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Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg, Kirov Ballet

The renowned Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg is traditionally held in the highest esteem as a cradle of the classical ballet. The Company's invaluable contributions to the world dance scene are especially significant. The Mariinsky Ballet flourished at the time when this art form's influence and popularity were wanting elsewhere. It has forever impacted the global ballet history through the legendary choreographers, composers and dancers that blossomed on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Company beginnings date back to 1740's, following the establishment of the first Russian dance school (now the Vaganova Ballet Academy) in 1738. The renaissance of Russian ballet, by and large, is owed to the creative mastermind of a Frenchman Marius Petipa and the Mariinsky troupe coming together during the later pa rt of 19th century. It seems improbable whether the choreographic masterpieces comprising the classical ballet legacy could have been born of any other union. The results of this collaboration: "La Bayadere", "The Sleeping Beauty", "Swan Lake" (with Lev Ivanov), "Raymonda" not only epitomize Petipa's genius, but also reveal the inimitable aura of the Mariinsky Ballet. Through his tenure as the chief ballet master, Petipa redefined the corps de ballet to reflect his vision of ideal unity. His ballerinas soared to glory in roles the master devised for their individual talents: the names of Yekaterina Vyazem, Mathilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova and Olga Preobrazhenskaya are justly celebrated as part of the Mariinsky past. In the early 20th century, Michele Fokine had reigned over the Mariinsky for a single decade and his innovative works, "Chopiniana" ("Les Sylphides") and "Le Pavillon d'Armide" among them, brought to the fore a male dancer prototype for the future. Vaslav Nijinsky was destined to have an extraordinary impact on the development of male ballet technique in Russia and abroad.

The years after the revolution were challenging for the ballet. The Mariinsky Theatre had lost all of its imperial benefactors, and many of the best artists, including budding young choreographer Georgy Balanchivadze, fled the country due to hardships. Yet the Company maintained its classical heritage through the next 20 years, under the vigilant eye of the brilliant ballet master Fyodor Lopukhov and the famed dance teacher Agrippina Vaganova. New star dancers Marina Semenova, Galina Ulanova, Natalia Dudinskaya, Vakhtang Chabukiani and Konstantin Sergeyev revitalized the traditional repertoire. Aside from classics, the Company's current focus tied to the burgeoning genre of drama-ballet. The new movement shifted away from dance as the primary interpretive element in ballet, and relied mainly on naturalistic staging and realistic acting. Leonid Lavrovsky's "Romeo and Juliet", premiered in 1940 and the best of the lot, survives largely due to Prokofiev's superlative score and Shakespeare's ageless love story.

The Mariinsky's devotion to tradition was well kept through the 50's, 60's and 70's, though the company remained immune to the forward movement in Western choreographic art. No matter, Petipa's shades, Ivanov's swans and Fokine's sylphides conquered the audiences and critics the world over. The dancers of that generation thrived even within the limits of repertoire; among the best were Irina Kolpakova, Alla Osipenko, Natalia Makarova, Rudolph Nureyev, Yuri Soloviev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. There were capable homegrown choreographers fulfilling the need for innovation. Yuri Grigorovich created perhaps his most interesting ballet "The Legend of Love" in 1961, and once again realigned the art form with principals of symphonic dance manifested in Petipa-Tchaikovsky masterpieces. A few original works of that period withstood the test of time, though Grigorovich's best choreography endures to this day.

At last Roland Petit was invited to stage "Le Notre-Dame de Paris" in 19 78, marking the introduction of contemporary foreign choreography to St. Petersburg artists. One of the most controversial European masters Maurice BĂ©jart soon followed and set a selection of his dances for the troupe. A monumental event transpired in 1989, as two ballets by George Balanchine received its first performances by the Mariinsky authorized by The Balanchine Trust. The Company, eager to expand its repertoire, acquired works by Jerome Robbins and Anthony Tudor, added to its Balanchine collection and revived Fokine's signature creations for Ballets Russes. The artists were challenged and invigorated with the riches of the 20th century neo-classicism and modern dance. The abundant talents of Galina Mezentseva, Tatiana Terekhova, Altynai Asylmuratova, Farukh Ruzimatov and Igor Zelensky shone with new luster. The year leading to the turn of the millennium at the Mariinsky proved to be a vintage one. The reconstruction of Marius Petipa's greatest masterpiece "The Sleeping Beauty" in the 1890 original version was realized, and then George Balanchine's full length opus "Jewels" had its premiere; both becoming the instant hallmarks of the company's repertoire. These productions also affirmed the exceptional gifts of three young ballerinas: Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva and Svetlana Zakharova broadened the resources of classical expression at the onset of 21st century.

