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The thrill of exactitude

For lovers of dance, the 13th Mariinsky International Ballet Festival promises to amaze.

Published: February 27, 2013 (Issue # 1748)



  • Olga Yesina of the Wiener Staatsballet in Swan Lake is set to be a highlight of the current festival.
    Photo: FOR SPT

Works by the groundbreaking American choreographer William Forsythe will take center stage at the forthcoming 13th Mariinsky International Ballet Festival, which kicks off Feb. 28.

March 3 will see the revivals of William Forsythes ballets The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Almost a decade after these ballets originally premiered at the Mariinsky Theater, a completely new generation of Mariinsky dancers is learning Forsythes distinctive choreographic language. Forsythe is coming to St. Petersburg in person for a few days to supervise the final rehearsals of the ballets and attend the premiere of the revivals.

The choreographer is also bringing his Frankfurt-based troupe, The Forsythe Company, which he created in 2005, to the city to present his ballet N.N.N.N. Created for four male dancers, the minimalist piece celebrates masculinity and intensity.

The imagery borrows from sports, martial arts, artificial respiration, and just plain goofing around, wrote ballet critic Tobi Tobias in her review of the production for Artsjournal.com. Fighting and bonding, Forsythe seems to be saying, thats what men do, and the clue to their nature is that they do it simultaneously.

The Forsythe troupe is Company-in-Residence at both the Hellerau European Center for the Arts in Dresden and the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt am Main.

On March 9 the company is staging a creative workshop by young choreographers, at which aspiring Russian ballet masters will showcase their works. After the performance the Mariinsky will hold a discussion of the pieces, and if these choreographic experiments win enough critical support, they may enter the theaters repertoire. The workshop starts at 15:00.

The festival also features gala performances by Mariinsky soloists Yekaterina Kondaurova (March 5) and Vladimir Shklyarov (March 8).

Kondaurova thrives on eccentricity, her most successful parts being tormented heroines of the likes of Anna Karenina in Alexei Ratmanskys ballet, for which she was awarded the coveted Golden Mask prize, Russias most prestigious theatrical award; the vindictive princess Gamsatti in La Bayadère; and Alma Schindler in Glass Heart, the story of a love triangle between Schindler, her husband the composer Gustav Mahler and her teacher, composer Alexander Zemlinsky, to whose score the ballet was created.

For her gala, Kondaurova has chosen the George Balanchine ballet Jewels, where she will appear in all three parts: Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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