Amore is a largely successful exhibition of Zakharova’s expansive talents, but these brief pieces felt at times like they barely scratched the surface of her true abilities.
The evening opens in dramatic fashion with Tchaikovsky’s Francesca Da Rimini. It’s a theatrical piece based on the tragic love story from Dante’s Divine Comedy featuring young lovers Francesca (Zakharova) and Paolo (Bolshoi Principal, Denis Rodkin).
It’s set against a backdrop of tormented sculptures designed by Maria Tregubova, recreating the gates of hell.
It is perhaps the piece with the most accessible narrative. The substantial score and effective use of additional artists from the Bolshoi assist the main stars in delivering the necessary impact.
Amore, ft Svetlana Zakharova in Francesca da Rimini, photo Roberto Ricci
On the first viewing of the star herself, it takes a while to look at anyone else. Her long limbs and effortless extensions are utterly captivating. She moves her lithe frame elegantly while remaining a strong and powerful protagonist.
Denis Rodkin is a fearless and devoted lover; however the towering strength of Denis Savin (Giovanni, the intended husband) is overwhelming. His weighty leaps and jumps are a tour to force. Magnified by Tchaikovsky’s score, his discovery of the two lovers makes for a thrilling conclusion.
Patrick de Bana’s Rain Before It Falls feels less focussed. Featuring a cast of just three, Zakharova finds herself in the middle of a developing love triangle featuring De Bana himself and Savin.
The interplay and slow burning chemistry between Zakharova and De Bana is intensely watchable. He partners her as if she were made of fine porcelain and she floats weightlessly in his arms, while the full skirt of her vibrant purple dress billows away delicately.
The pas de deux between them that forms most of the choreography is naturally a technical masterclass, but the narrative does not progress enough in this short piece to really hook in the audience. Denis Savin (in his leather trousers) is left on the sidelines for much of it, which means the anticipated heat of the love triangle never really comes to fruition.
Strokes Through the Tail provides some much needed light relief. The prima ballerina is supported by five males, who mimic each other through their behaviours and costumes.
The piece is quirky and full of sass delivered by the charismatic male dancers of the Bolshoi; and it’s enjoyable to see so much personality and humour brought to the stage. They copy Zakharova by donning a selection of tail coats and grass skirts, while Marguerite Donlon’s choreography is loaded with slapstick and silliness that ends the evening in giddy spirits.
This is a rare opportunity to watch a truly world class dancer. None of these works are particularly groundbreaking, but how they are danced is where Zakharova and her supporting cast prove their star quality and Amore makes for a rather special evening.
|What||Svetlana Zakharova, Amore Review|
|Where||London Coliseum, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
21 Nov 17 – 25 Nov 17, 19:30 Dur.: 2 hours including interval No performance 22 & 23
|Price||£20-£95 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book via the Coliseum website|