportunities to shine in its dazzling and dynamic choreography.
It tells the story of the ageing Spanish knight Don Quixote who, as he travels in pursuit of deeds of chivalry, encounters young lovers Kitri and Basilio. Although they’re being kept apart by Kitri’s father, it goes without saying that after much plotting and dancing to Minkus’s jolly score they live happily ever after, and the Don can continue on his way.
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is surely the classic to top all classics, and nobody does its white acts quite like the Russians. The discipline and precision of the Mariinsky corps de ballet is always truly awesome, and so it should be this time too.
The dual role of Odette/Odille is a challenge for any ballerina, and in this season’s eight performances it’ll be danced by some of the Mariinsky’s stars such as Ekaterina Kondaurova, Victoria Tereshkina, and Oxana Skoric.
The season draws to a close with another firm crowd-pleaser: La Bayadère, which culminates in the extraordinary white act known as The Kingdom of the Shades.
Set in a mythical India, La Bayadère tells the story of the doomed love affair between the temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor, who is destined to marry the Rajah’s daughter, Gamzatti.
After Nikiya is killed on Gamzatti’s orders, Solor seeks solace in opium, and in his drugged state has a vision of 32-identical Nikiyas coming to him the famed Kingdom of the Shades.
With a score by Minkus and original choreography by Marius Petipa, this is a ballet which over the years the Mariinsky has made very much its own; nearly all modern versions of this work are derived from the Mariinsky’s 1941 production.
So, if the classics are your thing, get booking – Mariinsky seasons tend to sell out quite quickly, and performances of the staples of the repertoire more so.
|What||Mariinsky Ballet, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, La Bayadère|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
24 Jul 17 – 12 Aug 17, 19:30 End Time Approx Sat Mat 14:00
|Website||Click here to book via the ROH website|