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In this issue | Short summary
  2 [150]  March-April 2008 
Following the tradition, the BALLET THEME column opens the years first issue, carrying on the discussion of currently important problem of contemporary ballet life. The Magazines Editor-in-chief Valeria Uralskayas dialogue with Marina Leonova,  President of the Moscow Choreography Academy, was in essence a talk about one general problem: how new concepts in training, further development of ballet theater, and renewal of its repertoire all correlate with this institution of classical dance training, most rich in tradition. The tenor of Leonovas opinions reveals both her concern about certain processes that take place and her daring will to find out what is the most urgent and fundamental in making school a theater of the future. The concept of the 21st century theater is evolving fast. Not only must we not ignore this fact, but we must welcome it and, ever adapting to the situation, find appropriate correlations and leverages that would let us develop while preserving and preserve while developing.

THE SOUL OF DANCE AWARD WINNERS column contains a set of materials. 
The first article is one by Vitaly Vulf about Natalia Bessmertnova. Bessmertnovas weightless dance is forever imprinted in my memory. The romantic ballerina had worked at the Bolshoy Theater for thirty-four years. She first appeared there in the Seventh Waltz of Chopiniane. Her  most delicate sense of style and the spiritual focus of her dance immediately drew general attention to her unique talent. But her hour of triumph was yet to come. Two years later she danced Giselle with Mikhail Lavrovsky, and is was a tremendous success. The writer describes the parts that the ballerina danced in Swan Lake (in Grigorovichs rendering), A Legend of Love, Romeo and Juliet, and Ivan the Terrible. I think that, apart from Giselle, the ballerina had never reached such heights as she did in the part of Anstasia. Her plastique evolved from an in-depth knowledge of iconography, and the character she depicted somehow brought to mind the paintings of [the Russian painter] Vrubel. The writer goes on to analyze what has happened at the Bolshoy Theater during the last twelve years, a story worthy of the pen of a master novelist. Bessmertnova keeps allegiance to her past, albeit she does not like to talk about it. What can one do if the Bolshoy found no use for her confident excellence? 
L. Mayskayas essay about Margarita Drozdova, principal dancer for the K. S. Stanislavsky and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater of Moscow, begins with a recollection of the unique production of Swan Lake by Vladimir Burmeister. It was in it that Margarita Drozdova, a pupil of the remarkable instructor Sulamith Messerer, first appeared forty years ago. Everybody immediately accepted and loved her. She had excited interest in such diverse choreographers as Vladimir Burmeister and Alexei Chichinadze, Constantin Sergeyev and Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasiliov, Dmitry Briantsev and Tom Shilling. They all staged ballets with her individuality in view. Characters created by Drozdova had turned from just types into real and unordinary human beings.

