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Summer in Ballet
Text by Alevtina Kalinina

As they like to say in Russia, ballet is one of our best exports; along with space exploration and oil. It was under Peter the Great that ballet was first introduced into Russia and then successfully took its roots here. Russian dancers have long impressed international audiences with the smoothness of their movements and the intuitive assimilation of the roles they play. Russia has created real masters of ballet music – Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev... Les Ballets Russes – the itinerant ballet company organized by Diaghilev in France at the beginning of the 20th century, contributed a lot to the image of the Russian ballet school. Choreographers Marius Petipa, Michael Fokine and Vaslav Nijinsky created productions that are carefully reproduced by major theaters in the world from year to year. Such classical productions are beautiful in their simplicity and are always in fashion.

August is traditionally a low season for opera and ballet fans. Ballet houses prepare for the new season or are on tour abroad. Despite this, the Summer Ballet Festival is held every year in Moscow where you can see the pearls of the best Russian Ballet Company’s repertoires. Initially the idea was to organize a festival for foreign tourists who would be disappointed coming to Moscow without seeing a ballet. Muscovites became equally interested in the event, ensuring the festival’s success.

One of the features of this year’s festival is that along with classical productions there will be modern productions. But as for the classics, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty; Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliette, Cinderella and most other names of ballets that we have been familiar with since childhood, are part of the festival’s program. All the performances take place at the State Academic Youth Theater – right next to the Bolshoi Theater which is still being reconstructed.

formed at the end of the 19th century, and was then called the Emperor’s New Theater. In the past, fledgling soloists from the adjacent Bolshoi and Maly theaters performed here. This tradition is still being followed today, and many young dancers from the Bolshoi star in the productions being performed in the Summer Festival. The ballet companies taking part in this year’s festival are: the Moscow City Ballet, Anna Aleksidze’s Ballet Theater and the Smirnov Ballet. The artistic director of Anna Aleksidze’s Ballet Theater are Anna Aleksidze herself and Anatoly Emelyanov. The artistic director of the Smirnov Ballet is Ukranian Viktor Smirnov-Golovanov. Providing musical accompaniment for most of the performances is the Orchestra of the Classical Art Foundation, conducted by Sergei Kondrashov.

Practically every ballet company has classical masterpieces on its repertoire. But rarely can one see them all on one stage day after day in the course of two months. Summer Ballet Seasons give you this chance.

More information about the schedule and tickets at  

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