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The Magic Flute
The English National Opera will be reviving 'The Magic Flute' in February 2016, with Allan Clayton as Tamino, Lucy Crowe as Pamina, and Peter Coleman-Wright as Papageno. This review is of the production's initial run in 2013. Given that Mozart’s late...Classical and opera Thursday February 11 2016 - Wednesday March 9 2016Read more
A mid-19th century community's way of life is under threat from war, and their priestess Norma has fallen in love with an enemy soldier. As disaster threatens, she's ready to sacrifice everything. Christopher Alden directs the ENO's first ever production...Classical and opera Wednesday February 17 2016 - Friday March 11 2016Read more
English National Opera follows up last year's starry, semi-staged production of Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd' by affording the same treatment to Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Sunset Boulevard'. And they've got quite the star lined up: Glenn Close will play fading...Musicals Friday April 1 2016 - Saturday May 7 2016Read more
The ENO will revive 'Madam Butterfly' in May 2016, with American soprano Rena Harms in the title role. This review is from the production's 2013 run. Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella brought the whole of his cinematic sensibility to bear...Classical and opera Monday May 16 2016 - Tuesday June 7 2016Read more
Tristan and Isolde
Hotly-tipped young director Daniel Kramer takes on the classic Wagner opera of romance and doomed love. Wagnerian Heldentenor Stuart Skelton will play Tristan, while American dramatic soprano Heidi Melton will take the role of leading lady Isolde. With designs...Classical and opera Thursday June 9 2016 - Saturday July 9 2016Read more
Czech composer Janáček's heart-rending opera gets an Olivier-award winning staging from director David Alden. When Jenůfa's baby is found dead on the day of her wedding, her Eastern Bloc village demands justice. American soprano Laura Wilde plays Jenůfa,...Classical and opera Thursday June 23 2016 - Friday July 8 2016Read more
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Not only is this one of the most stunning, buildings in London, swimming in a sea of timeless theatre wonder, it is also home to the English Natioanl Ballet. If you don't know much about Ballet, this company is a must see, seriously, get on down there now, tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, you can't go wrong!
Review of Eifman’s Ballet – “Anna Karenina”
Last Saturday, on the 19th of April 2014 I visited the London Coliseum to see a Russian Modern Ballet from St. Petersburg, “Anna Karenina”, created by Boris Eifman.
The hosting theatre – the London Coliseum, is full of that charming Art Nouveau atmosphere making much smoother this Time Passage from the Present to the 19th century tragic Russian story, created by Leo Tolstoy.
The ballet is based on the famous novel, “Anna Karenina”, and predominately concentrates on the love triangle between Anna, her conservative husband Karenin and the dashing Vronsky. It opens up in a burst of psychological energy making an indelible impression upon its viewers.
Every twisted and extremely expressive movement of Anna Karenina’s body leads the viewer from the peak of her love passion to the gradual degradation of her inner world, crushed by the same passion. Lovers’ souls and bodies are entwined in incredible harmony. The building up of their passion is expressed through the light and colors. Black, golden-grey and creamy white colors dominate the ballet’s pallet helping to communicatethe emotional mood of heroes together with the dark and the light sides of Anna’s soul.
Two beds: Anna’s marital couch and her lover’s “retreat” act as “supportive actors”, witnessing the development of the tragedy.
Anna and her husband’s acting is saturated with poses of rejection, prayers, grief, sorrows and anger. At the same time Anna and Vronsky’s bodies are entwined like branches of trees in complicated and amazingly smooth transformational poses. Lovers are in white, reminiscent of love doves. Anna’s silky night dress makes the gravity disappear under the ballerina’s feet, leaving her entirely in the power of her lover, whilst her black, mourning outfit pulls her to this “sinful” earth. Every gesture, turn or movement of the dancers is full of meaning. Their suppleness and flexibility are tested to the limit of a human body’s capability.
Condemning society, Anna’s husband, together with the male group of dancers, smeared in fuel oil and dirt represent the churning and rattling wheels of trains, , even her little son, all are dressed in black, mourning Anna’s destroyed inner world, anticipating her madness and sacrifice.
All this highly charged emotional performance is well accentuated by the minimum use of light, mostly spotlights combined with the ever moving music of Tchaikovsky.
This classical drama goes so well with the innovative, creative and very talented modern choreography of Eifman. It slowly reveals itself against the background of the romantic surroundings and the luxurious vintage interior of the London Coliseum, leaving the audience with an absolutely unforgettable experience. By Nadine Platt