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  • 04 / 19 / 2010

ballet silfides

It is now 10 years since the iconic Lowry opened its doors, a decade of theatrical premieres, innovation and classic events with some of the world’s finest actors, performers and dance companies - last night, with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the bar
was raised.

To further whet the appetite one of ballet’s finest companies welcomed a return appearance by one of its most talented graduates, Carlos Acosta, now principal guest artist with the Royal Opera Ballet.

Within half a dozen steps it was clear why Cuba’s premiere company has such world renown and it took just that same time scale to have many in the audience wondering just why these great dancers were performing to a recorded sound track.

In truth, the absence of an orchestra had been widely publicised but no amount of fair warning can compensate for the lack of depth and warmth provided by dedicated musicians - nor for the irritating sound quality of recorded music.

That apart, Ballet Nacional de Cuba provided enough fireworks on stage to have the sell out audience captivated.

Last night it was The Magic of Dance with scenes from classic ballets including Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote.

It was in the latter that Acosta, sprang on stage and immediately his athleticism, grace and power was there for all to see and admire, which of course they did. Was there ever any doubt?

Any thought that this might be a one-star show was dispelled in the opening scene with Sadaise Arenciba a breathtakingly graceful Giselle and later, Anette Delgado and Javier Torres brought a striking warmth to a scene from Sleeping Beauty.

Taking the accolades last night, Yanela Pinera, who is both classically pure and elegant and, alongside Acosta, she filled the stage with a delightful elegance. Simply superb.

The evening was completed with a scene from the ballet based on Gottschalke Symphony which gave the event a much wanted and much welcomed Caribbean-flavour.

Ballet Nacional de Cuba will complete its short run at The Lowry with three performances of Swan Lake - no Acosta this time but with this excellent company it is a "must see" for all dance lovers.


By Malcolm Handley


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