Europe Experiences

Her Name Was Carmen – A Deadly Cocktail of Passion and Tragedy


It’s not every day that you can watch a ballet as topical as this one. Set in a refugee camp in the Balkans, St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre have innovatively transformed Mérimée’s classical novella, Her Name was Carmen, to a attract a wider and younger audience to the London Coliseum. This contemporary production is performed by 50 dancers in two parts and the English National Opera have truly done justice to Bizet’s beautiful score.

Carmen finds refuge in a camp after her family is torn apart by people smugglers, one of whom is smitten with her. The drama unfolds when the smuggler torments the other refugees to track her down, only to find her in love with one of the police guards.
The vibrant and colourful costumes are a symbol of the diversity in the camps and also of hope amongst the suffering and anguish. Although the cast are not always synchronised in their movements, they aptly use Kostel’s unique choreography and fence props to bring the tragic story to life.

The world renowned Irina Kolesnikova does not disappoint, delivering an unforgettable Habanera solo and passionate duet with Dmitry Akulinin. Irina’s powerful performance was drawn from her own experience of visiting the Balkans refugee camps and truly portrayed the fear, sorrow yet hopefulness felt by many.
This is one of the most unique and timely opportunities to experience the refugee crisis through dramatic art. Be inspired by Her Name was Carmen, on until the 28th of August at the London Coliseum.

This production is in collaboration with SPBT and Oxfam and one pound from every ticket will be donated to refugees in the Western Balkans. At the request of Irina, don’t forget to Instagram the performance and show your support to the many thousands of refugees around the world. #irinatheuglyduckling

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