In the next decade, The Mariinsky Ballet continues the forays into recent and distant past, while its playbill is augmented by a number of original creations. Encouraged by the favorable reception of the new-old "The Sleeping Beauty", the Company restored another Petipa's jewel "La Bayadere", in the last version overseen by the choreographer himself in 1900. An ardent scholar of the ballet theatre's romantic era Pierre Lacotte was invited to re-stage Jules Perrot's "Ondine", not seen for well over a century. Lacotte's new production was consistent to the original atmosphere and style of the period, and the dancers brilliantly mastered the complex choreography rooted in French academic traditions. The Mariinsky was honored with The Golden Mask Award in 2008 for its revival of "Le Reveil de Flore", another Petipa & Ivanov trifle unearthed from the Ballet's Imperial coffers. The 20th century segment of repertoire was enriched with Sir Kenneth MacMillan's lavish dramatic vehicle "Manon", intended to showcase the company's best dancing actors. John Neumeier's staging of three one-act ballets, including a w orld premiere of "Sounds of Empty Pages", was fervently performed by the Mariinsky. William Forsythe produced a blockbuster program highlighted by the iconic "In the middle, somewhat elevated"; his edgy improvisational style, with almost mathematically calculated movement, is often beyond the reach of most, yet the St. Petersburg dancers triumphed in Forsythe's works. The company's quest for original choreography resulted in commissions from Russia's Kirill Simonov and Alexei Miroshnichenko, Britain's David Dawson, U.S.A.'s Noah D. Gelber and Canada's Peter Quanz. The Mariinsky's long-established association with the much thought after choreographer of our day Alexei Ratmansky produced the finest new additions to the repertoire, especially his modern un-fairy tale take on the "Cinderella" and the ingenious treatment of an Old Russian folk fable "The Little Humpbacked Horse".

Today the Mariinsky Ballet carefully guards its legacy: the Company's renditions of "Swan Lake", "Giselle" a nd "Paquita" remain unrivalled, Balanchine's treasures "Symphony in C" and "Serenade" are deemed as spiritual birthright, and Forsythe's prodigious choreography holds no obstacles for its artists. Ballerinas Uliana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva are now undisputed leaders of the troupe, as are Andrian Fadeyev, Leonid Sarafanov and Denis Matvienko among the men. A number of talented young dancers rose through the ranks recently: Victoria Tereshkina, Alina Somova, Ekaterina Kondaurova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Vladimir Shklyarov and Michail Lobukhin zealously carry on the Mariinsky Ballet's traditions.

Mariinsky Ballet touring schedule for 2012

NEW YORK CITY CENTER SEASON (APR 1-APR 20, 2008)

WEEK 1
April 1, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Raymonda (Act 3)
Music: Alexander Glazunov
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Lopatkina, Korsuntsev

Act Two Paquita (Grand Pas)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Vishneva, Fadeev

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Somova, Sarafanov

April 2, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Raymonda (Act 3)
Music: Alexander Glazunov
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Novikova, Fadeev

Act Two Paquita (Grand Pas)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Tereshkina, Ivanchenko

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Lopatkina, Korsuntsev

April 3, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Raymonda (Act 3)
Music: Alexander Glazunov
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Tereshkina, Korsuntsev

Act Two Paquita (Grand Pas)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Somova, Korsakov

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Vishneva, Ivanchenko

April 4, 2008 at 8PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Osmolkina, Korsakov

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Golub, Kolb
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina

Act Three Scheherazade
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vishneva, Kolb

