The BALLET magazine introduces new winners of the Soul of Dance Award
and presents the following materials.
- This issue announces the winners of this year’s The Soul of Dance
Award and reiterates the meaning of its nominations, which are The M?itre
of Dance, The Knight of Dance, The Teacher, The Magician of Dance, The
Queen of Dance, The Star and The Rising Star.
The editorial board also informs the readers about the terms of subscription
and purchases of the periodicals Studia Antre and Linia. Balet, and presents
the questioner, Who Are You, Our Reader of 2004?
- Critic Larissa Abyzova of St. Petersburg relates of the artistic
life of one of the most brilliant dancers of our times, Igor Zelensky.
“I want to prove that I can dance anything”, he said to a reporter at the
very dawn of his star career. Not only has he kept his promise, but he
did so using his own system of argument. The article, whose genre could
be defined as a portrait of an artist, deals with such issues as what has
determined the dancer’s success, what parts he has performed, and how he
has achieved the world fame.
- Principal of the Primorsky Kray School of Choreography Victor
Vasiutin has been named this year’s Knight of Dance. The life of this alumnus
of the Vaganov School and a figure of great significance and symbolism
for Vladivostok and the Primorsky Kray [a vast region in the Russian Far
East], is described in Iya Permiakova’s essay. “There was a time when the
USSR’s Minister of Culture, Ekaterina Alekseevna Furtseva, granted him
her blessing to create a choreography school and, later, an opera and ballet
theater in the capital city of Primorye [Vladivostok]. But the ascension
still goes on; the school of choreography which Vasyutin did indeed create,
after 9 years in existence, in 1994, was promoted to the status of a higher
choreography school. …His restless heart of a schoolmaster cherishes a
dream of a time when Vladivostok would have its own opera and ballet theater
and a boarding school of choreography.”
- Other Shores by Varvara Viazovkina is also about the great George
Balanchine. The writer describes how Russia’s theaters celebrated their
compatriot’s 100th anniversary and reflects upon the reasons why Moscow
is not a Balanchine’s city but St. Petersburg is.
“The choreographer himself briefly explained, in his talks with [an
American essayist of Russian descent] Solomon Volkov, what St. Petersburg’s
style – ‘elegant and exquisite, unpretending yet magnificent’ – meant for
him. And then he followed that four-faceted formula.” The reader can also
find out how Perm’ has become a Balanchine’s city.
- A Serenade That Is Not Too Late is a publication about the city of
Perm’, which is considered, albeit unofficially, a third ballet capital
of Russia. Last June, at a festival held in St. Petersburg in a celebration
of George Balanchine’s 100th anniversary, the Perm’s troupe strengthened
its authority even further. “Prominent music critics and journalists all
have unanimously praised the supreme level of the Perm dancers’ performing
finesse and their characteristic style, restrainedly elegant even with
the incredible Balanchinian tempi.” At a press conference, one of the American
students of Balanchine’s said, “The troupe seems to be ready made for Mr.
Tatiana Chernova, who wrote the article, believes that one of the reasons
of the troupe’s success is a unity of school. Indeed, alumni of the local
choreography school account for 98 per cent of the Perm troupe. “Today,
dancers of different generations often perform together, and such intergenerational
fellowship creates a family-like model of a troupe. Can it not be a reason
why Balanchine, even though so distant, has become for Permians one of
- ‘Golden Heel-tap 2004’ and the Problems of Tap Dance was the theme
of a round table held at the Ballet Magazine’s editorial office.
Last year, the Moscow Tap Dance Federation decided to combine all its
events into one great tap dance festival, Golden Heel-tap 2004, which took
place within the framework of the World Dance Convention. The judges and
guests of the festival visited the editorial board and made a collective
attempt to find out how tap dance fares these days, what hinders further
development of the genre and which training techniques of the tap dance
are the most promising.
- An article by Marc Haegeman deals with the Bolshoy Theater’s performing
tour at the Covent Garden Royal Opera House. “The tour could rightly be
rated as one of the Bolshoy’s remarkable achievements. The journey
taken by the ‘newlyweds’ – the troupe and its new artistic director Alexei
Ratmansky – proved a tough test for the latter… Such full-scale tours by
Russian ballet troupes have long been considered by the Westerners a benchmark
of those troupes’ current conditions. So representative a group of the
Bolshoy Ballet hasn’t been seen in London for as long as five years…
The theater seems to have not as yet determined in what direction it
is moving in the 21st century’s world of ballet. The combination in its
repertoire of productions that have traditionally been associated with
the Bolshoy (The Swan Lake and Spartacus), of canvasses that could be seen
as a resort to the classical heritage (Don Quixote and The Pharaoh’s Daughter),
and of avant-garde experimentation (Romeo and Juliet), naturally raise
the question, which way is the vector of the theater’s artistic policies
pointed? Apparently, the Bolshoy is going to try and explore all those
three directions simultaneously.”
