Hikaru Kobayashi and her dance partner Valeri Hristov Kobayashi took the Principal roles last night in Cape Town City Ballet’s ‘Raymonda’ (choreographed by Norman Furber) at the Artscape Opera House ~ both are First Soloists with the Royal Ballet in London. Kobayashi seemed to have had a nervous start & wasn’t on top of her game until Act 3 where she danced exquisitely, with a gorgeous line, gorgeous leg extensions and excellent footwork. Her pas de deux with Hristov was beautifully fluid and her solo so stylish~ lovely epaulement & a unique interpretation. Hristov (pictured) is an elegant dancer who only really gets a chance to show off in the third act where he performed with aplomb.
Other stand out performances for me were those of the pas de trois (trio of dancers), Jesse Milligan, Rosamund Ford and Kirstel Jensen. I’ve not seen Jesse before & he was consistent & is very promising, if a little camp, but that can be ironed out over time with coaching & experience. Jensen & Ford were fabulous~ confident & well matched dancers with solid technique, lovely ballon & great feet. I am such a ballet-feet girl~always will be. Lauren Rogers & Kim Vieira delivered a dynamic duet as the Spanish Captives~ they were so having a ball!
On the downside, I was so disappointed with Xola Putye’s performance as Abderam…he has put on way too much weight & his elevation and ease of movement suffered badly. Make no mistake though, he is an amazing dancer with a natural talent that pulled him through his performance ~ I’ve known him since his days at Dance for All where he was trained, & have always been a fan. I also found the corps de ballet struggled a bit with the waltz choreography in Act 1. Furber wrote it with loads of awkward twists & turns & it needs a lot of stamina (trust me, I remember it well from my CAPAB Ballet days); the girls petered out somewhat towards the end & the footwork became sloppy. The corps throughout the rest of the ballet looked good & danced well, especially in the third act.
The Cape Philharmonic under Allan Stephenson was superb…Glazunov’s score is magnificent and the orchestra showed it off superbly. Kudo’s to CTCB for having the live accompaniment at this season.
Book now for Raymonda via Computicket or 0214217695 @ArtscapeTheatre @CTCityBallet