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INTERNATIONAL DANCE IN ST. PETERSBURG
World Congress of the IDC of UNESCO
Petersburg which is considered as "the cultural capital"
of Russia, it is difficult to surprise with various events in art
and culture sphere. And at the same time, carrying out the 36th
World Congress on Dance Research of the International Dance Council
of UNESCO became the event which has surprised with such great scope
and representation. Within several days, from October 30 to November
3, Interesting and fruitful scientific and creative contacts between
figures of the dancing world from 20 countries at the congress took
place. It was prominent point that the congress and its solemn opening
took place in the beautiful building of absolutely new Boris Eifman
Dance Academy. And it really was the first international event of
such level at the new educational institution of dance, the only
of this kind in the world. As the organizers of the congress became
the St. Petersburg section of the International Dance Council of
UNESCO with support of Boris Eifman Dance Academy and Dance Company
The program of the congress included the scientific and practical
conference "World Dance Culture: Preservation of traditions,
perspective on development". Sections were working; round tables,
master classes, video presentations, the gala concert of participants
and guests of the congress were organized. Culturologists, art critics,
known choreographers and teachers, specialists in dance therapy,
filmmakers participated in work of the congress about dances, performers
of all styles, directions and dance forms. The President of the
International Dancing Council of UNESCO, Prof. Dr. Alkis Raftis
who took part in work of the congress kindly agreed to meet and
answer questions of the employee of our edition.
- Mr. Raftis, your organization is an expert in the field of dance
culture and interacts with its representatives in various countries.
What is for you a dance, and by what criteria you select his colleagues
on dance art?
- We proceed from representation that art is not the exact science
like physics or chemistry. Dance is a broad concept, and for us
it has no special value to what style, direction, school or form
it belongs. It is important that it was creative. There is, for
example, figure skating, synchronized swimming, striptease. This
is everything means dances. We can speak about classical, folklore,
ball dances, but at the same time hip-hop, break and others is also
dances. In other words, it is difficult to limit something to any
framework. Sometimes it can be combined: both classical dance, and
modern dance, and hip-hop.
- How your organization supports dance movement in the different
- We don't provide any material or other support as we are non-governmental
and non-profit organization. We don't organize festivals, competitions,
master classes. We support ideas of scientific research in the field
of dance culture, considering value of dance in the art world, its
role in an education system. We are open for all approaches to dance
culture, to its different manifestations as we reflect the principles
of activity of the UN and UNESCO.
- What does the structure of the International Dance Council represent?
- Our organization is under construction as follows (draws the scheme).
The General Assembly is at the head, then the President, the Executive
Council consisting of 25 members. Our organization includes more
than 700 collective members (federations, schools, companies, competitions,
festivals, etc.) over 4,000 individual members (choreographers,
teachers, art critics, administrators, etc.) in 155 countries. So
we have offices in Moscow, Petersburg, Rostov, Novosibirsk and other
cities of Russia.
- How you estimate the role of mass media in support of dance culture
in the world?
We attach great value to editions in the field of dance. Actually
all magazines which are issued in the world, are known to us. And
we have considerable collection of the periodical press and books
on dance art. We know also your Ballet Art Magazine which issues
in English as well, being widespread and available to those who
are interested in dance subject in the world. I can tell my personal
point of view that it is useful. I think it is possible to expand
information on dance culture in the different countries that, certainly,
will promote its wider circulation.
Mr. Raftis and Mr. Ivanov
Master-class S. E. Ruiz (Spain)
RUSSIAN DANCER DIED IN AMERICA
At the age of 92 of a known dancer George Zoritch died in Arizona
(USA). He was one of the last dancers among a brilliant constellation
of artists, world-known thanks to Sergey Dyagilev's Ballets Russes
in Paris in the beginning of the last century.
In spite of the fact that the actor lived the most part of his life
in America, Zoritch in fact is considered as a Russian dancer. His
known book of memoirs was published recently in Russian "Magika
ruskogo baleta" (Magic of the Russian Ballet) where the readers
could find more than 400 photos of outstanding Russian dancers and
choreographers like Olga Spesivtseva, Anna Pavlova, Leonide Massine
and George Balanchine.
George Zoritch many years worked at the University of Arizona. He
would come to Russia, and he was a Honorable member of jury of ballet
competitions. George Zoritch was a member of the Editorial Board
of the Ballet Art, a Saint Petersburg Ballet Magazine, along with
Altynai Asylmuratova, Boris Eifman, and Nikita Dolgushin as well.
