Ballet News Reviews | The Mikhailovsky Ballet | Laurencia
The Mikhailovsky Ballet
Tuesday, 2nd April 2013
Laurencia is Mikhail Messerer’s production based on Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna. It’s a short ballet – less than 2 hours including the interval – and it fairly zips along. It felt a little flat after the fireworks and, well, fantasmagorical, Don Quixote of the weekend, with a fairly weak story but danced very strongly by the entire cast.
Ivan Vasiliev took a while to feel his stride, but when he did, it was magic.
Natalia Osipova never put a pointe shoe wrong, and her acting is as fine as ever. I can only hope that she joins The Royal Ballet soon on a permanant contract so that she can expand her repertoire into Manon, Romeo & Juliet, Rite of Spring and the rest. She has so much more to give, and now is her time. Her performance tonight was a little muted, though crystalline sharp as ever. It’s rare and lovely to see the Principals dancing in with the rest of the cast, and the Pas de six, with Osipova & Vasiliev, Victoria Kutepova, Valeria Zapasnikova, Nikolay Korypayev and Andrey Yakhnyuk was a treat.
Olga Semyonova danced a fluent Flamenco, aided by Andrey Kasyanenko and Alexander Omar, and two of the Peasant Girls : Pascuala (Sabina Yapparova) and Jacinta (Oksana Bondareva) were extremely well danced.
The story goes that the Spanish villagers are awating the return of their Commander and begin dancing. The grumpy Commander arrives and takes a shine to Laurencia, who doesn’t return it. She and her friend Pascuala are detained by his soldiers but manage to escape. Frondoso meets Laurencia by a forest stream and declares his love for her. There’s more trouble when the Commander discovers them while out hunting, but it’s not long before Laurencia agrees to marry Frondoso. Unfortunately, during the wedding celebrations the Commander arrives to exact revenge on them, and they are taken to his castle. Laurencia, by now battered, rallies the villagers and they storm the castle.
It’s a slight story, but it’s well acted and danced – there’s just not enough for the stars to do.
Osipova comes into her own as she encourages the villagers to fight back; she’s a one woman whirling dervish on a mission. It takes a while for Vasiliev to match her, but he does, in ripped tights to boot.
Laurencia is in rep until 3rd April 2013
Photography throughout by Helen Maybanks