Review Round Up: Swan Lake, London Coliseum

We round up the reviews for the English National Ballet’s revival of Swan Lake at the London Coliseum.

Emma Hawes and Aitor Arrieta / Laurent liotardo

Broadway World: **** “Deane’s choreography is challenging; retaining Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s set pieces, but leaving no room for error. The work from the corps de ballet, led by Precious Adams and Emily Suzuki, is almost flawless, moving as one with incredible elegance and poise. The suicide of Odette and Siegfried remains somewhat underwhelming, as they simply seem to run over a small rock at the side of the stage, leaving the emotional heft of the situation to the swans, who respond with heart-breaking delicacy.”

Evening Standard: **** “This plush production requires its leads to give it meaning. Emma Hawes makes a forlorn Odette, the enchanted swan princess – haunted eyes, wings crossed over her aching heart, shoulders curled in agitation. She and Arrieta don’t exactly strike sparks, but they share a bereft interiority, folding about each other in search of refuge. Hawes slows the drama to a dreamy hush, a charmed moment when it seems cursed destiny might cease.”

The Jewish Chronicle: *** “The American ballerina Emma Hawes danced the dual role of Odette/Odile, with exquisite port de bras throughout and impressive balances in the tricky Act III pas de deux. Her Prince Siegfried was Aitor Arrieta, who looked suitably melancholy in Act I and displayed fine elevation but little chemistry with his Odette.”

The Stage: **** “English National Ballet’s sumptuous and moving take on Derek Deane’s bona fide classic staging.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Deane’s storytelling is impeccably clear throughout.” “The ensemble on opening night looked as if it had been well prepared and well drilled, with the corps de ballet of swans impressively precise. I wish, however, they had performed with more lyrical fluency than they did, particularly in their backs and arms, which meant the dances often had a staccato quality that was more prosaic than poetic – I was looking for a greater sense of breadth and expansiveness from all of them.”

The Independent: **** “The corps de ballet are in strong form. There’s a bright energy to the peasant dances, and some gusto to the national dances of the ball scene, particularly an assured czardas. But the swans are the highlight, dancing with power and collective drama. Flooding onto the stage, they move with clarity and a sense of flight.”

Swan Lake continues to play at the London Coliseum until the 22nd January.

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