Staging ballet is a staggeringly expensive business. A large corps of dancers, an accompanying orchestra and the essential entourage providing off-stage support don’t come cheap.
So to be able to enjoy world-class ballet for as little as £22 at the Lighthouse is an exceptionally good deal, and one that attracted a near-capacity audience, even in these recessionary times.
This was an enjoyably traditional interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet: the music was magnificent, the sets were sumptuous and the dancing sublime.
Ballet has been described as the art of making the painfully strenuous look effortless and graceful. On all counts the Moscow City Ballet, which has been around for 24 years now, succeeds.
One could almost believe dancers had discovered how to defeat gravity as energetic but graceful dance sequences flowed in flawless succession.
In some ways it’s invidious to pick out individual performers where the corporate standard is so high, but the Jester, Odette, Odile, the Sorceror and the Prince all deserve special mention, even though the choreography deferred the Prince’s opportunities to shine at his brightest until Acts 3 and 4.
It seems that ballet is undergoing something of a revival in this country at present. Given productions of this quality and value, I’m not surprised.