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2013/14 Coliseum Nutcracker

2013 Coliseum Raymonda:


Closing the programmes is Nureyev’s production of Raymonda, act three. Muntagirov again dances beautifully, but here he has the rosy, nuanced and glittering Daria Klimentova to react against. Together, they not only honour the choreography’s rich detail, but in their intimations of grandeur and sensuous delirium they evoke the love story that motored the original Petipa ballet.


Daria Klimentová is both grand and mercurial in the ballerina role, switching from imperious to flirty in a dazzle of footwork. Muntagirov is a dashing cavalier.

London Dance

The female variations were all danced well but it was Daria Klimentová’s filigree precision in the title role that was breathtakingly excellent, her projection and smile beaming with the confidence that this style of dancing is in her DNA.

Hannah Weibye

Klimentova is superb, with perfect classical lines and an electric aura; her partner Muntagirov jumps high, beats fast and lands surely, all the while smiling down at her with touchingly obvious adoration. These two are a joy to watch together.


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Royal Albert Hall, Strictly Gershwin:


Swan Lake, Coliseum, London

By Clement Crisp

If you have had the opportunity to watch the BBC television programmes about the life and work of English National Ballet, none-too subtly titled The Agony and the Ecstasy, you will have seen what I believe are the most skilled accounts of the daily grind of a fine ballet troupe. Slogging hard work and knife-edge problems of survival and even of performance have been acutely recorded, and the resultant picture is at once heart-rending and heart-lifting.   ENB’s season at the Coliseum ended last week with a run of Swan Lake, safest of box-office bets, and I watched a performance wholly admirable. The production is by Derek Deane, and – like Deane’s direct and rigorous manner in the first of the TV programmes – it is wise, challenging of its interpreters and shaped by sound artistic experience. It is a version of this much traduced masterpiece that is honourable in its traditionalism and responsive to its score. (And it is handsomely designed by Peter Farmer.)  The keys to this performance were the interpretations of Daria Klimentová as Odette/Odile, and of Vadim Muntagirov as Siegfried. Like a woman who takes a young lover (Colette’s Chéri the best literary account of this happy situation), Klimentová has responded to the youthful, even innocent presence of the 20-year-old Muntagirov with dancing of remarkable wisdom, assurance and grace. The double role lives eloquently through her artistry, distinguished in feeling as in means.  Muntagirov is already an artist of rare sensitivity. He plays Siegfried with an innocence that resonates with the princeling’s balletic life. The dancing is ravishing: I have rarely seen an account of the first act’s yearning solo done with such eloquent line, such fine placing of the dance that breathes in long phrases. Throughout the ballet he performs from the heart of the character and dances with a sensibility and a power that touch the heart. (His succession of three double-double-tours, in which he produced repeated turns in the air, was a vivid delight.) With Klimentová he makes the ballet live afresh. Their performances were admirably framed by ENB’s artists. And admirably sustained by Gavin Sutherland’s fine direction of the score. Bravos to them all, and to Derek Deane.


SWAN LAKE Royal Albert Hall: