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In this issue | Short summary

N 6 [120] November-December 2002.

Competitions and Festivals: the Two Sides of the Coin is a report of a meeting at the Ballet's editorial office. The relevance of the topic is dictated by life itself: competitions and festivals have become an important part of the contemporary ballet scene and their numbers steadily increase. Do, however, all the prizes, rewards and titles won by the participants always match the level of their artistic worth? How strong is the influence of the ever-increasing "athletic" character of the ballet contests over the style and artistic imagery of the ballet theatrics? The participants of the meeting answer these and other questions.
Opines Anna Kisselgoff, an American ballet critic: "For me, the most important and the most interesting is the show itself. Out of the two phenomena that have emerged in our theatrical life, I mean the competitions and festivals, I consider the latter more valuable, because contests and prizes are, after all, kind of publicity stunts. Though, of course, the competitions' positive aspect is that they let you see a new talent pretty early. That's why they are interesting." (1)
The Moscow ballet critic Vadim Gayevsky has viewed the "competition problem" from a different perspective. "We must realize," he writes, "how important it is for the majority of the individual dancers and the entire companies from all parts of Russia to come over to Moscow or St. Petersburg just to see the local theatrical scenes and to have a chance to present themselves. So, if tomorrow we announce a death of the competitions, the whole country will be in the mourning. For the guys who come over it is like higher education, a kind of university. Also, this is like an exchange place for the dancers. Even if after the competition a dancer does not move anywhere physically, still something will have changed in his/her life. Well, not for every single one, anyway, but for a few, surely. And it's worth while to preserve the competitions, if only for those few's sake."
Participating in the discussions were also the ballet critics Julia Bolshakova and Yury Tyurin, as well as Nicholai Basin, art director of the Moskva Chamber Ballet Company. Wrapping up the discussion, the magazine's editor-in-chief Valeria Uralskaya said, "The editorial board was interested in discussing this subject because there's yet another matter, namely, that of prizes awarded outside of the competitions. One of these is The Soul of the Dance, an annual award by the Ballet magazine. This is a Russian prize, the one awarded to our compatriots for their contribution to our country's choreography, a professional recognition of their work on the part of their colleagues."

(1) Retranslated from the Russian

In the traditional Nota Bene address, which opens every issue of the magazine, the editorial board informs its readers, colleagues and partners of the fact that from now on, all issues of the children's version of the Ballet magazine, Studia Pyati-Pa, starting with Issue 4, will be published without any participation on part of the editorial board. The board will not be responsible for reliability of all and any information presented in the consequent issues of Studia Pyati-Pa. The board explains the situation to its readers and informs them that in the second half of 2002 the children's version will still be published as promised, except under a new title - Studia Entree.
The editorial board hopes that the readers and their children will be pleased, as ever, by all the periodicals published by the board - the Ballet magazine, Linia - the Ballet in a Newspaper Format and Studia Entree, and also will purchase Raisa Struchkova, the book in the Ballet Circle series edited by the board and recently out of the printers.

The column A Name in Ballet opens with an unusual feature: the People's Artist of Russia, Bolshoi's star Nicholai Tsiskaridze presents a remarkable story of his stage-mate Sergei Filin. He recalls the times when he, then a choreography school's 4th-grader, first saw the graduate Filin on stage and immediately knew that he was to develop into a great dancer. The author analyzes the work done by Sergei's teachers and recalls his first solo parts on the Bolshoi stage.
Tsiskaridze reflects upon the factors that have helped the artist in his ascension to real pinnacles of fame - his first partner ballerinas, with whom he had made his debut in different ballets, and his remarkable teachers, Nicholai Simachev and Nicholai Fadeichev, thanks to whom Sergei Filin was able to reveal his unique individuality. The article relates of the parts that are most dear to the dancer's heart - those in The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, and La Bayadere.
Very characteristic for Sergei Filin's personality are personal episodes of his off-stage life in which his human qualities are vividly manifested. "He and I unwittingly compete in the theater, performing the same parts in many productions, while in others mine are supporting roles with Sergei starring. Such are my Golding and his Solor, my Mercutio and his Romeo, my Evil Genius and his Prince, my King the Father and his Prince in Vasiliev's Swan Lake. Such performances are very interesting to dance, and yet very difficult, too: next to Sergei one clearly sees how high a standard he's set in dance", writes Tsinkaridze.
"Every time I come to general class and see Sergei Filin in action, I feel an urge to work harder, for my colleague's professionalism and diligence make him my leading light... Filin has got a colossal experience; he is a wonderful partner; he can teach you how to hold a ballerina, how to lift her up, how to maintain her balance when putting her down. We dancers don't scruple to counsel each other when something doesn't work out, which does happen indeed. To Sergey's advice I am particularly heedful..."

The second article in the column A Name in Ballet is called In Search for Personality. It is an exciting narrative by Vitaly Vulf about the emergence eight years ago of the popular TV show The Silver Globe. "By TV standards, eight years is a very long time for any program", writes Vulf. "Out of 90 Silver Globe shows eleven have been dedicated to ballet, in particular, to Alexander Godunov, Irina Kolpakova, Nina Timofeeva, Alexei Yermolaev, Mikhail Lavrovsky, Natalia Bessmertnova. Especially important for me have been those dedicated to Yury Grigorovich and Rudolf Nureev."
The creator of the popular program, Vulf candidly reveals its goals, difficulties he comes across while making it, specific characteristics of individual shows; he recalls episodes of personal encounters with its guests and central figures, that wave always been marked by warmth and affection. A special subject, one that is both acute and touchy, is that of adverse criticism driven by a desire to cut down anything new, to humiliate one. "The desire to hurt me on part of the critics emerged at a perilous moment for the program, when any article about me and any reaction that had been aired were being carefully monitored... Taking the bit between their teeth, these authors imbue their stories with 'byplays' and substitutions, blazingly distorting the facts.
"When I contemplate the programs dedicated to ballet, my greatest problem is in selecting their chief characters. Indeed, one can't always focus on history, be it past or recent; at the same time, it's not easy to select a personality that would be exciting for the audience, from the young generation, even though dancing in the Bolshoi - and not only there - are high level professionals. I'll keep thinking."

The Ballet Theme column contains Maria Ilyicheva's article From Tradition to Trends. The author expresses her anxiety regarding the state that the Mariinsky ballet troupe, that has always been one of the best in the world, has found itself in. "As far as new productions are concerned, the pictures all over the world are much alike and rather gloomy. But who else can boast such an abundance of the 19-th and 20th century classics in their repertoire? What company is adorned with such a brilliant circle of dancers, both young and mature?" And yet, the author contends, tradition is not something fixed or recorded one way or another, but rather lives in the dialectics of art, which is constantly developing on the basis of what has been achieved so far. That is why the heritage can only live in dialogue with the contemporary, in conceptualization of its ideas and in development of contemporary means of embodying them.
Today, a dangerous trend is manifest at the Mariinsky: the tradition of link between the classical heritage and innovation is being severed, and peremptory opinions of non-professionals are being preferred to experience of the masters. The theater, as if having forgotten its own problems, seems to be trying its hardest in order to become an affiliate of the Balanchine's New York City Ballet - and not in vain, either.
A contemporary theater whose life is controlled by the rhythm of its tours is compelled to manufacture new productions as factories manufacture their products. Mariinsky managers, however, still prefer to export the Russian classics, even though it's precisely the Petipa's ballets re-versioned by Konstantine Sergeev in 1950's that require a restaging. They've lost their old profundity of context and their lively aspiration and have become shallow entertainment, kind of ballet reviews. They need revitalizing and infusion of new meaningfulness.
Next, the author demonstratively and in detail explains why all the talks about authenticity of The Sleeping Beauty have proved a bluff, while La Bayadere has appeared in the even more archaic four-act form. "It's clear that the to-day's reconstructions of these ballets are no more than nine-day wonders. Nevertheless, K. Sergeev's version of The Sleeping Beauty hasn't been shown for three years now. In the meantime, many minutiae and nuances of the performance, that are impossible to document either by notation or by video, have been forgotten. The tradition has been interrupted. Those who initiated these deeds have afforded themselves the ill fame of Herostratus", Ilyicheva writes.

