|The BALLET THEME column opensa discussion
of a whole set of topical problems related to
the present-day activities of various ballet companies.
The new millennium in Russia
hasseen an emergence of new models of administrative and artistic management
in thetheaterindustry. Thetraditionalmodesof leadership, in which
chief choreographer generally headed the ballet troupe, are being
replaced by different ones, no less interesting and efficient.
The overall picture of the development of ballet as an art form now depends
on the leader's views, aspirations and skills as well as on resources he
or she commands. An interview with Georgy
Isaakian, art director of the P. I.Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet
Theater of Perm', lays a foundation for an earnest and detailed discussion
to be continued on the Magazine's pages.
The column SOUL OF
DANCE AWARD WINNERS presents its heroes.
sketch is dedicated to the art
historian Olga Georgievna Tarasova, PhD,
professor of the Choreography Department of the Russian Theater Academy.
She herself had been trained at that school, mastering the foundations
of the art of ballet under
Leonid Lavrovsky and Rostislav Zakharov. She debuted as a staging
choreographer at the Perm' Opera and Ballet Theater. Since then she has
staged ballets at the Bolshoy Theater, in Kazan and Alma-Ata, worked at
the theaters in Japan, Germany, and Turkey. She teaches independent courses
for choreographers, and her disciples lead ballet troupes all aver the
world. "Tarasova exercises an individual approach to each one. Miracles
have happened to many of those who have been in contact with her and had
the good luck to train with her... In class, Olga Georgievna becomes a
spiritual mentor to her students, a leader in experimentation; conventionalism
is foreign to her by her very nature,."
A Story of Female Fortunes by Yelena Kozlenkova is a narrative about
Juliana Malkhasiantz, the Bolshoy
Ballet's principal dancer, the brightest star of the folk dance
on stage, which is also referred to as character dance. "An artist of great
and original talent, she created, within the framework
of the famed troupe's productions, a veritable gallery
of female portraits.
these are indeed, for every appearance of Juliana Malkhasiantz on stage,
her every dance would turn intoapicturesqueand figurative story of female
destiny." Her repetiteur, Yevgenia Farmaniantz,
professor and holder of the chair of folk dance on stage at the Moscow
Choreography Academy, relates here how Juliana Malkhasiantz's artistic
individuality and principles of dancing were formed.
Natalia Levkoyeva writes here abou Konstantin Ivanov. This
handsome, well- builtman, in possession of wonderful ballet technique,
principal dancer atthe Bolshoy Theater, a "romantic prince" on stage, on
the very peak of a dancer's career at the main theater of the land, ventured
upon a brave but risky move.
He consented to head the ballet troupe at the E. Sapayev State Opera
and Ballet Theater of Mariy-El in Yoshkar-Ola, his home town. In 2001,
he became art director of that Theater and cultural adviser to President
of the Republic of Mariy-El. Konsfantin Ivanov has greatly improved the
artistic level of his company. He was also the architect of a choreography
school there and became its principal. Today, the city has become the home
of two festivals -the Winter Nights festival and the Festival in Honor
of Galina Ulanova.
Vadim Gayevsky in his interview with Vera Chistiakova presents a young
Bolshoy Ballet star, Natalia Osipova. "Natasha is an inheritress of Moscow
ballet traditions. She is talented, exceedingly emotional, and vagarious.
She likes risk." The ballet Don Quixote has proved a special page in her
artistic life. "It all started with Kitri... It was not merely ascension
but rather a rapid, instantaneous soar. Much changed in the dancer Natalia
Osipova's fate even during the intermission after the first act; her status
changed right then". As far as ballet itself is concerned, "There happened
a long-awaited breakthrough in Don Quixote's life on stage of the Bolshoy.
Don Quixote has again become an event, just the way it had been when Olga
Lepeshinskaya, Maya Plisetskaya, and Yekaterina Maksimova had been dancing.
It has again become a spiritual property of the Bolshoy Theater."
Roman Volodchenkov's article about Christina Kretova,
young prima ballerina of the Kremlin Ballet, is headed
Goddess of Aurora. Talented, artistic, hard
working, enduring, headstrong in
achieving her goals - all
these characteristics unquestionably belong to her. She boasts all major
parts of the classical repertoire plus Naina in Ruslan and Lyudmila, and
Emseralda. "Giselle was her first part. Working on that part the young
dancer came in touch with the talented ballerina
and instructor Nina Semizorova, under whom Kretova
has since prepared all her roles".
