Northwest NEWS

November 11, 2002


Bolshoi brings its magic to 'Swan Lake'

by Deborah Stone
   Arts and Entertainment
   There's always much anticipation and excitement when the Bolshoi Ballet comes to town because Seattle appearances by this famed company are rare. Those fortunate to get the opportunity to see this Russian icon recently when it opened its six-city U.S. tour in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre last week were in for a special treat.
   The Bolshoi met and exceeded expectations with its production of the noted "Swan Lake Ballet," an exquisite work of choreography adapted for the company by the brilliant choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich. In the late '60s, Grigorovich tweaked the original ballet, which was created for the Bolshoi in 1895 by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, and gave it the facelift it needed, while bringing it closer to the concept and spirit of Tchaikovsky's music.
   The Bolshoi dancers do full justice to the ballet's intricate choreography, bringing out its beauty and expressiveness, as well as demonstrating the finesse that is inherent in their training.
   Prima ballerina Anna Antonicheva, as Odette-Odile (the white swan-black swan), performed her opposing roles brilliantly. As Odette, she was soft and light, expressing curiosity, hesitation and then a yearning for love. Her Odile purposely lacked passion and soul, clearly indicating a dark and cold presence.
   Sergei Filin, as Prince Siegfried, was magnificent and conveyed a power and intensity whenever he graced the stage. His jumps were feats of airborne magic that elicited spontaneous eruptions of applause from the audience each time they were executed. As Rothbart, the Evil Genius, Dmitry Belogolovtsev, was magnetic. He often mirrored the steps of the Prince, shadowing him as a mysterious, dark and foreboding presence.
   Tchaikovsky's score was conducted beautifully by Alexander Sotnikov who, with the members of the orchestra, brought this memorable work of music to life.
   The Bolshoi Ballet is truly a Russian treasure that continues to keep audiences spellbound by its powerful dancing.
   Hopefully the company will return to Seattle soon to allow more people to experience its magic.