At a train station of the St Petersburg Railway, I arrive. A prologue, in Moscow. In the State Theatre, first viewing. Live streaming on Ballet TV, the second. As the engine smoke clears, I get my bearings. Taking my seat on the platform, in both audiences, I am rendered diminutive. The station is a vast cavern, looming overhead. It is a projection, but it is so cinematically real in its rendering. I might be experiencing the Australian Ballet’s new co-production with the Joffrey Ballet of Yuri Possokhov’s “Anna Karenina,” but I am also visiting a friend: Tolstoy’s timeless literary work. And not unlike Anna herself feeling that “everything was beginning to go double in her soul,” I am in 2022 and I am in the Industrial age Tolstoy so opposed.
Robyn Hendricks in “Anna Karenina” by Yuri Possokhov. Photograph by Jeff Busby