Tolstoy speed read: Ratmansky’s Anna Karenina with the Mariinsky Ballet

Shchedrin: Anna Karenina ***

Diana Vishneva (Anna Karenina)
© Alex Gouliaev

Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House, 3rd August 2017

How does one condense a Tolstoy epic for the stage? Prokofiev squeezed War and Peace down to a four hour opera, although it still contains some 70 named characters in its sprawling synopsis. In Anna Karenina, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky takes a different approach, focusing almost entirely on the characters of Anna, her pent-up husband, Karenin, and her young lover, Count Vronsky. Filleting the novel to its bare essentials, his ballet, presented as the central strand of the Mariinsky’s London residency, feels like a speed read.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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