Alia Mikhaleva's sketch Gone With the Wind presents
Tatiana Baganova and the Provincial Dances company she created. This is
perhaps the most stable and well- known Russian
contemporary dance company, award winner at many an international
festival. Tatiana Baganova is a veritable leader, both as far as her position
in the framework of this country's art is concerned and by her very nature
Her choreography, all the ever-presentand powerful inoculations of European
and American dance notwithstanding, is
always recognizable thanks
to picturesque quality and expressiveness of its content. ...Her road to
success is consistent and logical. She is a symbolic figure in the Russian
contemporary dance and an adept sought after outside of Russia as well.
Anna Korchagina describes the artistic life of Leonid Sarafanov,
a young principal dancerwiththe Mariinsky Theater. "He hasheld the position
of a leading dancer of the St. Peterburg's stage for several years now.His
repertoire is diverse; he has mastered parts in such ballets as Don Quixote,
Les Sylphides, La Bayad re, The Corsair, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and
Juliet, and Undina, as well as a great many concert pieces. His physical
instrument is perfectlyfit for dance. Dimensionless expansion,chiseled
legs, airily, as if upward shooting jump, unfailing technique - do not
all theseconstitute an ideal of a new century's dancer?"
The NEW BALLET column presents some premiere productions.
Boris Eifman from the very outset has declared his authorial ballet
theater to be that of serious drama,one that borrows plots and
emotions from serious literature. For his latest work, he chose one of
the most mysterious of Chekhov plays, The Seagull. "As is usualand customary
for him, he again has builthis own plot based on his favorite theme,
that of a duel. With The Seagull, however, he perhaps was a bit
too early or too late." Sergei Korobkov, reviewing the new production,
examines characteristics of a new Eifman, one of the most prominent among
which is a desire to make ballet theater more comprehensible and accessible
for those who have until recently never been really interested in ballet.
The last mountain has been climbed! Thus one might say about
the premiere production of Raymonda at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Now the
second greatest troupe of St. Petersburg possesses the entire classical
repertoire. Nicholai Boyarchikov, the production's art director, did not
settle for a mere verbatim transferal of the Mariinsky production, but
showed a somewhat revised version. Olga Rosanova a St. Petersburg critic,
reviewing the new production, observes, "Raymonda at the Mikhailovsky Theater
has breathed her first. The producers have not toiled in vain; the production
came off. Now its fate in is the hands of the performers."
I Larisa Abyzova's article, Pomegranate Blossom, covers the premiere
production at the Leonid Yakobson State Ballet Theater of St. Petersburg,
an authorial program in two acts made up of Georgi Aleksidze' pieces (that
count at about two dozen) composed specially for this company. New dances
by the famous choreographer have proved once again thatAleksidze's approach
stays unshaken: being inspired by music and following its flow, he always
builds up his own choreographic constructs. The large-scale program made
up of miniature pieces follows the traditions of the troupe that bears
the name of Leonid Yakobson, who was an unsurpassed adept in the genre.
"Those nights, which were completely sold out (not a frequent event in
today's St. Petersburg), should encourage the choreographer and the dancers
to further strengthen their artistic union".
new leader of the M. I. Glinka Opera and Ballet Theater of Cheliabinsk,
the young and vigorous Dennis Severinov, has included Romeo and Juliet
into the Theater's 50th anniversary season's repertoire. The troupe have
refused to duplicate any of the existing, time-proved and safe-bet choreographic
versions, but instead dared to create their own, and that, too, at such
a turbulent time as the company experiences today, which one may only compare
to the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. For this production,
the Theater engaged Constantin Uralsky, a Russian-born American choreographer.
Julia Lidova, whose review of the production is presented here, opines
that it was a happy choice and that the production proves it.
The BALLET SCENOGRAPHY column
presents Yelena Solominskaya's article, The Young Artisans, dedicated
to the New Choreography Workshop at the Bolshoy Theater. It was the third
workshop of the kind and it was expected to demonstrate the fruit of our
countrypersons' European training and experience superimposed upon their
Russian mentality and classical training. The writer not only discusses
the new compositions but also points out various problems that beset the
art of ballet.