- Closing the past season, the new artistic director of the Naples
San Carlo Theater’s ballet troupe Elisabetta Terrabust presented to the
Italian audiences a ballet night featuring the “Shadows” act from La Bayad?re,
Roland Peti’s L’Arlesi?nne and a new production staged by Nikita Dmitrievsky,
Solitude of the Wind.
Elisabetta Terabust, an alumna of the Rome School of Ballet who was
invited to the ballet troupe of the Rome Opera and in 1972 became its prima-ballerina,
was one of the most brilliant artists of her generation. Having completed
her ballerina’s career she had headed the La Scala’s ballet troupe for
four years, then the Rome School of Ballet, then, for two years, the Florence
Ballet, and now, the San Carlo Theater. The Buzz Sessions column presents
an interview with the artistic director, in which she discusses theater’s
problems, its repertoire, style, classics and modernity.
- The Magnificent Seven by Victor Ignatov, the Ballet Magazine’s Paris
correspondent, deals in detail with a Jean-Christophe Mayo’s premiere at
the Monte Carlo Ballet. The opening performance of Miniatures was given
within the framework of the 20th festival The Spring of Arts, which was
totally consistent with its motto: Unusual Discoveries.
Commissioned by the festival’s leader, seven composers of different
ethnic origins wrote chamber pieces no longer than twelve minutes each,
which were performed one after another. But one evening the audiences were
taken by surprise: all seven had obtained a visual – dancing, that is,
– guise. That was what comprised the remarkable ballet program, Miniatures.
- The chronicler of Pina Baucsh’s Dance Theater Tatiana Ratobylskaya,
being meticulous as usual, describes and analyzes the troupe’s works during
their “daring” decade that began in mid-70’s – the spectacles The Rite
of Spring and Miller Cafe. The writer, who was lucky enough to watch the
performances in the making, contagiously describes the rehearsal process
and the travails of an incarnation of the author’s brainchild.
- A Faun and a Sylfide is
a story of the dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belotserkovsky and their
conquest of the bottom-line-oriented
America. Today they are a star couple of the American Ballet Theater, and
“their alliance amazes the ballet critics, theater chroniclers, and gossip
- “Nadezhda had never been preparing herself for a career of staging
choreographer – over twenty years she had been a principal dancer of the
ballet troupe at the Samara Opera and Ballet Theater, while at the same
time teaching at a local choreography school.” This is the beginning of
an article about the young choreographer Nadezhda Malygina. However, today
she is an assistant to Nikita Dolgushin, Chief Choreographer of the Samara
Ballet, and has authored some original ballet productions – Pinocchio,
A Lady with a Doggie, and Kid and Carlsson.
“What interests her is exploring the chamber stage and experimentation
in a synthetic genre. The Nutcracker that she has staged brings together
a ballet couple, a puppeteer and a drama actor.”
- The BALLET CLASS column informs the readers about festivals and competitions.
“International contemporary dance festivals are not mere competitions with
their winners and prizes. Today they are rather a dancers’ lifestyle, their
ways and means of existence.” V. Uralskaya relates of an all-Canada festival
of contemporary types of choreography, considered the biggest in North
America and held in Ottawa. Julia Bolshakova talks about the Dance-Transit
International Festival which was held for the fourth time in Kaliningrad.
A team of writers deals at length with the Fifth Contemporary Dance Festival,
Moscow Spotlight. There are also articles about the 20th Ballet Artists’
Competition in Varna, and about the competition Young Ballet of Russia
held in Krasnodar.
- This issue features a review of the latest premiere of the Bolshoy
Theater, three one-act ballets. “This is the first program prepared by
Alexei Ratmansky in his capacity as artistic director of the Bolshoy ballet
troupe. Having combined in one night a world premiere of Radu Poclitaru’s
ballet; a Yuri Posokhov’s production brought over from San Francisco; and
a renewal of his own ballet Leah, Rotmansky gave dancers a chance to work
in close artistic cooperation with choreographers, regarding this kind
of work as a priority.”