The memory of the remarkable dancer and teacher George Zoritch for
a long time will remain in our hearts.
Editotral Board of the Magazine
Natalia Igorevna Bessmertnova, the Muse of the 60's
generation - romantic people died. From first steps on the stage
of the Bolshoi Theatre of the USSR (at first in a corps de ballet,
then as a prima ballerina) Natasha perceived all - both colleagues,
and spectators as the Phenomenon in modern ballet sky. Her shape,
the lines reminding outlines of Spesivtseva, Pavlova, her own individuality,
an essence of her art, are unforgettable and unique. The destiny
has reduced us with Natalia on stage and in life, and I am grateful
to the God for this. Her ability to respond to her partner impulses
was unique, and simplicity and simultaneously refinement in human
mutual relations have left indelible impression for all my remained
life which happens so is unexpectedly short.
I wish you the Kingdom Heavenly, Natasha!
NIKITA DOLGUSHIN BALLET THEATRE
In the end of November of the last year the Nikita Dolgushin Ballet
Theatre was created in Petersburg. The name of the People's Artist
of the USSR, professor Nikita Dolgushina - an outstanding Russian
dancer, the remarkable choreographer, the recognized restorer of
masterpieces of world classics of classical ballet, the theatrical
artist, the teacher and the founder of new school of ballet and
one of leading ballet troupes in St.-Petersburg is well-known in
Deep studying of history of choreographic art, careful restoration
of ballet heritage and precise work on creation of modern choreographic
repertoire distinguishes the performances of theatre by refinement
of taste, originality and feeling of style.
About quarter of the century Nikita Dolgushin headed the ballet
troupe of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of St.-Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov
conservatory, the same theatre which is located on place of former
Bolshoy (Stone) Theatre in Petersburg, arisen almost for twenty
years before the famous Bolshoi in Moscow.
Since the beginning of 2007 in connection with reorganization of
the conservatory's theatre, the Nikita Dolgushi Ballet Theatre became
as an independent troupe.
The new theatre has carefully kept its exclusive repertoire which
includes masterpieces of world ballet classics directed by Nikita
Dolgushin, and also various modern performances. So, SwanLake, The
Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote are the original performances
of theatre based on productions by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and
Alexander Gorsky. Pride of the theatre are programs of the Siver
Era of Russian ballet, the part of these unique performances which
do not go anywhere in the world. This is, for example, Le Pavilion
d'Armide of Tcherepnin. The program Incomparable Pavlova is created
out of the known and unknown miniatures of the repertoire of the
great ballerina. Nikita Dolgushina's ballet troupe goes on tour
a lot, and participates in the international festivals of culture.
And in days of the 300 anniversary of Petersburg Nikita Dolgushin's
troupe has been invited to performance for numerous heads of states
with specially put ballet enchantling spectacle on cascades and
fountains of Peterhof. On November 2nd, 2006 Nikita Dolgushina's
theatre has shown the program Russian Ballet of the Siver Era in
the well-known French resort Dauville at "Theatre-casino"
at the unique concert, devoted to the forthcoming 100th anniversary
of " Russian seasons " in Paris by Sergey Dyagilev.
In 2005 the ballet troupe is awarded a special prize of the Top
Theatrical Award of Petersburg "Golden Spotlights" - "For
popularization of classical heritage for a wide spectator audience".
Nikita Dolgushin embarked on what was to prove a brilliant career
as a dancer in 1959, on graduating from the Vaganova Choreographical
School. He was hailed as a young star of the Russian Ballet and
took up an appointment with the Kirov Ballet. But like his famous
colleagues Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov, he soon left
the Ballet to go his own way. Dolgushin ended up in Novosibirsk,
soon to become the home of one of Russia's leading opera and ballet
companies. There he worked with, among others, the director Oleg
Vinogravodov, whom he greatly respects as a friend and teacher.
In 1962 he nevertheless returned to St. Petersburg on being invited
to partner Natalia Makarova. When Makarova defected to the West,
Dolgushin, despite his successes, failed to be offered an appointment.
Instead he became the principal dancer of the prestigious Maly Opera
Theatre, the second after the Kirov Ballet in St.Petersburg. Naturally
he no longer had the chances of becoming famous open to other dancers
of his calibre, but he continued to produce choreographies for his
own works. Aftermath he became as a chief ballet master of the conservatory's
theatre. Thanks to him its ballet troupe has undergone many auspicious
changes and has created a unique art of reconstruction.
The St.Petersburg Nikita Dolgushin Ballet Theatre aims to put on
first-class performances of classical and contemporary ballets.
