Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Russian Ballet Gala: An Afternoon of Ballet’s Greatest Hits

Russian Ballet Gala: An Afternoon of Ballet’s Greatest Hits featuring the Moscow Festival Ballet

Sunday, January 17, 2010, 3 p.m

It’s ballet’s greatest hits!  

That sort of seems like a funny phrase for a such a respected art form, but if you can imagine an afternoon celebration of the most memorable moments in story ballet, you can imagine what you will experience this coming Sunday at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS.

Direct from Russia, the Moscow Festival Ballet - featuring 50 of the finest dancers in the world, will perform selections from the greatest ballets of all time – The Sleeping Beauty, Scheherazade, Carmen, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Don Quixote and more! Below are some of the selections that will be featured this Sunday with a interesting fact about each performance.

Dying Swan – Swan Lake
Music by Camille Saint-Saens
Choreography by Michel Fokine

The short ballet follows the last moments in the life of a swan, and was first presented in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905. Famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova was the first to perform the role of the Dying Swan and performed the dance approximately 4,000 times during her career.

Act III Adagio - Cinderella
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography by Rostislav Zakharov

Like many folk tales, the origins of Cinderella can be traced back centuries and individual elements of the story can be found in almost every culture of the world.  It is impossible to know the exact number of tales (some are replicas of each other, while others have changed so much they are barely recognizable), but it has been estimated there are at least 1,500 variations on the theme of Cinderella worldwide.  The earliest versions found in print are from China in the ninth century.

Selection from The Little Humpbacked Horse
Music by Cesare Pugni
Choreography by Saint-Leon

The Humpbacked Horse is a classic well-known children’s fairy tale in Russia.  The story tells of a young peasant named Ivan who carries out demands of the Tsar with the help of a magic horse.  Censors in Russia banned the complete story for over 20 years in the mid-19th century because it made the Tsar appear foolish.

Act III Pas de Deux - The Sleeping Beauty
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography by Marius Petipa

Even though this ballet, Sleeping Beauty, was Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s first success and one of his most famous ballets, Tchaikovsky was irritated that the Czar of Russia, Alexander III, only said the ballet was “very nice.” Tchaikovsky expected a grander response from the Czar, and was irritated by the Czar’s simplistic commentary.

Act III Grand Pas - Don Quixote
Music by Leon Minkus
Choreography by Minkus Petipa

The story of Don Quixote stands in a unique position between medieval chivalric romance and the modern novel.  The former consist of disconnected stories with little exploration of the inner life of even the main character, while the latter are usually focused on the psychological evolution of their characters.  Among other literary firsts, Don Quixote is responsible for the adjective “quixotic,” which is behavior that is noble in an absurd way, or the desire to perform acts of chivalry in a radically impractical manner.

And many more! Good seats for this Sunday are still available. Ticket prices: Adult - $37, 32, Youth (High School and under) - $20, 17.  Call to get your tickets today! 217.206.6160. Learn more online at www.SangamonAuditorium.org

No comments:

Post a Comment