 In due time Margarita Sergeevna became a ballet repetiteur and, having lost none of her experience as a ballerina, never ceased to be an artist and creator.
  Vladimir Tolstukhin recount his life in art by himself. His memoirs are dedicated to his years of training at the Choreography School in Perm and his instructors there, to working in his hometown of Gorky at the local A. S. Pushkin Opera and Ballet Theater, and to various parts he has performed. It was not long before I  started thinking about teaching, about accuracy of performing the ballet steps later I felt a strong urge to teach. His fortunes brought him to the State Institute of Theatrical Arts and acquainted with remarkable instructors and living legends of ballet, such as Rostislav Zakharov, Marina Semionova, Aleksandr Lapauri, and Larisa Struchkova. The writer recollects his lessons under Maris Liepa, German Pribylov, Tamara Tkachenko, and  Eugenia Valukhina. Having acquired knowledge and a degree in ballet training, Vladimir Tolstukhin found himself in his alma mater in Perm. From the outset my career as an instructor promised no easy victories. I thought I knew a lot, but putting that knowledge in practice turned out quite difficult My creed is never to accept as axiom everything that has been discovered but to seek new ways. To the contrary, it is theorems that require proof that the instructors job consists of.
Maria Mulyash is known in the artistic circles as ballet mom, and this is quite an eloquent phrase as related to a person who is not directly involved in ballet. Thus Viacheslav Gordeyev, the Peoples Artist of the USSR, opens his article. Maria Borisovna has for many years worked as music editor for the Russia State Concert Hall and been a most faithful promoter of ballet among her colleagues. Thanks to Maria Mulyash the Russia Hall became a platform for ballet evenings; moreover, ballet pieces have become included in pop programs and variety shows. Maria Borisovna is an amazing person, a person of rare moral virtues. I personally have special reasons to bear Maria Borisovna sincere respect, admiration and affection. Our unclouded friendship and mutual affection is decades old. It started when she first offered me to perform on stage of the Russia Hall and when she actively helped me conduct my first recitals.
The article about Vladimir Balakhtin is titled Kalinka, Rosinka and Rus such are the names of ensembles and a school that he has created and led over years. Today Balakhtin is one of very few district culture officials who are choreographers by training. Since 1992 Vladimir Ivanovich has headed the Culture Department (formerly Commission) of the Vladimir Oblast, being for all practical purposes the regions minister of culture. He has initiated, and actively participated in, a huge number of projects, programs, and undertakings in all spheres of the regions cultural life.  In particular, he supports the important festival of Russian folk dance, They Sing and Dance in a Ring all over Russia.  A part of the soul of Vladimir Ivanovich Balakhtin, that attentive mentor and educator, can be found in everything by which the art of dance, both professional and amateur, lives in the Vladimir district. 
 Aleksandra Timofeyeva is no novice on the ballet stage. Having graduated from the Moscow Choreography Academy in 2000 she was offered the position of principal dancer at the Kremlin Ballet Theater. During her very first season she appeared as Mary in The Nutcracker. After the successful debut the ballerinas repertoire began to expand. Today it includes, among others, Cinderella and Odetta/Odillia (Swan Lake), Juliet and Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), and Firebird. All her roles she prepares under her instructor Ekaterina Maksimiva. It is the latter, the magnificent ballerina of the Bolshoy Theater turned instructor for young female dancers, whose dialogue with Roman Volodchikov, the Magazines own correspondent, about her pupil is presented here. 
Pavel Yashchenkovs essay is dedicated to Ivan Vasiliev, whose artistic life began with a quick ascent, such as does not often happen in the ballet world. By seventeen he had already won several international competitions and received offers from prestigious ballet companies, including American Ballet Theater. 
He had chosen the Bolshoy Theater, where within just one month he performed a solo part in Don Quixote and won the Triumph Prize. His repertoire includes Colin in A Futile Precaution and the Golden Godling in La Bayad?re.  There are also several concert pieces, including contemporary ones, plus the ballet The Vision of a Rose, where he resembles Nijinsky, both in appearance and leap. Currently Vasiliev is rehearsing Spartacus under Yuri Vladimirov, his permanent ballet repetiteur at the Bolshoy Theater. His assuming that part in the existing production is scheduled for this coming April. 
 

The BALLET-PARADE column opens with Julia Lidovas article dedicated to the Dance Inversion International Contemporary Dance Festival which took place in Moscow at the end of last year. The writer thoughtfully analyses five foreign companies productions that have proved quite unequal, of which three out of five lacked dance as such. It proved difficult at this years Festival to ascertain a uniting concept as well as to understand principles of repertoire build up, which was supposed to mark new trends and reveal new meanings.
Natalia Sheremetievskaya reports of a concert by participants of the Step Dance World Championship that recently took place at Riesa, Germany, where Russian dancers won six medals. The concert, which took place at the end of last year, once again proved the confident mastership of the Russians. The writer presents the concerts participants and concludes, What is especially important is that there was no aping American style in their performances no tail-coats, silk hats, or corresponding gestures, the things that the world has long mastered. Almost all pieces by the Russians frankly declared original Russian style boldness, excess, joyful view of life. 

The NEW BALLET column presents Olga Goncharovas review of the ballet Anyuta produces at the Opera and Ballet Theater of Voronezh. Two years ago, Vladimir Vasiliev staged Cinderella there, and now Anuita upholds the fruitful cooperation. 

At the opening night the part of Peter Leontievich was danced by Vasiliev himself, who not only staged the ballet as choreographer but in the past was the first ever performer of the part. Prior to this show, he had not appeared on stage for over five years, and now he seemed to have brought out everything that had accumulated in him during those years, from rollicking dances at a ball to tears frozen in his eyes. The other artists, quite on the level with the ma?tre, looked like those who yearn for creativity and unquestionably believe in the choreographer and in what they are doing. The result of it all was a great ballet.
Anna Grutsynova shares here her impressions of a new work by the Moscow Russian Chamber Ballet, which presented two productions in one opening night Terraclinium by choreographer Nikita Dmitrievsky and the one-acter A Young Lady and a Bully, staged by Nikolai Markariants and restored by G. Budko. The combination was, admittedly, paradoxical, yet the writer managed to find a specific meaning to it. The first show immerses one into dreary entrails of the unconscious and strikes one with a galore of associations along the lines of East vs. West. The second one requires active perception and empathy. To the tunes by Dmitry Shostakovich, devoid of any special pathos or politics, tastefully and without pressure, the audiences were given a story of all times. 