April 5, 2008 at 2PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Kolegova, Korsuntsev

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Gonchar, Korsakov
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina

Act Three Scheherazade
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina, Ivanchenko

April 5, 2008 at 8PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Osmolkina, Kolb

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Golub, Sarafanov
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vishneva

Act Three Scheherazade
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina, Kozlov

April 6, 2008 at 3PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Kolegova, Ivanchenko

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Golub, Sarafanov

Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina

Act Three Scheherazade
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vishneva, Kolb

WEEK 2
April 8, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Le Corsaire (Le Jardin anime and Pas de Deux)
Music: Adolphe Adam
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Vishneva, Korsakov, Korsuntsev

Act Two Diana and Acteon (Pas de Deux)
Music: Cesare Pugni
Choreography: Agrippina Vaganova
Tereshkina, Lobukhin

Pause
Don Quixote (Grand Pas de Deux)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Alexander Gorsky
Somova, Sarafanov

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Lopatkina, Ivanchenko

April 9, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Le Corsaire (Le Jardin anime and Pas de Deux)
Music: Adolphe Adam
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Lopatkina, Kolb, Kozlov

Act Two Diana and Acteon (Pas de Deux)
Music: Cesare Pugni
Choreography: Agrippina Vaganova
Osmolkina, Lobukhin

Pause
Don Quixote (Grand Pas de Deux)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Alexander Gorsky
Tereshkina, Korsakov

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Novikova, Fadeev

April 10, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Le Corsaire (Le Jardin anime and Pas de Deux)
Music: Adolphe Adam
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Tereshkina, Sarafanov, Ivanchenko

Act Two Diana and Acteon (Pas de Deux)
Music: Cesare Pugni
Choreography: Agrippina Vaganova
Novikova, Lobukhin
Pause
Don Quixote (Grand Pas de Deux)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Alexander Gorsky
Vishneva, Fadeev

Act Three La Bayadere (The Kingdom of Shadows)
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Somova, Korsuntsev

April 11, 2008 at 8PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Bolshakova, Ivanchenko

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Golub, Kolb
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina

Act Three Etudes
Music: Karl Czerny
Choreography: Harald Lander
Somova, Sarafanov, Fadeev

April 12, 2008 at 2PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vasnetsova, Korsuntsev

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Gonchar, Sarafanov
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vishneva

Act Three Etudes
Music: Karl Czerny
Choreography: Harald Lander
Novikova, Schklyarov, Korsakov

April 12, 2008 at 8PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Osmolkina, Kolb

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Golub, Korsakov
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Lopatkina

Act Three Etudes
Music: Karl Czerny
Choreography: Harald Lander
Tereshkina, Sarafanov, Fadeev

April 13, 2008 at 3PM Act One Chopiniana
Music: Frederic Chopin
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Kolegova, Ivanchenko

Act Two Le Spectre de la Rose
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Gonchar, Kolb
Pause
The Dying Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Vishneva

Act Three Etudes
Music: Karl Czerny
Choreography: Harald Lander
Somova, Sarafanov, Schklyarov

WEEK 3
April 15, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Steptext
Music: J.S. Bach
Choreography: William Forsythe
Vishneva, Kolb, Lobukhin, Sergeev

Act Two Approximate Sonata
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Scheschina, Ivanov, Riu, Popov Sergei, Selina, Pimonov, Kondaurova, Zyuzin

Pause
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Music: Franz Schubert
Choreography: William Forsythe
Androsova, Gonchar, Osmolkina,
Sarafanov, Fadeev

Act Three In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Golub, Kondaurova, Novikova, Scheschina,
Selina, Dubrovina, Lobukhin, Sergeev, Pimonov

April 16, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Steptext
Music: J.S. Bach
Choreography: William Forsythe
Kondaurova, Pimonov, Lobukhin, Sergeev

Act Two Approximate Sonata
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Scheschina, Ivanov, Riu, Popov Sergei,
Selina, Pimonov, Kondaurova, Zyuzin

Pause
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Music: Franz Schubert
Choreography: William Forsythe
Androsova, Gonchar, Osmolkina,
Sarafanov, Schklyarov

