Skip to main content

Review: the Mariinsky Ballet's Swan Lake

A Review: Swan Lake - The Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet under Artistic Director Valery Gergiev
with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony under Pavel Bubeinikov
March 1, 2011
Continues to March 6 - Sony Centre, Toronto

The Mariinsky Ballet and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (their signature work) - what's not to like? This is a lavish, crowd pleasing production with gorgeously detailed costumes, elaborate sets, pretty dancers (oh, so many Swan Maidens!) and gravity defying feats of graceful athleticism - in short, everything you'd expect from this kind of piece.

All the principle roles had their impressive moments, notably crowd favourite Grigory Popov as A Jester in the first half. The piece itself really takes flight in the second half, to my mind, where ballerina Victoria Tereshkina truly sparkled as Odile, the evil Black Swan, matched by handsome young Vladimir Schklyarov as Prince Siegfried, who also came into his own in their pas de deux and solo sequences. The only disappointment in that respect was Konstantin Zverev as Rothbart, the Evil Sorcerer, who seemed like a very intriguing talent in an abbreviated role. I did want to see more of him. (Please note that the cast rotates through the roles over the performances, and you may not see these same dancers.)

The ballet runs about 3 hours with two intermissions (the last act is quite short) and the company has the rather curious habit of taking bows and curtain calls at each intermission as well as at the end, but it was a predilection the large crowd at the Sony Centre seemed happy to oblige, giving them a standing O at the end. (Although it is to be noted, Toronto audiences are notorious for giving everyone a standing O.)

As an special bonus, you won't have to sit next to noted dance critics such as Paula Citron, since I took on that chore for all of us last night. Ms Citron took her seat about 10 minutes before the performance began and promptly announced, "I'm bored already." She then proceeded to direct the woman sitting in front of her to sit to one side so as to provide her with a completely unobstructed view. Now it would seem to me that someone who, for whatever reason - and I'd like to say "for better or worse", but I can't see an upside to the situation at all - has established a ridiculous kind of monopoly on performance arts criticism in this town, might feel a responsibility to be more fairminded, rather than less so, but perhaps I'm being naive.

At any rate, you can attend any of the remaining performances with the assurance they'll be blessedly media-free, and if the grand spectacle that is classical ballet, Russian-style, is your thing, then by all means go, and enjoy. You won't be disappointed.

Swan Lake runs at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts (1 Front Street East, Toronto) for six remaining performances only
• March 2, 3, 4, 5 at 8 pm, with matinee performances March 5 and 6 at 2 pm.
• Tickets range from $60 to $225
• Available by calling 416-872-2262
• Online at
• Or in person at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Box Office (1 Front Street East, Toronto).


Popular posts from this blog

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available

From a media release:

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available
24 Fine Art Prints from Celebrated Photographer David Bellemere Available In Three Limited Edition NU MUSES 2017 Calendar Packages

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment” -Michelangelo

Buy the collections
Check them out at Art Basel, Miami - December 1-4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – November 22nd, 2016 – NU MUSES, the luxurious 2017 fine art nude calendar, is now available to purchase in three unique limited edition collectors packages. Drawing inspiration from the Pirelli calendar of the 1970s, NU MUSES is set to celebrate the forgotten art of the classic nude and capture the elegance and romance of the female form.

The NU MUSES limited edition art piece is a sublime collectable calendar, featuring nude photographs of 12 of the world’s most stunning models, captured by famed photographer David…

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …