sat 21/09/2019

The Blue God/ The Firebird, Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siècle, London Coliseum | reviews, news & interviews

The Blue God/ The Firebird, Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siècle, London Coliseum

The Blue God/ The Firebird, Les Saisons Russes du XXI Siècle, London Coliseum

Russian Diaghilevfest kicks off with half-authentic homage to artistic fantasy

Ilze Liepa as the goddess in the Lotus Flower entwined with Nikolai Tsiskaridze's Blue GodM Logvinov

Anyone who feels, as I do, that the Aesthetic Movement's "cult of beauty" now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum can't compare with the fabulous Ballets Russes exhibition which went before it can dine again on a feast of Russian colour at the Coliseum. You'll eventually be rewarded, in this Kremlin Ballet-based company's first show, with the closest to the spirit of 1910 a recent London Firebird has ever come. Whether the choreography and the music for The Blue God have more than the loosest connection with Diaghilev is another matter.

Ilze Liepa and Nikolai Tsiskaridze don't have much to do beyond posing, looking mysterious and/or gracious and imitating temple dance with elaborate arm movements

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Programmes had gone up to £10 by the second performance! Watching Nikolai Tsiskaridze simper and mince as titlular Blue God was an insult to the memory of Nijinsky - shame on all concerned! I turned in my tickets for the other two programmes and will sit at home with my Boris Koschko book on the Ballets Russes; looking at Bakst's designs and listen to the original scores used will probably bring me closer to the originals than this farago.

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