Evgenia Obraztsova, Odette & Odile
The Royal Ballet, Evgenia Obraztsova performances of Swan Lake on 21 March 2015.
“The principal couple were Steven McRae and guest artist Evgenia Obraztsova, from the Bolshoi. She is an enchanting Odette-Odile, with a lovely singing line, but on this occasion appeared nervous, and despite McRae’s most assiduous attentions, the partnership never really fired. An electric pairing lifts this production, but last week its shortcomings were all too apparent. I know long-term Royal Ballet fans who have vowed not to return to Swan Lake until this production is replaced.” londondance.com
“Magic cannot coexist with social realism. The landscape of the ballet should be mythic and romantic in character, and within this context, the proper protocols and hierarchies must be observed. We must believe in this court and this imaginary kingdom. We must care about its prince, and understand the grave consequences of a failure of succession. In the present version, the kingdom is a moral wasteland and the court cynical and decadent. There’s no tension because all is already lost. There’s nothing left for love to redeem. This sense of hopelessness is reinforced by the designs. The front-cloth for Act 2 suggests lacy underwear, and not in a good way. The corps is framed by a set more appropriate to a touring ice show. Their knee-length costumes badly occlude the balletic line. If the new production – and by extension the Royal Ballet itself – is to be taken seriously on the world stage, the swans need proper classical tutus.” londondance.com