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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:06 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Cal Performances' 08/09 season images can be found at: ... ment_0809/





BERKELEY, April 30, 2009---Making its first stop in its United States
tour, the revered Bolshoi Ballet, lead by its new artistic director Yuri
Burlaka, returns to Cal Performances Thursday--Sunday, June 4--7. The
Bolshoi Ballet is nothing shy of illustrious. "'Bolshoi' means 'big' in
Russian, and the Bolshoi Ballet is just that: big dreams and magnificent
passion, superhuman dancing, bold dramatic gestures and monumental
ambition despite all historical odds" (San Francisco Chronicle). The
company will perform the epic La Bayadère, which has seldom been seen in
its entirety in the Bay Area. Set in India, the ballet tells the story
of two lovers, Solor, a warrior, and Nikia, temple dancer, who are
destroyed by jealousy. In 1991, Yuri Grigorovich, one of Russia's most
honored choreographers and the director of the Bolshoi company from
1964--1995, re-constructed Marius Petipa's original 1877 work. Set to
the music of Ludwig Minkus, the production is an extravagant ballet of
passion, betrayal and redemption. The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra will
be led by Bolshoi conductor Pavel Klinichev.

The lead roles will be danced by principal dancers and soloists: Nikia
will be performed by Svetlana Zakharova (June 4 & June 6 evening),
Nadezhda Gracheva (June 5 & June 7 matinee) and Maria Alexandrova (June
6 matinee); Solor will be danced by Nikolai Tsiskaridze (June 4 & June 6
evening), Andrei Uvarov (June 5 & June 7 matinee) and Alexander Volchkov
(June 6 matinee); Gamzatti will be performed by Maria Alexandrova (June
4), Yekaterina Shipulina (June 5, June 6 matinee & June 7 matinee) and
Yekaterina Krysanova (June 6 evening). (Zakharova can currently be seen
in the documentary film Ballerina that features five renowned Russian

The Bolshoi Ballet is looking for 20 men to participate in the
production as supernumeraries (sizes 38-42); no ballet experience is
necessary. A casting call will be held on Saturday, May 30 from 9:00
a.m.--1:00 p.m. at San Francisco Ballet. For more information, please
contact Laura Abrams, Cal Performances' Director of Education &
Community Programs, at

"The quintessential ballet, without question, is La Bayadère...[it has
been passed] down substantially unadulterated," says The New York Times.
La Bayadère translates to "the temple dancer" and tells the story of
Nikia and Solor, who have privately sworn their love and eternal
fidelity to one another. But conflict arises when a High Brahmin takes
an interest in Nikia and the Rajah chooses Solor as bridegroom for his
daughter, Gamzatti. When Gamzatti discovers the secret oath, she and the
Rajah arrange for Nikia to perish by snakebite.

The most iconic scene in La Bayadère, "The Kingdom of the Shades," takes
place in the third act. In an opium dream, a heartbroken Solor visits
his love in the Great Beyond, the so-called Kingdom of the Shades. An
all-female, 32-member corps de ballet dressed in ghostly white steps out
of the dark one at a time, in a slow, serpentine chain. "Petipa at his
peak...the entrance epitomizes classical dance at its most pristine"
(The New York Times). Petipa staged the scene in the strictest Grand pas
classique form, completely devoid of any dramatic action. The dazzling
corps work and two brilliant pas de deux often distinguish "The Kingdom
of the Shades" as one of the most celebrated excerpts in all of
classical ballet, and it is often extracted from the full-length work to
be performed independently. (The Kirov Ballet performed it as part of
the company's mixed repertoire program at Cal Performances in 2008)

Petipa created La Bayadère especially for the benefit of Ekaterina
Vazem, prima ballerina of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theater. The
original role of Solor was danced by Lev Ivanov, who went on to succeed
Petipa. During the time of La Bayadère's production, the Imperial
Italian Opera was heavily favored over ballet, leaving Petipa to stage
and rehearse his work in the most difficult circumstances. Despite
difficulties, La Bayadère premiered to a full house on February 5, 1877,
and was a resounding success, both commercially and critically. The work
has enjoyed success in the 20th century, having been performed and
restaged by numerous notable companies, including the Royal Ballet,
Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theater.

Yuri Grigorovich is one of the outstanding Russian choreographers of the
20th century. He was a soloist of the Mariinsky Theater for 18 years and
for a short time headed its Kirov Ballet. His first productions at the
Kirov were The Stone Flower and The Legend of Love, which marked the
birth of a new trend that for many years determined the development of
ballet in Russia. For over 30 years, Grigorovich was the artistic
director of the Bolshoi Ballet. He created ballets which garnered
worldwide acclaim, among them The Nutcracker (1966), Spartacus (1968),
Ivan the Terrible (1975), Romeo and Juliet (1982) and The Golden Age
(1982). He also choreographed new versions of such masterpieces as The
Sleeping Beauty (1963, 1973), Raymonda (1984), La Bayadere (1991), Don
Quixote (1991), Giselle (1987) and Le Corsaire (1994). Grigorovich has
staged his ballets in Stockholm, Rome, Paris, Copenhagen, Vienna, Milan,
Ankara, Prague, Sofia, Genoa and Warsaw. In 2007, he received the Order
of Merit for the Fatherland award.