The column Ballet. Criticism. The 20th Century reminds the readers that the Ballet magazine's editorial board, in cooperation with the Moscow Institute for Studies in the Art and the Russian Theater Academy (former GITIS), held a round table discussion on the subject Ballet. Criticism. The 20th Century.
In the May-June issue of 2002, a report of the discussion was presented. In the current issue, further materials concerning this palpitating subject can be found. All readers are encouraged to take part in the discussion. The following is a tentative list of questions.
1. How would you evaluate the state of ballet as an art form at the beginning of the 21st century?
2. How would you evaluate the role of ballet studies, including topical ballet criticism in mass media, in the development of ballet theater?
3. Do you think that these two (theater and criticism) are interrelated?
4. How would you evaluate the interplay between ballet studies and topical criticism?
5. Does a critic need specialization (classical, modern, folk, pop, etc.)? Why or why not?
6. Are you satisfied with the professional level of contemporary ballet studies and critics?
7. Do you consider special training for ballet critics (university departments, courses, seminars, etc.) necessary?
Other subjects for discussion are also possible.

In her article Arcady my friend, hold back your eloquent tongue! Inna Borutskaya discusses ballet publications in printed media. Analyzing articles by certain critics, she comes to the conclusion that "Before judging a work, one should make out what its creator was trying to say (rather than invent it for the author and then intellectualize upon the fact that 'it isn't apparent there') and, if the author indeed had failed to embody his or her design, one should try to figure out why that had happened, never failing to mark any point of success that had been achieved along the way. Criticism should not be complimentary but must be charitable and gracious. What is more, one should never judge a production as a whole after just viewing the dress rehearsal, simply in order to be ahead of everybody else. We all are well aware of instances when a specific interpretation by an individual performer changes the overall image and perception of the production. Criticism must help and counsel, expedite, as it were, the perfecting of the production as a whole or of an individual part. ...But irony in judgment, caustic disparagement of a work of art, or indiscriminate and jaunty labeling do not attest to any great intelligence or sound professional training."

Yelena Lutskaya in her article Drop by in a Hundred Years from Now - We'll Talk Then answers all the questions listed in the questioner. She contends that provinciality is never a product of a theater's locality; that newspaper criticism is important and efficient because of its topicality: "after some years, or even more so, decades, have passed, it becomes a substantial documentary source. That's why documenting production's major features, its conception, stylistics, specifics of the performance - in other words, recreating the ordonnance of the spectacular - is desirable in each and every review." The author explains why the line between a critic and a scandal-hungry gossip-columnist must always be drawn, and why the most fruitful years for ballet have also seen a blossoming of criticism. She bewails the virtual absence of cooperation between ballet studies and topical criticism. She talks about the professional level of to-day's critics, and about "the prose of life" when the majority of newspapers publish jaunty, straight-from-the-shoulder, even "cool" materials quite in line with the general tone of modern-day journalism.
"Time will sort out everyone and everything, from geniuses to naked kings - quite apart from what critics might be saying now."

Art historian, professor Victor Vanslov submitted his reply under the title Knowing, understanding, loving. "The art of choreography in Russia at the turn of the 21st century has been developing unevenly. A new generation of distinguished dancers has emerged, bred largely on classics, both Russian and worldwide, including the 20th century ones. As far as the new, present-day choreography is concerned, it is experiencing a crisis. ...There's a lot of experimentation but little result. Which renders criticism in a difficult position, since it fails to maintain firm orienting points in the milieu of artistic activities. So much more important, therefore, become in this situation general principles comprising the basis of art criticism as part of culture." These principles might be tersely phrased as "knowing, understanding and loving arts". The author avouches the importance of each principle and concludes, "If these commandments are kept, the 21st century criticism may become a more significant element of culture than it is today."

Opines Sergei Korobkov: "Concerned with the position, role, and practical significance of criticism as a profession within the framework of the theatrical public life in the new century, the participants in the discussion talk about what in fact is no criticism at all but an ersatz for the profession, which only impersonates criticism. ...Is it worth our while to express any sort of professional opinion on what is being passed in the periodicals' ballet columns for the word of a critic, when the word in question seems to have been taken right out of the mouth of a cool, unabashed teenager?
"Professional criticism presupposes a number of skills, the basis of which is the art of analysis. To write about a clumsily lifted leg is not the same as to analyze a production and discern specific features of the choreographer's lexicon. To say that a ballerina isn't exactly a beauty is to play a give-away game with the reader rather than to play with the work's meanings in order to help the reader sort them out...
"Lately it has become a fashion to engage amateurs as both theoreticians and practicians of the theater. Most of them lack the very basics of the histrionics as a field of knowledge and have never hammered at any special courses. Their personal tastes and experiences have become for them a picklock for judging any production.
"Many of those whom even renowned artists dub 'the critic's squeeze' once were writing as novices for the Ballet magazine. Here they had earned their first recognition, which they didn't deign to keep but have preferred to build repute by using forbidden tricks and mingling with 'paratheatrical' circles. Does it mean that the very magazine that is now discussing the state of contemporary criticism has taught wrong and wrongly, since it has become a 'nest' that has bred such ungrateful birdlings?
"Here one question draws a dozen of others, but what is important for us is that we should stop finding fault in ourselves, stop squirming with shame for our young colleagues (even though this is perhaps the very quality that sets an intellectual apart from the would-have-been), and remember that ballet will remain a sublime art form, an artist, a creator, and criticism, reflection upon creative work. Through the time."


- Boris Akimov, art director of the Bolshoi Ballet, reveals some plans for the new season: a Japan tour with The Sleeping Beauty and Spartacus and a grand tour to the USA with La Bayadere, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. "In 2003, we are going to present The Queen of Spades at the Mariinsky, and the Mariinsky at the Bolshoi, Cinderella staged by A. Ratmansky. We are reviving the Romeo and Juliet choreographed by L. Lavrovsky and the Yu. Grigorivich's version of Raymonda. We will be 'house-warming' our new affiliate stage by 'moving over' some of our productions."

- Andrei Petrov, art director of the Kremlin Ballet, shares his impressions on the company's tours to China, Rome, and Bangkok. During the new season, the company intends to present theatergoers with a premiere of Giselle with Natalia Balakhnicheva in the title role. Besides, an idea is brewing of an unusual ballet extravaganza combining several genres - choreography, opera, and circus.

- Nicholai Boyarchikov, the ballet troupe principal at the M. P. Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet House of St. Petersburg, refers to the company's 85th season as one replete with events: challenging tours to Japan and Sicily, a new staging of Prokofiev's Cinderella by the young choreographer Maria Bolshakova. Within the framework of the project "One Flying in Time", audience had a chance to view some interesting student works. Rehearsals are under way of Princesses of the Moon, being staged in the Kabuki tradition. A festival is being prepared to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg and the 40th anniversary of its choreography department, as well as various programs for the 300th anniversary of the city of St. Petersburg itself.

