Giselle

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia

Malvern Theatres

****

THERE has been a lot of attention drawn to the exceptional ballet skills of Russia with mesmerising performances during the recent opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

This UK tour by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia gives audiences the chance to see up close just how good prima ballerinas are from a country that has been at the forefront of this genre.

It also is an opportunity to hear the exceptional Orchestra of Siberia, which accompanies them.

Giselle is just one of the ballets that the dance corps is performing during its tour, which also stops off at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from March 23. Others include Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

Telling the sombre story of a young woman who dies from a broken heart after being duped by her lover, Giselle is a timeless classic.

The meaty part of the tale comes in the second half when Giselle's ghost saves her repentant lover from a a group of phantom women who dance men to death. At this point the stage is filled with rows of stunning ballerinas dancing in complete control en pointe in glimmering white traditional long dresses.

Although the set and special effects are more basic than those used by a dance company such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, the footwork and artistic expression of the ballet dancers is on another level.

The leading players are so exact and effortless in their movement that it seems like they must have been born pirouetting with pointed toes.

Formed in 1981, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia is not as historic as the Bolshoi but it is establishing itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies.

This production is very traditional in format with a heavy focus on the dancing and that is something that cannot be faulted.

Alison Brinkworth

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