Special Projects

International ballet festival is held under Russian names

Hee Seo in "Swan lake" at Kremlin Palace 2016

International ballet festival is held at the Kremlin palace from 22 to 29 September 2016. Already for the 5th time on the stage of the State Kremlin Palace will be held performances of famous Russian theatre “the Kremlin ballet”, which solo will dance artists from the world stages: American ballet theatre, the Grand Opera, National ballet of Cuba, ballet of the Vienna State Opera, etc.

The performances represent the traditional repertoire of Russian ballet:

  • September 22 Ballet-the opening of the festival – “Swan lake” by P. I. Tchaikovsky
  • September 24 “Giselle” by A. Adan
  • September 25 “Don Quixote” by L. Minkus
  • September 27 “the Sleeping beauty” by P. I. Tchaikovsky
  • September 29 Ballet-closing of the festival “La Bayadere” by L. Minkus

The arrival of foreign artists allows, on the one hand, to acquaint the audience with foreign ballet schools, on the other hand it helps to enrich the experience of own ballet dancers.

According to the prima ballerina of “Kremlin ballet theatre” Irina Ablitsova, who takes an active part in the festival for the fourth time: “It is always very interesting, because coming soloists from different theatres of world show some level, we learn from them, watch how they work, compare with our school.” The prima ballerina, like other major actors, is moved from the main roles in a new amplua in collaborative productions.

We asked Irina to highlight the main advantages of the national schools for the navigation of the audience, she shared: “the Cuban school has a very good technique, it is recognized all over the world. The French school is very neat the bottom of the foot. They have very expressive feets, they speak by feets. Artists from the UK lead by temperament.”

At the same time, artists from abroad are happy to play in Russia, whose school is a leader on the global ballet stage. Celebrities often learn from Russian masters and teachers, for example, American dancer Hee Seo, the graduate of the Kirov Ballet Academy (Washington) and the Academy of ballet by John Cranko in Stuttgart. The artist absolutely successfully joined in a performance of Swan lake by the Kremlin ballet, she acts like does it constantly. Hee received her education from Russian teachers, whom she shows the deep respect: “My teacher Alla Sizova in Washington was a ballerina at the Mariinsky theatre, my coach at the American Ballet Theatre – Irina Kolpakova. All my teachers were Russian. So I have a great appreciation for classical ballet and the Russian style”.

Hee Seo has repeatedly toured in Russia: “Several times I danced at the Mariinsky theatre – “Giselle”, “Sleeping beauty”, “Swan lake”. I danced with the troupe ATB at the Bolshoi theatre when it was open after renovation,” she says.

Andrei Petrov, the Art Director of theatre
Andrei Petrov, the Art Director of theatre

According to the Art Director of theatre “the Kremlin ballet” Andrei Petrov, the ballet world becomes Russian: “the Reputation of Russian ballet is very high, and often it is becoming increasingly difficult to invite foreign artists, because all European dancing stars have Russian names. For example, in the Vienna Opera house, all three leading prima ballerina of Russian origin. We are going back to the 1920s, following Diaghilev’s tours, when in order to get to the Paris Opera, it was necessary to have a Russian name. And the French, the Italians, the English dancers changed their names to Russian.”The practice of sharing ballet is widely used in the world, and the organization of the tour implies the imminent integration of artists into the main troupe. “I just came from Paris, says Hee SEO, – ATB is an international ballet company. We are touring, there is always the opportunity for the artist to show themselves in different theatres, in different productions. When we had a break in ATB this summer, I was in Korea, Japan, Brazil, Los Angeles, Paris and Moscow. Next month I will be in Germany. In General, I travel a lot”.

Foreign soloists before the show get videos of performances and opportunities to consult. A. Petrov does not see difficulties there: “This is our fifth festival, basically all who come to us dance our editorial easily, it’s European. Something we teach them, but if discrepancies of productions is very great.”

The other side of this approach is the blurring of the boundaries of the national ballet school, who so diligently created great Directors and artists of the ballet. So hurry up to see international artists in the classical domestic productions.