I’ve been inspired by the amazing blogger Lizz C to start a retrospective series of posts in order to fill any ticket-shaped holes currently in my calendar… So, in my new series Get to the Pointe (don’t groan, everyone loves a pun), I will be commenting on various ballets that I’ve watched via Youtube. Most of them are ancient, and grainy, and watched on a rubbish laptop, so they won’t be proper reviews – just thoughts recorded as I attempt to extend my ballet knowledge.
So, my first post is about a Kirov Sleeping Beauty from 1989 (that’s just one year younger than me, folks). It’s a kaleidoscope of colourful costumes and truly terrible wigs, with a corps de ballet that varies dramatically in quality. They aren’t helped by the fact that in large set pieces such as the Waltz of the Flowers or the fairy dances in the Prologue, the stage is severely overcrowded, which leads to – or causes – choreography that is either messy or overly simplistic.
Aurora is danced by Larissa Lezhnina, who is far and away the best thing about the production – she is graceful, pretty and bang on the music. The Kirov choreography and staging is pretty much identical to the RB version I’m used to, but one change I notice – and like – is in the Rose Adagio; the Princes present their roses to Aurora from different sides and she takes them whilst striking different assisted poses.
Elsewhere, the panorama scene is hilariously trippy, with multiple overlaid effects for the camera. Classic 80s. The Bluebird pas de deux was another highlight and the wedding duet between Aurora and the Prince (danced by Farukh Ruzimatov) is beautifully controlled. There’s only one fish dive in it though, which is disappointing. You can never have too many.
If you feel like watching this version and comparing views, feel free to watch and leave me a comment!