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BWW Review: ANNA KARENINA at Opera Wroclaw

To say it was beautiful is like saying nothing.

BWW Review: ANNA KARENINA at Opera Wroclaw

I had high expectations for this ballet, after all it is based on a Tolstoy novel and he was a real master of the word. I wondered how this could be staged without saying a word and without losing the essence of the story. Well, it is possible and you can see it at the Wrocław Opera House. Even though the plot is simpler, there are fewer characters and it is impossible to appreciate the words of Tolstoy, I liked it a lot.

Anna Karenina, a well-known and respected mother and wife, one day met Count Vronsky, who was going to turn his world upside down. The main theme is their love and her struggle. She can't decide whether to leave an elderly, wealthy husband and son acting against social norms or leave her big love. I won't reveal what she did, but you can guess how it should be in Russian stories, there is a tragedy.

The play itself is easy to watch and smooth, no problem to feel it even without words. And the images on stage... they are just beautiful and elegant. Mostly because there are dark. Dark and red, like passion and sadness. The dancers are perfectly synchronized, incredibly dressed (big applause for Julia Skrzynecka and Agata Roguska) in a beautiful but dark setting - it's a train station, it's also a one-way tunnel. For Anna, there is no turning back, her meeting with Wronski puts her life on these rails and she can't control it, even if she tries.

I was lucky enough to see this show as a Natsuki Katayama goodbye and she performed with many emotions ranging from happiness, ecstasy to doubt, despair and madness. She is an amazing dancer and truly gifted performer. Seeing her on the stage for the last time was even more emotional for me.

There are sight scenes that I remember: first encounter of Anna and her lover filled with tenderness, tension and hesitation. Vronsky (always astonishing Łukasz Ozga) is gentle, but kind of insane and persevering, his cuteness is superficial, he expects huge sacrifices for this affection. I was also surprised by the scene with Karenin - Daniel Agudo Gallardo and his wife, they fight and, although it's hard to understand, their piquees and pirouettes make them more real. The final scene is breathtaking, but you should see it for yourself.

It's a really well done show with emotions, an atmosphere that is difficult to simulate. I really recommend and deeply regret that not all train stations are like in this ballet.

Photo: Joanna Stoga

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