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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, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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