The choice of programme for Belgium is classical one featuring a
number of brilliant dancers. Most of the magnificent costumes are
reproductions of the original models. This troupe is about 50 dancers
is directed by Nikita Dolgushin, a distinguished artist in many
fields. He is Russian People's Artist, a Professor and Artistic
Director of Theatre. He also awarded a doctorate by the Tucson State
University in the USA, holds awards from the Paris Academy of Dance
and has two prizes in the Varna International Ballet Competitions.
December, 14 2005
Students of the choreographic department of the St.-Petersburg
"Cantilena" School of Arts of Nikita Dolgushin left to
Spain. Young dancers are invited for participation in the Festival
of Arts "Russian Dvor" which takes place in the south
of Spain. Nikita Dolgushin has prepared a wonderful Christmas gift
for local public. Besides the big concert program consisted of the
Russian ballet classics, the visitors of the Festival will see an
European first night show of a new ballet "Remembering on Childhood"
in acting of the students of the school and the Master himself on
music of "Children's Album", "Theme and variations"
by P.Tchaikovsky. The Petersburg audience can see this ballet only
in a month during the Orthodoxy "old" New Year on January,
14th in frame of the First International Christmas Festival "The
Nutcracker", devoted to the 165th anniversary of P.Tchaikovsky's
birth at the Rimsky-Korsakov Opera and Ballet Theatre.
December, 09 2005
The Moscow Academic Musical Theatre named after K.S.Stanislavsky
and Vl. I.Nemirovich-Danchenko has appeared on stage of the Mariinsky
Theatre. These ballet performances have caused great interest of
the Petersburg public as the theatre showed "Swan Lake"
produced by Vladimir Burmeister who did not quit the stage of theatre
during 50 years. This production of the "Swan Lake" has
gone on the stage of Le Grand Opera for many years.
December, 04 2005
Yuri Grigorovich, an outstanding Russian choreographer, in frame
of the 30th anniversary world premier of ballet "Ivan the Terrible"
on Sergey Prokofev's music, presented it on the stage of the Mariinsky
Theatre performed by the Kremlin Ballet Theatre.
December, 01 2005
According to the invitation of the Russian Federation
of Figure Skating, the outstanding Petersburg figure skaters Lyudmila
Belousova and Oleg Protopopov living nowadays in Switzerland, visited
a native city and native Palace of Sports "Yubileiny"
on which ice they went for a drive before the compelled departure
from Soviet Union when had directly let to know, that national sports
do not require them any more, having created intolerable existence
of them in their native land.
July, 18 2005
| In the frameworks of the 13th International
Festival "Stars of the White Nights" the Moscow Bolshoi
Theatre performed as a guest-participant, having presented on the
stage of the Mariinsky Theatre a new version of ballet of the S.Prokofiev's
"Romeo and Juliet". The performance was preceded with huge
advertisement promising "fashionable theatrical action"
and other original innovations. And what had appeared as a result?
Actually that, as it was necessary to expect from an "ideology"
of the Mariinsky Theatre of last time. This "a cat in a bag"
already itself made holes in this bag? As they say, it is a rather
fresh legend. It was too noisy failure of this performance in London,
city which is considered one of world ballet capitals? Here pertinently
was to remember, that Great Britain is the country in which ballet
really is understandable and loved. And, perhaps, it is the unique
European country where is hereditary of ballet lovers who are waiting
as a holiday the performances of the well-known ballet troupes and
new performances. And besides, Englishmen appreciate freedom of expression
of their opinion very much, therefore it, certainly, it is possible
to trust. And the performance of the Bolshoi presented there shows
a faultless example. English critics did not stint for negative responses
even in spite of the fact that as the producer and director appeared,
according to advertisement of the Bolshoi, Mr. Declan Dunnellon, an
"outstanding" English producer who created this action in
a collaboration with Radu Poklitaru, a Moldavian choreographer and
others. We shall give up as superfluous the analysis of this action
in all senses and from all foreshortenings and completely we shall
agree with our English colleagues (among which there were also true
admirers of the Bolshoi) that performance is, to put it mildly, a
And it is necessary to work at mistakes and try to correct them, even
if it expensive manages for to insist on them will manage in due course
even much more expensive.