The history of the Bolshoi began in 1776, when the Russian government
granted Prince Petr Urussov the privilege of creating a permanent
company in Moscow. In 1780, he built the first professional theater in
Moscow, the Petrovsky Theater---named after the street on which it was
built---where the company performed drama, opera and ballet. A fire in
1805 destroyed the theater and until the opening of the new
Classical-style Petrovsky Theater in 1825, the performances were staged
at a variety of venues. The drama company relocated to a newly opened
Maly Theater, while the Bolshoi Petrovsky Theater devoted itself to the
production of opera and ballet. At this stage, the ballet company
comprised just 47 dancers. Another fire in 1853 damaged the theater,
which was reconstructed by architect Albert Kavos and reopened in 1856.
With only minor alterations over the years, it remained the Bolshoi
Theater of today. Presently, the building is undergoing a $730 million

The legacy of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky---operas such as Eugene Onegin,
The Queen of Spades, Massepa, Iolanta, and the ballets Swan Lake, The
Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker---is intertwined with that of the
Bolshoi Theater as is that of nearly every great Russian composer,
conductor, opera singer, ballet dancer, instrumentalist, playwright and
dramatic actor.

The first ballets to be produced were by the great French and Italian
ballet masters such as Filippo Beccari, the Morelli brothers and Jean
Lamirat. Before long, however, young Russian choreographers such as Adam
Glushkovsky took over, concentrating on ballets with Russian themes.
Because of the success of Marius Petipa at the Mariinsky Theater in St.
Petersburg during the second half of the 19th century, a period of
rivalry between the two companies ensued. Alexander Gorsky, Petipa's
assistant and pupil, was appointed to the Bolshoi Theater in 1900. Until
his death in 1924, Gorsky revised the company's stagings of the basic
repertoire, making them more dramatic and realistic and laying the
foundations for the company's great future successes. He had brought
back into the repertoire Petipa's Don Quixote (1900), followed by the
Coppélia of Saint-Leon (1901), La Fille mal gardée (1903), Swan Lake and
Giselle (1911), Le Corsaire (1913) and La Bayadère (1917). Today, the
Bolshoi is considered the principal national theater in the Russian
Federation, employing 3,000 people, including its famed opera company
and a ballet company of more than 200 dancers. Under General Director
Anatoly Iksanov, the Bolshoi Theater combines a pride in its artistic
heritage with an awareness that it must grow and develop to prosper in
today's rapidly changing world.

Yuri Burlaka, appointed as the new artistic director of the Bolshoi
Theater Ballet Company on January 1, 2009, is a choreographer known for
reconstructing classic ballets. He is the successor of Alexei Ratmansky,
whom he worked alongside of for four years. Burlaka was born in Moscow
in 1968 and completed his training at the Moscow Ballet School in 1986;
that same year, he became the principal soloist with the Russian Ballet
Company. His repertoire included Franz (Coppélia), Prince Desiré and the
Blue Bird (The Sleeping Beauty), Albercht (Giselle), James (La
Sylphide), Rothbart and Pas de troix (Swan Lake), solo parts in
Chopiniana, Paquita and many others. From 1993--1996, he studied at the
Russian Academy of Theater Art, and in 1999 he graduated with
distinction from the Moscow State Academy of Ballet as teacher and
choreographer. In 2004, he took part in the Bolshoi Theater's First
Workshop of New Choreography at which he presented a reconstruction of
fragments from Marius Petipa's The Awakening of Flora and The Magic
Mirror and excerpts from Alexander Gorsky's The Humpbacked Horse. His
productions at the Bolshoi Theater include La Corsaire (together with
Alexei Ratmansky, 2007) and Paquita Grand pas (2008).

Bolshoi conductor Pavel Klinichev received his degree from the Moscow
State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in 1998 and continued to study at the
Conservatoire, graduating as a symphony conductor in 2000. Klinichev
became the Bolshoi Theater conductor in 2001. In the capacity of music
director, Klinichev contributed to worldwide acclaimed ballets, among
them was the production of Roland Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris (2002),
the revival of Grigorovich's The Golden Age (2006), and the productions
of Le Corsaire (2007), Class Concert (2007) and Paquita Grand pas (2008).

Tickets for Bolshoi Ballet's La Bayadère from Thursday--Sunday, June
4--7 in Zellerbach Hall are priced at $50.00, $75.00, $100.00 and
$125.00. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket
Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at; and at the door. Half-price tickets are
available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff,
senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members
receive a $5 discount (Special Events excluded). For more information,
call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988 or visit the Cal Performances
web site at

For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty
and staff, senior and community rush tickets. Rush tickets are announced
two hours prior to a performance and are available in person only at the
Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; quantities may
be limited. Rush ticket sales are limited to one ticket per person; all
sales are cash only. Rush ticket prices are $10 for UCB students; $15
for UCB faculty and staff (UCB ID required) and seniors age 65 or older;
and $20 for all other community members. Information is available at
(510) 642-9988, press 2 for the rush hotline, two hours prior to a
performance only.

# # #

Cal Performances 2008/09 season is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Classical 102.1 KDFC is our 2008/09 season media sponsor.

# # #


Saturday, May 30 from 9:00 a.m.--1:00 p.m.

San Francisco Ballet, Large Studio
455 Franklin Street, San Francisco

A Casting Call for Supernumeraries
Bolshoi Ballet

Russia's legendary Bolshoi Ballet in La Bayadère is looking for 20 male
supernumeraries (sizes 38-42) for various roles; no ballet experience

Contact: Laura Abrams, Director of Education & Community Programs at Cal
Performances at Please e-mail in advance
for consideration.

# # #

Thursday & Friday, June 4 & 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 6 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 7 at 3:00 p.m.

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

Bolshoi Ballet
La Bayadère
Pavel Klinichev, conductor
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra

La Bayadère (1877): music by Ludwig Minkus; choreography by Marius
Petipa, reconstructed by Yuri Grigorovich (1991)

Tickets: $50, $75, $100 and $125, available through the Cal Performances
Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone;
at; and at the door.

-- Cal Performances --

Christina Kellogg 510.643.6714
Joe Yang 510.642.9121

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