The phrase 'The Bolshoy Theater's Video
Studio' may not sound vary familiar.
Yet, many remember the TV show A Ticket to the Bolshoy (formerly
The Entrance Door No. 15). Besides the theatergoers always
eagerly await new anniversary films about legendary dancers. All these
are being produced by the Bolshoy Theater's Video Studio which
rather resembles a small
TV company. It also makes on-air TV shows, commercials, announcements,
original films, direct airings, and prerecorded
shows. This year, The Studio celebrates its 1 Oth anniversary. The
same column features Varvara Viazovkina's
article about the Studio, including a complete list of its productions,
and an interview by the Studio's head Nikita Tikhonov.
A Ballet Gallery is a detailed historical and
analytical article by Victoria
Gerashchenko dedicated to the 275fh anniversary of Marie Camargo.
"The brilliant Hermitage Museum's collection of the I 8th century's French
art boasts a canvas that
invariably attracts the audience's attention. It
bears the heading, Nicolas Lancret. The Dancer Camargo. Is it a theatrical
scene, or a portrait, or just the painter's fantasy, who knows? Yet, neither
its modest size nor its dangerous proximity to the works of Watteau, Boucher
and Fragonard are able to shake the charms of this little masterpiece.
At the time the portrait was painted, both Camargo and Lancret, those grand
masters of the French art, were at the very peak of their artistic powers.
The most famous Parisian artist painted a portrait of the most famous Parisian
The INFORM-BALLET column ritually presents the country's ballet
Vera Chistiakova presents the premiere production of Esmeralda at
Kremlin Ballet, staged by the Theater's art director AndreiPetrov.
reports of introductions of new
performers into various ballets at the Bolshoy:
Nelly Kobakhidze has successfully put on the part of Giselle; Don Quixote
has acquired a new and young duet - Natalia Osipova who has already managed
to conquer an international audience during the recent Bolshoy's tour in
London, and the 17-year-old Ivan Vasiliev. This
season has already seen three new principal dancers admitted to the troupe.
These are the already mentioned Ivan Vasiliev, Artiom Shpilevsky and Andrei
Irina Pushkina reviews a new production of the Inferballet Dance
Theater of St. Petersburg, the spectacle Dolls, Flower sand Crumpled Paper,
composed by Larisa Ivanovo. It is a choreographic paraphrase of the original
paintings by her father, the famous artist Igor Ivanov.
In anticipation of a new summer season the Theater Media Production
Agencyis already in the process of forming aprogram for the Summer Ballet
festival. G. Viktorova and Ye. Presniakova's article reports of the Third
festival's repertoire and of the results of the Second.
The Magazine's editorial
board extend their birthday
greetings to Nataila Sheremetievskaya,
a famous researcher, critic and essayist who has authored various
works in the history of choreographic culture, and
Stepanova, an outstanding ballerina, a legend of the Yakut ballet.
A new Cinderella has appeared on stage of the Opera and Ballet
Theater of Voronezh. In fact, it is a new version by Vladimir Vasiliev,
who himself declares that he never wanted to recreate the Kremlin Ballet's
production but has aspired to make the new production even more exciting
and perhaps more contemporary than the old one.
«Water of Life» is an article
in memoriam of the famous scholar Yelena Aleksandrovna Levshina written
by her colleague Gennadi Dadamian.
The issue closed with a postscript by Editor-in-chief Valeria
Uralskaya headed Repertoire as a Mirror of Globalization.
The writer states, "Theatrical
works need frequent corrections",
which leads to the multiplying
of various versions of the same work.
"One of the goals of the living theater which preserves the ballet heritage
is to uphold the repertoire's viability. ... The main thing is to balance
all ways of forming the repertoire. Since the fall of the 'iron curtain',
many theaters all over the country have energetically enriched their
playbills with titles from
the worldwide choreography. Having cut down on their own experimentations,
many of them have gradually lost the skills of possessing their own stylistics.
At the same time, there is evident erosion of the choreographic individuality
in the classical repertoire... If globalization in ballet proves an out-and-out
process if will be too late to intellectualize about Russian ballet's identity."