- Gennady ALBERT, managing director of the Boris Eifman's Ballet of St. Petersburg, talks about the events of last year, which was marked by the 25-th anniversary of the troupe and saw plenty of exciting events - festivals in St. Petersburg and abroad; performing tours to New York and Poland; a revival in their home town of the old tradition - benefit nights. The company's top four productions have been presented on the Mariinsky stage - The Russian Hamlet, The Red Gizelle, Don Juan and Moliere, and Tchaikovsky with the leading soloists participating. As part of company's making ready for the jubilee, which was to be celebrated in the Mariinsky Theater and the Rossia Concert Hall in Moscow, were the videotaping of The Red Gizelle and the publication of a celebratory booklet and of a book by Yu. Churko on Eifman's creative work...

- Vyacheslav Gordeev, art director of the Russian Ballet State Theater of Moscow, informs the readers of last season's many tours and of the prolonged 'local tour' - the visiting performances at the Central Academic Youth Theater. The new season is marked by the commencement of work on La Sylphide in A. Bournonville's rendition, as well as by the staging of Don Quixote by A. Gorsky. In the spring, the theater-goers will be welcomed to a contemporary choreography night, specially for which The Last Tango will be restaged in a new version.

The column A Ballet Scene presents two articles. The first one is dedicated to Dmitry Protsenko, principal dancer for The Russian Ballet State Theater of Moscow. An alumnus of the Moscow Ballet School, he started off on stage of the Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) Opera and Ballet House, then continued at the Moscow City Ballet, and in 1991 ended up at the Viacheslav Gordeev's company.
"A colorful character dancer, he has brilliantly performed the Mazurka and the Czardas in Coppelia, the Spanish dance and the Mazurka in Swan Lake, masterfully yet with discretion embellishing the dance with ethnic accents." The author goes on to describe the colorful personages depicted by the dancer - the dream-like Coppelius in Coppelia, the romantic Drosselmeier in The Nutcracker, the artful yet simple-hearted Lorenzo and the wretched Gamache in Don Quixote, the fateful fairy Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, the mystically sinister Rothbart in Swan Lake, and the dramatic Hans in Giselle.
"Dmitry Protsenko dances a lot and with pleasure, his repertoire is large and diverse. He performs all his roles with an acute sense of character's personality, but even that doesn't consume all his creative energy, which compels him to try his hand as a tutor and a choreographer. Recently, Dmitry Protsenko was awarded the Honorable Artist of Russia title.

The other article in the column, that by Galina Inozemtseva, relates of the Lilia Sabitova's Dance Theater. Its founder and art director, Galina Sabitova, is a ballerina who, having received a traditional classical training, leans in her work also towards to Isadora Duncan's dancing stylistics, the plastique of the American country-dance, elements of modern dance, etc... The playbill titles attest to that: Duncan's Echo, Sonatas, New Country, Once Upon a Night, Carmina Burana, to name just a few, but even these few bear witness to diversity of the choreographer's interests and, accordingly, to the wide range of her artistic pursuits.
In spite of the company's difficult situation - it has no place of its own, - the troupe and its leader work hard, so that its playbill is being constantly enriched with new titles. During 2001 and 2002 they produced three major ballets - Peer Gynt, La Traviata and Carmen. The author goes on to analyze these exciting productions.

