Australian Dance Reviews

‘Le Corsaire’ – The Bolshoi Ballet

QPAC, Brisbane
30 May, 2013

By Belinda Williamson.

Having seen many, many professional ballet companies perform in my lifetime (good and bad), I can say with absolute confidence that The Bolshoi Ballet are nothing short of magnificent. With Le Corsaire they produced the best performance I have ever seen.

Brisbane certainly is a very lucky city to have the opportunity to experience the world renowned Bolshoi Ballet; they have not travelled to Australia in 20 years!  Of course a huge thank you must go the heads of QPAC, Tourism QLD and The Bolshoi Ballet company for collaborating to bring this Russian treasure to little old Brisbane.

The Bolshoi Ballet's Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov

The Bolshoi Ballet’s Maria Alexandrova as ‘Medora’ and Vladislav Lantratov as ‘Conrad’ in Le Corsaire. Photo by Darren Thomas.

Opening night was a buzz with anticipation and excitement.  You could feel that the audience were ready to experience history as the ballet company took the stage.  The show opened with a wonderful rendition of Advanced Australia Fair played by our very own QLD Symphony Orchestra.   The music was the original score by Adolphe Adam and the QLD Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Sorokin did this marvel the justice that it deserves.

There wasn’t one second during this ballet that my eyes left the stage.  The exquisitely trained dancers, entrancing choreography, detailed lavish costumes, lighting, sets and props all played a part in telling this captivating story.  The scenery was mostly cloth that was hand dyed to produce what looked like a solid structure.  They set the scene perfectly for the spellbinding tale that played out on stage.

Le Corsaire follows the story of pirates, forbidden love, slavery and deceit.  One could go on all day about the pas de deux, the company and the principal dancers but it is almost impossible to capture their brilliance in words.  Their years of training is apparent in every step they take and they give such a passionate and devoted portrayal of their characters.

Although the entire cast should be applauded for a flawless performance, I must make special mention of Maria Alexandrova.  She is one of the principal dancers of The Bolshoi Ballet company and she was made to dance this role.  Her technique, convincing portrayal of Medora and her overall grace and elegance showed the essence of a true ballerina in all her glory.

To experience the opulence and grandeur that is The Bolshoi Ballet company is to delight in the true tradition of ballet and appreciate the history and splendor behind this awe-inspiring company.

Photo (top): Maria Alexandrova of The Bolshoi Ballet as Medora in Le Corsaire. Photo by Darren Thomas.

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