March, 13 2005
The presentation of the photo album, devoted to Alla
Shelest, an outstanding Russian ballerina, took place at the St.Petersburg's
House of Scientists. The album includes the pictures, composed out
of the photos which were collected with her friends, admirers of
her talent, as well as those which are being kept at the funds of
the Mariinsky Theatre, where the ballerina, a graduator of the Vaganova
Ballet Academy on the class of professor À. Vaganova, was spending
main years of her ballet life, and created a lot of splendid roles
of classical and modern repertoire.
March, 12 2005
Julio Bocca, a famous Argentinean dancer acted as a role of the
Russian emperor, Paul the First, at the Eifman's ballet "Russian
Hamlet" on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.
February, 05 2005
The British Council in Saint Petersburg presented at the Theatre
of Young Spectators named after Bryantsev the troupe of contemporary
dance, created and managed by Russell Maliphant, a dancer and choreographer,
who was recommended as one of "the most outstanding modern
choreographer in Great Britain"… British dancers brought to
the spectators the original pictures in the style a la"hippie",
showed own combination of plastic arts, music and design of stage's
light (light designer Michael Hulls): "Solo" to music
by Bach in Russell Maliphant's performance himself, a quartette
"Excerpts of Choice" and two duos: male "Critical
Mass" in the dance of Michael Pomero and Miquel de Jong, and
feminine "Two Times Two", which was danced by Flora Bourderon
and Marie Goudot.
February, 04 2005
Diana Vishneva's "young" benefit performance,
a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, consisted of the two evenings,
being created the original choreographic "diptych".
On the first evening, which took place at the Mariinsky Theatre
in the ballet Giselle of Adam, Vishneva brilliantly appeared in
the duo with Andrean Fadeyev, as Manuel Legri, a soloist of the
Paris Grand Opera who had been announced in the program did not
emerged at the performance, referring on his disease.
The second part of her holiday was held on the Teatral'naya Square
as well on the scene of the Opera and Ballet Theatre of Saint-Petersburg
conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov, where the actress danced
in "Steptext" of William Forsythe, in the ballet miniatures
"Feeling of the Moon" of Aleksey Kononov, "Bakhti"
by choreography of Maurice Bejart, and "Pas de deux" from
the ballet "Cinderella" of A.Ratmansky in the duo with
Like in classical repertoire, Diana Vishneva showed her own excellent
skill in the field of modern choreography as well.
June, 24 2004
The Gala concert dedicated to 125th anniversary of Vaganova was
hold at the Mariinsky Theatre in frameworks of the XII White Nights
International Arts Festival. The ballet stars of the Mariinsky Theatre
along with rather young stars and small stars - the students all
classes of the Russian Ballet Academy named after Vaganova took
part in it. However, indeed the brightest star amongst the ballet
stars is immortal Vaganova herself with her brilliant school, which
is recognized over the world as a universal value. And Vaganova
like alive who having stepped into the XXI century was celebrating
her birthday at the stage of her native theatre.
March, 14 2004
From March 5 till March 14 the IV International festival of ballet
"Mariinsky" held in the Mariinsky Theatre. It is the only
festival of classical dance In Russia, which participants are the
conducting dancers of the largest ballet companies of the world.
Along with the Mariinsky's soloists like Uliana Lopatkina, Diana
Vishneva, Irma Nioradze, Igor Zelensky, Farukh Ruzimatov, Andrian
Fadeyev, Danila Korsuntsev in performances of former gala-concerts
had participated Vladimir Malakhov, Carlos Acosta, Jose-Manuel Carenio,
Itan Stiffel (American Ballet Theater); Nikolai Tsiskaridze (Bolshoi
Theatre) and others.
This festival Paloma Errera (ABT), Ìàssimo Murru and Roberto Bolle,
(soloists of ballet La Scala), Gretta Hodkinson, (a soloist of National
ballet of Canada) debuted.
Traditionally a premiere the Mariinsky Theatre represents at the
Festival. The present Festival has opened by a premiere of William
Forsite's ballets Steptext, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, The
Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.
During the festival the soloists of the Mariinsky theatre and the
visitors of a Festival have acted in classical repertoir. Uliana
Lopatkina danced in "Swan Lake ". Diana Vishneva and Ìàssimo
Muppu acted in "The Sleeping Beauty"; Daria Pavlenko,
Elvira Tarasova and Itan Stiffel, an ÀBT's star danced in "La
Baydere", Paloma Errera and Andrian Fadeyev in "Don Quixote".
Natalia Sologub debuted in a leading party "Manon" together
with Roberto Bolle.
All stars of ballet participated in a Gala-concert of March 14.
One of its branches was devoted to Leonid Jakobson commemorated
with 100-aniversary of the choreographer.