A chronicle titled The Age of Diaghilev is dedicated to the history of the famous Russian Seasons of Sergey Diaghilev, which had moved the world closer together and revolutionized the notions of its artistic boundaries. The Diaghilevs effort is nearing its 100th anniversary, but it still agitates all those dealing with culture and affects the development of both artistic thought and creative initiatives. In the course of thirty years the Russian Seasons had defined the tone of European and American artistic life. Diaghilev had engaged the most prominent masters, while forming, by sly degrees, the whole currents in the world arts. Paying tribute to our great compatriot, whose name, to our opinion, is yet to be immortalized in his homeland, the Magazine opens a chronicle of the Russian Seasons. 
It is half a century that the mini-masterpiece by Kasian Goleyzovsky, The Russian Dance to the music of Tchaikovsky, has been living on stage. A beauty in a sarafan enters the stage and, having waved her handkerchief, makes a first step and it seems that the dance is as young as the dancer herself, writes Rimma Petrova, who was the first performer of The Russian Dance. Excerpts from her notes of the dances creation are published here under the TIME OF BALLET column. Rimma Leonidovnas memoirs are complemented by the choreographer and instructor Manokhin, who too was fortunate enough to work with the great master. He prepared this publication in cooperation with B. Kaitmazova. 
   -- Under the same column, the remarkable ballerina Alla Osipenko talks about Rudolf Nureyev. Much has been written about him as a dancer, but very little is known of him as a person. Osipenko certainly knows him better than others: she suffered sanctions because she had been his last dancing partner at the Kirov Ballet. Later in Paris, after he defected, she had much communicated with him and with his admirers outside of theater. Alla Osipenko remembers her first meeting with the great dancer after 28 years of parting; his high-pitched part in the ballet The Greatcoat; his plans of opening his own school; his dreams to dance A Legend of Love; and much more. 
-- Natalia Sadovskaya tells a story of Ekaterina Geltser, who turned out the last ballerina of the imperial ballet and became the first titled prima of the Soviet era. This fascinating commentary depicts her half-century-long artistic career and her ballet parts that had always been marked with vivacity of characters and acting expressiveness. The same story also relates of her famous father, Vasily Geltser, a remarkable mime, who had uninterruptedly worked at the Bolshoy Theater since 1856, co-authored the libretto of Swan Lake, taught mimicry and plastic arts at the ballet school, and eventually became a stage director for the Bolshoy. 

 The WORLD OF BALLET column in this issue is dedicated to two countries Israel and Bulgaria. The regular International Exposure Fair took place in Tel-Aviv. Ekaterina Vasenina covers new ballet productions shown there. Sofia hosted the seventh Contemporary Choreography Competition named after Margarita Arnaudova, who had for many years led the Arabesque troupe. The contest upholds the tradition of seeking fruitful cooperation between Bulgarian composers and choreographers. A member of the jury Mila Iskreneva shares here her impressions of the competition. 

The BALLET READINGS column, which acquaints the reader with the major currents in contemporary studies in ballet and theater, presents articles by Olga Ivata and Nadezhda Vikhreva. One deals with Japanese ballet and its influence on the development of Russian school of classical dance, while the other is dedicated to systems of recording orchestic texts. 
Nina Alovert portraits the late choreographer Igor Chernyshev. He was one of the most original dancers at the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater of Leningrad, an innovator choreographer of 1960s and 1970s, whose talent was not given a chance to fully unfold on stage of his home theater. Yet what he had created as a dancer and a choreographer will go down in history of Russian ballet.

MEDICINE SERVES BALLET is a new column dedicated to ballet artists professional health and announced here by its editor Peter Popov, a well-known physician, the developer of unique methods of healing and rehabilitation, the creator of The Third Medicine medical center, who has returned many patients the joy of feeling harmony in their bodies. Articles will be addressed to artists and will discuss various traumas, their prevention and healing. Specifically, traumas of heel tendon, foot and spine are planned to be discussed. I want not only to raise awareness of these problems in the Ballet magazine but to start solving them, writes Popov. 

Among the INFORM-BALLET materials are the following. 
Coverage of an international scholarly and practical conference dedicated to the centenary of Rostislav Zakharov, an outstanding practitioner of the Soviet ballet, who had formed the foundation of the worlds first system of higher education of choreographers.
The Jaguar Art-Club housed an art exhibition Dreams of Ballet by Natalia Alexeeva-Schtolder. Olga Shkarpetkina had a chat with the artist and learned many interesting things, which she shares here. 
The well-known Vesliana Ensemble of Uralian Dance attached to the Perm Institute of Arts and Culture took part in the International Art Festival in Spain. Professor Tatiana Kazarinova, who acted as artistic director of the tour, gives an account, upon a kindly request by the Editorial Board, of the companys performance. 

The Post Scriptum by Editor-in-Chief, Valeria Uralskaya, has a question for the title: Is it Actors that Rule the Craft? Now if we were to answer that question we would first of all use the word personality. It is precisely personalities that todays ballet theater lacks. Individuality is hard to find these days. If an artist has nothing to tell, then the audience has nothing to hear (or see), so much less to get astounded. Ballet theater is an art of high style, where the place of dominant influence must not remain vacant. 
 


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