In the Abroad column, Yelena Solominskaya presents the ballet Seagull to the music by Dmitry Shostakovich choreographed by John Neumeier. "A stroke of genius - this would perhaps suffice to adequately describe the 2002 spring season's premiere, which opened the 28th Ballet Days in Hamburg. That would have been in the spirit of both Chekhov and Neumeier, who had always preferred sophistication and laconism of emotional hues to a variety of pure emotional colors.
"Generally, a premiere at the Hamburg Opera begins with a dress rehearsal, to which the entire European ballet world traditionally gathers. This society has its own rules, and expressing emotions at the prolusion is never encouraged. Emotions will be freely released at the opening night, and for it everybody gets prepared as if for a ball - ballerinas and male dancers of all ages and all countries, a host of critics, respectable benefactors of the company and their beautiful wives. Perhaps certain excerpts from Chekhov's letters of 1904 sent from Badenweiler, Germany, where he describes dames and their attires, would best illustrate the Prete-a-Porter of a Hamburg premiere.
"But The Seagull received a standing ovation, which doesn't happen here any often... German critics saw in The Seagull a logical continuation of 'a Russian theme' which Neumeier started while still staging the ballet Nijinsky; as if scared of a 'Russian wave' on the banks of the Alster, they foretell its development into a trilogy by including into it the story of an 'Anna Korenina' or a 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District'.
"Neumeier is not trying to convey the text in detail or word for word. Text for the choreographer is only a starting point for his visions and associations, which he then embodies in the plastique of contemporary dance. Neumeier himself defines his staging technique as a free one, in which he avoids any direct rendition of the text by the dancers, reduces mime to a bare minimum, and refuses to face-paint young dancers in order to 'gauge' them up to the aged characters of the Chekhov's play."

Ballet Time presents Adam, Taglioni and... Pushkin, an historic article by Olga Puz'ko. The author recreates the history of L'ecumeur and aspires to define its place in the ballet inheritance of the composer Adolphe Adam. In a way, Puz'ko is bridging a gap, for the historians that have devoted many pages to the creative work of Adam and to his masterpiece, the ballet Giselle, largely ignore the period of his staying in Russia and the ballet that he created for Marie Taglioni, L'ecumeur.
A rear exception is a publication by Yu. Slonimsky of some interesting facts concerning ties between the ballet worlds of Russia and France and, in particular, Marie and Filippo Taglioni's "Russian roots": the father and daughter spent from 1837 till 1942 in St. Petersburg, where Filippo's sister-in-law lived after marrying a Russian general. Many an admirer of the great Marie's talent was gathering in her apartment. It's they who, in all probability, had drawn the renowned fugitives' attention to a then blockbuster of the capital, the play by A. Shakhovskoi Kerim-Girei after A. Pushkin's Fountain of Bakhchisarai. It is known that F. Taglioni was acquainted with the poem in a French translation. Be it as it may, the idea of a new ballet was thus born, and Adolphe Adam was invited to St. Petersburg to compose music for it. He arrived there in October of 1939.
The composer did not confine himself to writing music alone; he was also enticed by St. Petersburg's ample musical life. He attended its famous musical gatherings, and heard the M. Glinka's opera A Life for the Czar. Adam highly appreciated the St. Peterburg's ballet, maintaining that its "good corps de ballet, talented teachers and outstanding ballerinas warrant it a European renown".
L'ecumeur, along with many other Adam's ballets, hasn't lasted until our days; Giselle and Le Corsaire alone are included in the ballet repertoire of today's companies. However, the piano score of L'ecumeur, published by the Khudozhestvennaya Literatura publishing house in 1999, has revived public interest that this work deserves ...

The In Memoriam page is dedicated to the self-taught choreographer from Perm' Evgeny Panfilov who died tragically a few months ago. The author, Sergei Korobkov, reflects upon life and work of the remarkable artist, who, having come from a far-away tiny village near Archangelsk, stormed the professional dance scene like an uninhibited Tarzan.