- The Hamburg choreographer John Neumeier has been engaged by the Bolshoy
Theater for staging the ballet Midsumer’s Night Dream in Moscow. In her
scholarly article Gulnara Sabrekova reflects upon the choreographer’s understanding
of Shakespeare, taking his production of Othello as a sample case.
The writer comes to some interesting conclusions: “The complex intellectual
choreo-drama absorbs all the ‘multilayerness’ of the Shakespearean space.
…Neumeier, just like Shakespeare, unites the eternal and the temporal.
… Almost twenty years later, the Neumeier’s ballet still remains a sad
‘mirror’ of the European history, and its logic, a pattern of that history’s
- “This year, Vladimir Pavlovich Burmeister would’ve hit a hundred.
It’s been thirty-three years since he is no longer with us, yet he
is present spiritually. His creative work is alive. His productions keep
appearing at the K. S. Stanislavsky and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical
Theater, whose ballet team is the work of his hands. The great choreographer’s
artistic creed boils down to three rules stating that the spectator who
has come to a theater must
a. understand what is going on onstage without any explanations presented
by the handbills;
b. enjoy the beauty of the dance and its harmonic convergence with
the music; and
c. be heart-struck by the events onstage and either weep or laugh (like
a catharsis in the Greek tragedy, a purging by tears).
- Peter Andreevich Gusev, whose 100th anniversary is being celebrated
by the world of ballet, is a unique figure in this country’s choreography.
He was an outstanding dancer and partner to many a renowned ballerina;
a remarkable teacher and mentor who had brought up a whole pleiad of dance
notables; a thoughtful theoretician, student of the ballet theater; a sensitive
keeper of the classical heritage; an interesting choreographer; and a creator
of ballet spectacles of originality. Those who were lucky enough to cross
their paths of life and work with his, including Galina Ulanova, Nicholai
Boyarchikov, Olga Lepeshinskaya, Valentin Elizariev and Susanna Zviagina,
offer their memoirs of the maitre’s many-faceted activities.
- “Vasiliy Tikhomirov: ‘… the Petersburg’s climate is very bad for
me’ “. Such is the title of a publication by O. Shliakhova of unpublished
journals of Victor Petrovich Iving, who recalls his encounters with the
outstanding artist, educator, and choreographer Vasiliy Dmitrievich Tikhomirov,
a participant of A. Gorsky’s innovative quests, a constant partner to the
legendary E. Geltzer, and one of the creators of the first Soviet ballet,
- The INFORM-BALLET column unfolds a patchwork of dancing events. There
is an array of stories:
- Information about the third Lyubov Grishunova Classical Dance Competition
held in the capital of Siberia with soloists and collectives from Omsk,
Kemerovo, Novoaltaisk, and Yarovoy participating;
- a story of creative work of children’s schools of arts in Omsk,
which have virtually been transformed into ballet schools. In 2000, the
Omsk CSA-3 with its ensemble The World of Dance staged several ballets.
There are plans for two premieres in 2005 – the second act of The Swan
Lake and Pinocchio, a ballet for children;
- “I don’t want to be like Degas”, says Mikhail Aldoshin, the main
character of a sketch about a painter’s path to ballet. “Recently an I.
Glazunov’s Fine Arts Academy student, he dedicated his final examination
work to portraits of ballerinas. ‘I don’t want to portrait a ballerina
on stage’, Mikhail says. ‘It’s behind the curtains that her naturalness
gets revealed. Even the way he walk is exciting”;
- Viacheslav Gordeev, Artistic Director of Ekaterinburg’s ballet troupe,
relates of a festival celebrating the 90th anniversary of local ballet;
- Yaroslav Sedov analyses the success of Yuri Grigorovich’s Krasnodar
Ballet Theater’s performing tour at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg,
which included three series of daily shows, four performances in each series:
Spartacus, Nutcracker, The Golden Age, and Romeo and Juliet.
- The Second International Festival of Music in Russian Family Seats,
Nobility Seasons, was held at the Moscow mansion-house museum Vlakhernskoe-Kuzminki;
- Closing the column, the editorial board extend their 50th birthday
greetings to the photographer Sergei Andreeschev, who has for three decades
now aspired to catch on film the beautiful moments of dance.