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Review: The Russian State Ballet of Siberia wows audiences at Hull New Theatre

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It was so good to be back in the theatre last night to see the first offering of 2022, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia.  These dancers are regular visitors to Hull and offer a variety of different ballets to see.  This week we have:

  • Monday – Snow Maiden
  • Tuesday – Cinderella
  • Wednesday – Romeo & Juliet
  • Thursday and Friday – Swan Lake
  • Saturday – The Nutcracker

Snow Maiden is a ballet seen in Hull before, but I enjoyed last night’s production so much more than when I last saw it.  It’s a Russian folk tale.  The Snow Maiden and Father Frost (her father) live in the frozen forest.  The ballet opens with Snow Maiden playing with her friends and Father Frost (whose costume is the most beautiful blue cape with white trim, he resembles a ‘blue’ Father Christmas).

Snow Maiden is not really happy and wants to visit the nearby village.  Eventually, her father relents, and she visits as the villagers are gathering to celebrate Shrovetide.  She is spotted by one of the villagers, a shepherd called Lel, who invites her to join the celebrations.  Everyone is captivated by the Snow Maiden.  

A merchant arrives with gifts and is hopeful of winning a bride from the village girls, he picks Kupava and they dance together beautifully, he declares his love until he spots the Snow Maiden.  I felt so gutted for Kupava as he runs after the Snow Maiden and into the forest.  The pain in Kupava’s dancing and acting was so sincere.

This production has such pretty but simple costumes.  As expected, the Frost dancers are in white and look like beautiful dainty snowflakes.  The villagers are dressed in simple yet stylish dresses with the menfolk in breeches and Russian style tops.  The choreography is simple and effective for the villagers with their group dances and a Maypole.   with the soloists executing stunning leaps (jetes) and turns around the stage.   The ballet has music by that great ballet composer Tchaikovsky topping off what was a delightful production.  

Ballet lovers are in for a treat this week, with such popular ballets as mentioned above.  It is wonderful to have ballet back in our theatre and with this programme, I wish I could attend every night.  

Finally, there were one or two little ballerinas in the audience.  It was so sweet to hear the gasp as the curtain lifted at the beginning of the ballet to a setting of snowflake dancers and the snowy backdrop.  I think a dream or two was born last night.  

Find out more about the upcoming ballets at hulltheatres.co.uk.

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