IFORM-BALLET presents new books

Ballets of Delibes by musicologist, pianist and educator S. Shapiro (Musica, Moscow, 2001) is dedicated to musical images of Leo Delibes. The book is a result of many year's research on the ballet works of the French composer. In this profound analytical essay the author presents these works not only as an outstanding phenomenon of the French culture but also in the context of symphonism then in the process of establishing itself in the ballet music of Europe and, specifically, in Russia.
The Lyudmila Demeneva's book has a rather unusual title:Perm' Seasons, or, 130 Years and One Day in the Life of the P. I. Tchaikovsky Academic Opera and Ballet House in Perm'. 130th anniversary of a famous troupe is quite understandable, but why "one day"? To answer this question the author invites those interested to come off-stage, that is to say, to visit people who make the show go on - in classrooms where ballet dancers do their daily exercises, in rehearsal halls, in workshops; to meet various specialists who provide for trouble-free functioning of lighting and audio equipment...That's what constitutes a regular day in the life of the theater, which keeps going even after the show is over...
Practical Suggestions by a Classical Dance Teacher by Alisa Nikiforova has been published in 2002. Female students of this famous Russian educator, herself a student of the Leningrad Ballet School, dance with major companies all aver the world; many have won prestigious competitions and titles of honor. At present, Alisa Vasilievna lives in Germany, where, two months prior to the country's reunification, professor Martin Puttke, principal of the Berlin Ballet School, invited her to work, and where she had taught for eight years. A. Nikiforova reflects upon problems of training children as first-year ballet school students, which, although a very complicated and important stage of the professional education, has, nevertheless, not received adequate coverage in methodological literature. The author offers a number of nonstandard methodological devices as well as a scheme and schedule of covering the educational material within the framework of first-year classes. The book will doubtless be of help to many specialist educators in their quest for a creative training, even if everyone will not immediately agree with the author in all things. Welcoming the publication of this useful practical guide, one can't help pitying the fact that it was published not in Russia but in Germany and in a very limited edition at that.
Author of the book The Way of Arts: On the Artistic Culture in the 20th Century, published by Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, is full-pledged member of the Academy, PhD in art history, professor V. V. Vanslov. This is a collection of miscellaneous articles marking the author's 80th anniversary. Included here are research articles on the ways of Russian artistic life in the 20th century; reflections upon works of individual masters of fine arts; and even memoirs - and next to all that, two articles comprising a separate chapter, Ballet: these are The Role of Ballet Competitions in the Development of the World Choreography and Creative Work of Yury Grigorovich. Such a combination seems totally justified, for the problems of choreography are regarded in connection with all other aspects of Russia's artistic life.


- Two sketches describe two remarkable votaries of Terpsichore, Ada Gus'kova of the A. S. Pushkin Academic Opera and Ballet House of Nizhny Novgorod, and Rudolf Alimov, a Moscow musician and photo-artist.

- The essay Ballet in Tchaikovsky's Motherland presents the Ballet Theater of Izhevsk, its plans, its problems, and its stock policy. Within the framework of a musical festival dedicated to the great composer, the Udmurt ballet presented The Nutcracker and Swan Lake by the Moscow choreographer Boris Myagkov.

- The article Nominations and Ovations is dedicated to the N. Danilova Regional Contest-Festival of Choreography, which was recently held in Samara for the 10th time. 750 participants from over 30 educational institutions in arts and culture took part in the anniversary event. Master-classes, seminars and discussion groups formed a significant part of the festival.

- The Face of the Lycee is a sketch about one of the best choreography schools in the Volga region, that of the Arts Lycee in the city of Togliatti. It presents the school's history, its teachers and performances produced by its students.

- A new exhibit at the A. A. Bakhrushin Museum of Theater, poetically dubbed The Magic Flute, is covered in one of this issue's features. Rear showpieces united by the common theme, Fairy Tale in the Bolshoi Creations, have been lovingly assembled from the depositaries of three different museums - the Bakhrushin, the Museum of the Bolshoi Theater and the M. Glinka Museum of Musical Culture: costumes, photographs, show bills, letters, and stage set designs represent the past 177 years of the Bolshoi history as rendered in the works of renowned artists.

-Yet another museum-related feature is dedicated to two cycles of concert-lectures on Indian dance, This Dance is a Beauty and The Magic World of Indian Dance, held at the State Museum of the Oriental Peoples. "For a museum where the main forms of activities are mostly linked to objects of art and craft, engagement in different art forms 'enlivens' the image of an unknown culture. And so far as India is concerned, it is, most and foremost, dance."