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Kirov Ballet

'Le Corsaire'

by Joanne Brack

July 22, 2003 -- Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

The Kirov's opening production of "Le Corsaire" during this London season served to whet everyone's appetite for the quality that can be expected over the next fortnight.

From the opening notes we were treated to lavish sets and beautiful, colourful costumes that illuminated the opera house stage. However, it was the quality of the dancing that will excite the London ballet fans. From the corps de ballet upwards we were treated to near perfect technique and were able to marvel at the sheer strength running through the company. The corps timing and formation placement seemed spot on, and all the dancers captured the exuberance and energy of the piece beautifully.

The highlight for me was Act 2, where we were treated to some fine soloist performances. Diana Vishneva made a beautiful Medora and I'm sure lost count of the many perfect pirouettes she delivered with startling ease. Igor Zelensky was certainly a crowd favourite last night and commanded the stage with assured confidence from the moment he strode on. His jumps continue to show amazing elevation and he covered the opera house stage with fluency and panache.

And mention should be made of the female soloists and coryphees who took on the roles of the Odalisques with assurance, really seizing the opportunity to show off the strength of their technique.

"Le Corsaire" made a perfect summer evening's light entertainment and a good start to the Kirov's season.

Edited by Catherine Pawlick.

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