Sleeping Beauty

Aotea Centre at THE EDGE®, Auckland

27/04/2008 - 27/04/2008

Production Details

The Kiev Ballet – The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Ukraine – performs Sleeping Beauty in New Zealand!

The show features the full company of 52 of the best ballet performers world wide, accompanied by The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

cost:  Adult $125 – $85.90, Concession $115 – $78.90, Child $95 – $59.90

featuring:  natalia domreceva, viktor ishchuk, tatiana goliakova, takita shinobu, sergei sidorskiy, ksenya ivanenko

dates:  Sun 27 Apr 08, 1:00pm

venue:  ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland City

region:  Auckland, New Zealand

ticket outlets:  Book tickets 

"Too many second rate groups from the former USSR have made their way to Australia in recent years, cashing in on the past, did not deliver what it promised.. this tour, however, promises to be different. The Kiev Ballet is structured in the same great tradition as the Bolshoi and Kirov in Russia and shares the same superb Russian training. "

Karen van Ulzen, Dance Australia, travelled to the Kiev Ballet as a guest of the Australian promoter, Act One Touring.

For season dates and information

Purveyors of an old tradition

Review by 01st May 2008

Shinobu Takita plays a spiky lilac fairy. Once I had put aside my immediate sensate responses to sumptuous display I got to thinking about what I was actually seeing.

Kiev ballet dancers are great technically, shiny, with generations of dance technique scored on their bodies; they could probably dance that ballet in their sleep and at times they were (metaphorically – I know I know!) So I got to thinking…

I last saw Sleeping Beauty in London (Festival Ballet) on the way out of the UK to the other side of the planet surrounded by howling sisters. I have resorted to my memory of that evening to generate this review. As I was already taking ballet lessons I thought that the family occasion was about me… juxtaposed by the departure from the sobbing family. At this matinee performance, tiny trickles of childish laughter at crazy Carabosse (OlegTokar – was he a dancer or an actor??) enhanced this train of thought.

The travel to ‘far away’ encapsulates the initial feeling about the Kiev Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty production I saw on Sunday – these gorgeous dancers trained in one (visible) thing are captured then flung faraway. So much of what we see is dependent on – not who they are but the way their arabesques restore stored memories of the occasion of ballet.

The Sleeping Beauty tale in this production was mythological – I got, through the delicate shift from powder pink to powder blue tutu, the dilemma a young man has in matching his dream of beauty to the real; maintained as a dream (oh well!).

Parents (Lyudmyla Melnyk & Volodiyr Chupryn) were suitably foppish and incapable of protecting their child either from the wicked result of the desire for everything or even the persuasive desire of a young bounding prince. He could bound that prince. Viktor Ishchuk made a fabulous leapt entrance midway through the ballet. He was not quite as expressive as Carabosse but delicately manly and charming.

How is it that I am not to mention Beauty until this point.. I had forgotten, I think; apart form the tutus, that beauty is what’s important!! Like the prince, Natalia Domrecheva displayed virtuosic clarity – I don’t think she touched feeling on this occasion, although she was one of the few dancers who seemed to connect with the orchestra (Auckland Philarmonia).

The dancing was great, the music was great, and the costumes were scrumptious. The lighting and set were great. The audience clapped a lot. The prince and beauty got married. And the blue pas de deux in this scene was amazing.

Tatiana Goliakova & Sergeii Sydorskyi danced a duet in an oddly mismatched coloured costume, like birds – maybe butterflies? This somehow highlighted how this company fits. Not so much as a group of talented high level dance professional as purveyors of an old tradition.

In my search to expand my knowledge about this company, I read a review in a recent New York paper. Those dancers have been seen to dance Forsythe! This oddly mismatched idea (like the dark blue costumes) is exciting and hopefully one day someone will decide that we are ready to stop the tears and get on with watching ballet dancing which presents real people.


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