Royal Moscow Ballet returns to southern Africa in July with Crown of the Russian Ballet, visiting Gabarone, Durban, Joburg, Bloemfontein, Sasolburg and PE.
There are two shows in Durban on Saturday July 28 at 2pm and 6pm featuring new works not brought to Durban before, Paquita with music by Ludwig Minkus choreographed after Marius Petipa; and The Firebird – a one-act ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Anatoly Emelianov.
Paquita is the creation of French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opéra Ballet Master Joseph Mazilier. In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet of St Petersburg by Marius Petipa and Pierre-Frédéric Malavergne, being the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia. In 1881, Petipa produced a revival of the ballet for which he added new pieces specially composed by Ludwig Minkus. This included the Paquita pas de trois for the first act and the Paquita grand pas classique and the Mazurka des enfants for the last act. Petipa’s version of Paquita was retained in the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre until 1926.
Petipa’s 1881 additions for Paquita survived long after the full-length ballet left the stage. Today these pieces, particularly the Grand pas classique, are major cornerstones of the traditional classical ballet repertory and have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.
The Firebird is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1910 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes company; the original choreography was by Michel Fokine, with a scenario by Alexandre Benois and Fokine based on the Russian fairy tales of the Firebird and the blessing and curse it possesses for its owner. When first performed at the Opéra de Paris on 25 June 1910, the work was an instant success with both audience and critics.
The ballet has historic significance not only as Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece but also as the beginning of the collaboration between Diaghilev and Stravinsky that would also produce the acclaimed ballets Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913).
In a country starved of professional ballet, the regular visits from dancers of the Royal Moscow Ballet are always a treat. The company arrives in the country for a six-city tour in July covering Johannesburg, Sasolburg, Gaborone; Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
Royal Moscow Ballet has toured successfully around the globe presenting more than a thousand performances. The company, which consists of graduates of the best Russian choreography, ballet and dance schools, premiered as the Royal Moscow Ballet on the 12 August 2002. The founders are Anatoly Emelianov and Anna Aleksidze.
In 2018 the Royal Moscow Ballet will be celebrating its 16th anniversary. The company has created more than 20 modern and 15 classical ballets. The ballets were created by choreographers/founders Anatoly and Aleksidze.
The Royal Moscow Ballet has visited countries such as Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya – the first visit of a Russian ballet company to East Africa. The dancers performed on specially built stages near Victoria Falls.
In honour of their contribution to the furthering of Russian Culture both Anna Alexidze and Anatoly Emelianov were awarded the prestigious Knight of the Second Order of Dyagilev in 2007.
Royal Moscow Ballet is presented by Edouard Miasnikov Agency whose objective remains to widen cultural exchange and sharing between Russia and South Africa: www.russianartists.co.za.
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