Soares and Nunez are both dancers of the highest calibre.
John Cranko’s Onegin has returned to the Royal Opera House for the Royal Ballet’s 2015 Winter Season! During the second performance on the opening day, real-life couple Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez tackled the roles of Eugene Onegin and Tatiana Larina with Vadim Muntagirov making his debut as Onegin’s friend, Lensky.
After witnessing Nunez’s Kitri three times over, I didn’t think it possible for her to create a more well-defined character. Alas, she proved me wrong! From the opening scene it is evident that Nunez has absolute authority over Tatiana’s character – moving from the childish bookworm to the pained lover. While her flawless dancing goes without saying, her particular control last night surely sent shivers down several spines.
As Onegin, Soares is convincing and secure, portraying the mysterious man of Tatiana’s dreams with great comfort and ease.
Japanese First Soloist Akane Takada portrayed Tatiana’s sister Olga and teased with ravishing lines and bewitching balances. Undoubtedly, Takada is a rising star of the ballet and boasts a variety of strengths. Muntagirov – who danced alongside Takada in Don Quixote in the Autumn season – joins her on-stage once more as Olga’s lover and Onegin’s friend, Lensky.
Muntagirov’s jumps and extensions carry an immaculate elasticity and grace – each leap and line perfectly positioned for a picture. In Act 2, he awed with a passionate variation full of tantalising turns.
Nunez’s true artistry is seen when she enters as an older Tatiana in Act 3, her childish qualities replaced by elegant maturity. No longer does she travel with the quick, seemingly un-calculated movements of a young girl, but instead moves across the space with an elusive allure.
In the final pas de deux – by far the most breathtaking of the ballet – Soares and Nunez come together to make an unforgettable pairing. Through a stunning score and daring partnering, their raw emotions allowed the audience to witness artistry at its peak.
Without a doubt, Soares and Nunez are both dancers of the highest calibre – presenting strong technique, a unique style and an outpouring of true emotions at each and every performance.
Onegin will continue to run at the Royal Opera House until 27 February, 2015 with Natalia Osipova and Matthew Golding making their debut on 30 January. For tickets and further details visit the website of the Royal Opera House. [Viva Thianela!]