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THE RUSSIANS are back and this time, promises ballet entrepreneur Dirk Badenhorst, the Russian Ballet Stars under his banner are the best.
To be presented at the Joburg Theatre and directed by Ruslan Nurtdinov, the four galas presented from Friday to Sunday will be another ballet coup coming so soon after the hugely successful International Ballet Gala held at Montecasino’s Teatro last month.
Featuring stars from several of Russia’s greatest ballet companies, Russian Ballet Stars showcases the country’s remarkable dancers in highlights from some of the best-loved ballet classics.
Included in the line-up of dancers are Alla Bocharova, prima ballerina of the Yakobson Theater, St Petersburg. Born in St Petersburg in 1987, Bocharova studied at the Vaganova Academy, the most fabled ballet school in the world, and danced with the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre from 2006 to 2012, when she was invited to join the city’s Yakobson State Ballet Theatre as principal ballerina.
Leonid Yakobson (1904-75) was one of the USSR’s most celebrated choreographers, but the isolation imposed on Russian artists during the Soviet era makes his a name relatively unknown in the West. His greatness was acknowedged by the Russian Federation with the establishment in 1994 of the Yakobson State Academic Ballet Theatre. As principal dancer and now prima ballerina of the company, Bocharova’s repertoire includes leading roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadère and works by Yakobson.
Oleg Gabyshev was born in Volgograd in 1985 and graduated from the Perm Ballet School. Since 2004 he has been a dancer with the Boris Eifman State Ballet Theatre, St Petersburg, where he holds the rank of principal dancer. Applauded internationally for his powerful dancing and dramatic force, his repertoire includes Eifman ballets such as Requiem, Don Quixote, The Karamazovs, Red Giselle, Anna Karenina, The Seagull, Onegin and the title role in Don Juan. He has twice been awarded Russia’s highest accolade for performing artists, The Golden Mask.
Nikolay Korypaev was educated at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and after graduation in 2005 joined the ballet company of St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre. Korypaev has won distinction for a wide-ranging repertoire and his brilliance in the ballets of Spanish master choreographer, Nacho Duato, who recently made history by becoming the first Westerner to be appointed artistic director of a major Russian ballet company. Under Duato’s guidance, Korypaev has danced with the Mikhailovsky Ballet in all the major ballet cities of the world.
Korypaev’s repertoire includes leading roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, La Sylphide, La Esmeralda, The Nutckracker, In a Minor Key and all by Duato: Without Words, Duende, Nunc Dimitis, Preludio, The Sleeping Beauty, Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness.
The full programme: (subject to change is): Swan Aria, Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux, Russian Macho, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux, Seguidilla and Habanera from Carmen, Russian Laziness, Grand Pas Classique, Schéhèrazade Pas de Deux, Tosca, The Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux, Moldovanka, The Dying Swan, Requiem and Don Quixote Pas de Deux. When: Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 3pm and 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets: R200, R340, R450. Booking: at Joburg Theatre or call phone 0861 670 670 or see www.joburgtheatre.com.