Tuesday, March 5

Snow Maiden – Hull New Theatre

Winter is my favourite season, so you can imagine my glee when snow fell in Hull on Monday evening – huge flakes, too.

The fact that the snow only fell inside the Hull New Theatre didn’t dampen by excitement, as it was the beautiful, wintry backdrop to Snow Maiden, performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia.

This amazing backdrop was almost as awe-inspiring as the talented ballet dancers and the magical music, played live by The Russian State Ballet Orchestra, under the baton of Anatoliy Chepurnoy.

The story centres around a beautiful Snow Maiden (Natalia Bobrova) and her lust to escape life in the forest, even though she is surrounded by her lovely snowflake friends.

Her dad, Father Frost (Grigorii Botenkov) sees how unhappy his daughter is and, reluctantly, lets her visit the nearby village of Berendeyevka.

As the villagers gather to celebrate their winter festival, the Snow Maiden is asked to join the dancing by local shepherd, Lel (Yury Kudryavtsev) and pretty soon she is the toast of the village.

Later on, a young merchant called Mizgir (Georgy Bolsunovskii) arrives, hoping to find himself a bride – settling on the lovely Kupava (Anna Fedosova), who is delighted to be chosen.

However, Mizgir espies the Snow Maiden and its curtains for the heartbroken Kupava.

All this attention is too much for the Snow Maiden and she runs off to find her mother, Spring (Kseniia Liapina) to beg her to grant her the capacity to love. Spring bestows this gift on her daughter but warns her to keep out of the sunshine.

I think you can guess what happens to the love-struck girl, as she reunites with her love under a blazing sun. Happy ending it ain’t, but the ending was quite spectacular.

I might have given too much of the storyline’s ending away, but that shouldn’t detract from the wonderful spectacle of seeing such a mesmerising production in all its glory.

The whole event was a feast for the eyes, with the fabulous backdrop changing constantly, from falling snow, to moving water, to rising plumes of smoke, to bright sunshine. At times, I didn’t know what to focus on, the stage setting or the dancers. Both were captivating and I didn’t want to miss a second of either.

And all the while the haunting music of Tchaikovsky filled the theatre.

I haven’t a clue about the names of the ballet steps; but for me it is the whole package – the stage setting, the music and lighting, the costumes and, of course, the corps de ballet.

Witnessing the strength, grace and beauty of such super talents almost leaves me lost for words. so just one springs to mind – unforgettable!

Performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia who will also perform Cinderella (Tuesday, January 18th), Romeo and Juliet (Wednesday, January 19th), Swan Lake (Thursday, January 20th and Friday, January 21st) and The Nutcracker (Saturday, January 22nd); 7.30pm nightly with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday, January 22nd

Tickets from £23. Call (01482) 300306 or visit www.hulltheatres.co.uk

Reviewer: Jackie Foottit

Reviewed: 17th January 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★