I didn’t quite know what to expect when asked to review The Russian Cossacks, the latest show from the Russian State Dance Ensemble.
Twelve hours later, I’m still trying to catch my breath.
From the opening scene a feast of colour exploded on to the stage with the arrival of dozens of dancers in traditional Cossack dress, ballet dancing with sabres.
Behind them incredible musicians played accordions, and bass balalaikas – extraordinary, huge triangle-shaped stringed instruments.
Split into pieces by dancers, musicians and singers, they combined to perform soaring numbers which went straight to the heart – despite me not understanding a word they were singing about.
There were dizzying scenes where dancers twirled like whirling dervishes doing the Cossack prisyadka moves. And there was a beautifully choreographed moment when all the dancers emerged from a giant Russian doll.
The pace of the show was relentless and even though the thought of listening to traditional Russian folk music for two hours might be a bit off-putting, combined with the spectacular dancing and music, it was superb.
Two hours of pure joy.