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In this issue | Short summary
№  2 [144] March - April 2007 

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.
Yelena     Presniakova's     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. 
Juliana MalkhasiantzPortraits 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. Konstantin Ivanov
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.
Natalia OsipovaProfessor 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,    a  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.
Ballet SeagallChoreographer 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".
Romeo and JulietThe 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, New Choreography Workshop at hte Bolshoi Theaterdedicated 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 ballerina."
The INFORM-BALLET column ritually presents the country's ballet scene
Vera Chistiakova presents the premiere production of Esmeralda at Kremlin Ballet, staged by the Theater's art director AndreiPetrov.
Pavel     Yashchenkov     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. Ivan Vasiliev as KolenThis season has already seen three new principal dancers admitted to the troupe. These are the already mentioned Ivan Vasiliev, Artiom Shpilevsky and Andrei Merkuriev.
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     Yevdokia
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."
 


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