|SWAN LAKE - National Ballet of China|
|REVIEWS - LIVE|
|Written by Tessa Perkins|
|Friday, 01 March 2013 19:26|
"...this was a triumphant masterpiece..."
Ballet: Swan Lake
Company: National Ballet of China
Artistic Director: Feng Ying
Choreographer: Natalia Makarova, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, Sir Frederick Ashton
Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Dancers: Zhu Yan, Zhang Jian, Wang Qimin, Li Jun, Sheng Shidong, Yu Bo, Cao Shuci, Lu Na, Xing Liang, Ma Xioadong, Zhou Zhaohui, Hu Dayong, Want Qi, Wang Ye, Li Ke, Liu Qi, Zhang Xi, Sun Ruichen, Zhan Xinlu, Wang Hao, Cui Kai, Li Nan, Zhang Tao, Li Jie, Lu Di, Hu Tiantian, Yang Chunhui, Du Jichao, Chen Xi, Li Ming, Wang Sizheng, Yu Yang, Jiang Xi, Hou Shuang, Sun Xiaoqian, Zhang Lijuan, Liu Lushi, Wu Menglan, Yu Xiaoting, Li Yaqi, Li Feifei, Chen Haibei, Feng Quijing, Xu Yan, Teng Jiankai, Sun Haifeng, Guo Xiaotian, Guo Fengbai, Zhu Xiaolin, Jiang Wei
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Run: February 27 - March 2 2013
Reviewed by: Tessa Perkins
For the first time ever in Canada, China’s National Ballet company performed a perfect Swan Lake in Vancouver. After a stop in Montreal to perform Raise the Red Lantern, the company headed west to finish up their Canadian tour. This performance also had a goal of creating stronger cultural ties between Canada and China, and I think these kinds of cultural exchanges are very important for furthering artistic development and also broadening our understanding of other cultures.
The National Ballet of China was founded in 1959 and has since created a strong reputation as a company with a solid foundation in Russian-style classical ballet while fusing it with Chinese culture. Full of technically stunning dancers and with almost perfect execution, this was a triumphant masterpiece showcasing their skill and dedication to the art form.
Swan Lake is not a ballet to take on lightly as it demands a lot from the dancer playing Odette/Odile, but Wang Qimin who danced the role on opening night was one of the most magnificent ballerinas I’ve ever seen. Every flap of her wings and angst-ridden back bend exuded the perfect emotions of unrequited love as Siegfried (Li Jun) falls in love with her.
The corps, perfectly in synch and almost identical looking in their beautiful tutus and white, feathered head pieces, provided the stunning background to Odette and Prince Siegfried’s love story. The cygnets, performing the fast footwork with ease and grace were another favourite moment of mine. The Odile solo at the ball when Siegfried mistakenly asks for her hand in marriage was also impressive as Wang Qimin showed her ability to add the perfect subtle, sassy flair to the black swan’s character.
The elaborate sets and costumes framed this ballet brilliantly and added to the magical staging. Full of drama, passion, and intensely emotional choreography, this production was a remarkable achievement and a treat for Vancouver audiences who rarely see these classical full-length works.