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DANCE REVIEW by , 28 October 2014

Hong Kong Ballet celebrated its 35th anniversary with a mixed programme last weekend. The most publicised was the last part of the programme - Act 3 of Swan Lake. To add some glamour to the occasion as well as box-office appeal, the troupe invited two stars from the Bolshoi Ballet, principal dancer Artem Ovcharenkoand first soloist Kristina Kretovawho guested in the first two performances of this run. Incidentally the Bolshoi Ballet will perform at the Hong Kong Arts Festival next March.

The black act is not from Hong Kong Ballet’s current production of Swan Lake (by former artistic director John Meehan) but Natalia Conus'. This none too tasteful production is based on earlier Soviet productions, and includes a tedious dance for a jester and four children. The national dances were also revised. The Neapolitan dance, for instance features a female tambourine soloist and four girls.  Prince Siegfried only appears – and perfunctorily – towards the end of the divertissements to dance with the six princesses and then Odile. Fortunately the Black Swan pas de deux follows Petipa’s choreography.

The Bolshoi couple seemed restricted by the relatively small size of the stage. Yet their dancing was superb and dazzling in technical virtuosity. Kretova executed the series of multiple fouettes of the coda brilliantly and Ovcharenko’s high jumps and effortless grands jetes were glorious. The troupe’s supporting performances were spirited.

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Photo © 2014 Conrad Dy-Liacco — Kristina Kretova as Odile and Artem Ovcharenko as Siegfried in Swan Lake Act 3