This ballet was alive with rare clarity and coherence. A kind of magic lit the stage from the first act’s deep autumnal landscape, a magic conjured by timing and breath and a shared aesthetic of grandeur. If these dancers are not to the manner born, they are to the manner trained, and you saw it in the way they heard the Tchaikovsky in the same way and moved cleanly on the same impulses. Prince Siegfried’s drinking companions, his virtuosic trio of friends, the bejeweled ensemble of well-bred young ladies — they all moved in rising and falling crests and interleaving patterns whose musical sensitivity simply astonished.Share
All of the order, privileged ease and controlled feeling of the court that Siegfried will one day inherit was made plain in the shape and flow of the dancing.
And then he throws it all away.
And we completely understand why.
How could he resist Somova’s Odette? Captive to a magician’s spell, she unspooled a magic of her own. Somova is known — and derided, by some — for her extreme flexibility more than her artistry, but it’s time for a reassessment. First of all, she is blessedly free of affectation: no Gothic dramatics, no face-pulling. Secondly, this whisper-thin, leggy creature who looks like a child has upper-balcony star quality. There is something fascinating and watchable about her, the way Joan Crawford was not a classic beauty but she made you focus on her every move, every minute. (Read more.)