"Olga Balakleets" tag
Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Russian Ballet Icons Gala front cloth with Olesya Novikova.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – Dedicated to the History of Russian Ballet – London

The gala opened with the Act III wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by Ekaterina Osmolkina and Guiseppe Picone. No fish-dives in this version – the Russians regard them as vulgar, and Osmolkina could never be vulgar.

Russian Ballet Icons – Nijinsky Gala – London

Though this year it was Nijinsky’s turn to be reclaimed as a Russian icon, the contents of the gala had little to do with him. Very probably the choice of items – mainly pas de deux – depended on which dancers were available to perform whatever was in their repertoire.

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