Act Three In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Golub, Kondaurova, Novikova, Scheschina,
Selina, Dubrovina, Lobukhin, Sergeev, Pimonov

April 17, 2008 at 7:30PM Act One Steptext
Music: J.S. Bach
Choreography: William Forsythe
Kondaurova, Pimonov, Lobukhin, Sergeev

Act Two Approximate Sonata
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Scheschina, Ivanov, Riu, Popov Sergei,
Petushkova, Nedviga, Dubrovina, Timofeev

Pause
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Music: Franz Schubert
Choreography: William Forsythe
Androsova, Gonchar, Osmolkina,
Schklyarov, Fadeev

Act Three In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography: William Forsythe
Golub, Kondaurova, Novikova, Scheschina,
Selina, Dubrovina, Lobukhin, Sergeev, Pimonov

April 18, 2008 at 8PM Act One Serenade
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Somova, Korsuntsev

Act Two Rubies from Jewels
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Vishneva, Fadeev, Kondaurova

Act Three Ballet Imperial
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Tereshkina, Kolb

April 19, 2008 at 2PM Act One Serenade
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Osmolkina, Ivanchenko

Act Two Rubies from Jewels
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Tereshkina, Korsakov, Gonchar

Act Three Ballet Imperial
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Somova, Schklyarov

April 19, 2008 at 8PM Act One Serenade
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Kondaurova, Korsuntsev

Act Two Rubies from Jewels
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Golub, Sarafanov, Gonchar

Act Three Ballet Imperial
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Lopatkina, Korsuntsev
April 20, 2008 at 3PM Act One Serenade
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Tereshkina, Ivanchenko

Act Two Rubies from Jewels
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Novikova, Schklyarov, Kondaurova

Act Three Ballet Imperial
Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine
Vishneva, Fadeev

Kirov Ballet and Orchestra Performances Schedule
for American Tour in October 2008

Chicago, Auditorium Theatre

October 1, 2008 12:00PM Giselle Novikova-Shklyarov
October 2, 2008 7:30PM Giselle Vishneva-Kolb
October 3, 2008 7:30PM Giselle Nioradze-Ivanchenko
October 4, 2008 2:00PM Giselle Novikova-Shklyarov
October 4, 2008 8:00PM Giselle Nioradze-Ivanchenko
October 5, 2008 2:00PM Giselle Vishneva-Kolb

Costa Mesa, Segerstrom Hall

October 7, 2008 7:30PM Don Quixote Novikova-Sarafanov
October 8, 2008 7:30PM Don Quixote Vishneva-Fadeev
October 9, 2008 7:30PM Don Quixote Tereshkina-Lobukhin
October 10, 2008 7:30PM Giselle Vishneva-Fadeev
October 11, 2008 2:00PM Giselle Osmolkina-Shklyarov
October 11, 2008 7:30PM Giselle Nioradze-Korsakov
October 12, 2008 2:00PM Giselle Lopatkina-Ivanchenko

Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall

October 14, 2008 8:00PM Raymonda-Shades-Paquita
Lopatkina-Ivanchenko
Somova-Sarafanov
Vishneva-Fadeev
October 15, 2008 8:00PM Raymonda-Shades-Paquita
Nioradze-Lobukhin
Lopatkina-Ivanchenko
Somova-Sarafanov

October 17, 2008 8:00PM Don Quixote Vishneva-Fadeev
October 18, 2008 2:00PM Don Quixote Nioradze-Korsakov
October 18, 2008 8:00PM Don Quixote Somova-Ivanchenko
October 19, 2008 3:00PM Don Quixote Novikova-Sarafanov

Los Angeles, Music Center/Nutcracker

December 17, 2008 7:30PM Vishneva-Fadeev
December 18, 2008 2:00PM Golub-Korsakov
December 18, 2008 7:30PM Novikova-Sarafanov
December 19, 2008 7:30PM Somova-Kolb
December 20, 2008 2:00PM Novikova-Sarafanov
December 20, 2008 7:30PM Vishneva-Fadeev