with Stars of Russian Ballet & Moscow Dance Theatre
Artistic Director Alexei Fadeyechev
2-6 March 2004 Sadler’s Wells, London
"In an age when the word, let alone the idea of a ballerina, is so debased, Nina Ananiashvili reasserts its meaning. Here is a dancer in the high summer of her art, superbly schooled, endowed with those rare gifts of lovely physique and commanding temperament that a true ballerina must have, mature in understanding, knowing exactly how choreography must be displayed rather than simply danced."
(Clement Crisp, Financial Times, July 21, 1999)*
One of the world’s most charismatic and accomplished prima ballerinas, Nina Ananiashvili (of the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre) brings Moscow Dance Theatre with Bolshoi principals to the UK for the first time with two programmes of specially commissioned works from three young choreographers currently scaling the heights of international renown and from the far flung corners of the world: Australia’s Stanton Welch, America’s Trey McIntyre and Russia’s Alexei Ratmansky.
Moscow Dance Theatre (MDT) was founded in 2000 by Nina Ananiashvili and Alexei Fadeyechev, a former director of the Bolshoi Ballet (1998-2000). Numbering approximately 35 dancers in total, it has toured in Russia, Georgia, Japan and the US. Two of the ballets commissioned for its debut performances, Green and Leah, will be performed in the London season.
Programme I: Green, a one-act neo-classical ballet inspired by the music of Vivaldi's violin concertos was created for Nina Ananiashvili by the Australian choreographer Stanton Welch, now artistic director of Houston Ballet where she is a regular guest artist. She will perform in London with her original partners Sergei Filin and Dmitri Belogolovtsev and members of MDT to live music played by the Russian Orchestra of London.Another Texan link is with Trey McIntyre, choreographic associate at Houston Ballet: Second Before The Ground is an exuberant work for six soloists and a corps de ballet of 10 set to African songs arranged by the Kronos Quartet (originally created in
1996 for Houston Ballet that performed it at Sadler's Wells in 2001). Based on an African tribal belief that just before he dies a man remembers all the happiest times of his life, this ballet spans the whole range of human emotions with romance, humour and tenderness while pushing the dancers to full stretch technically with intricate footwork and big leaps.
Leah is the final work for this programme and was created for Ananiashvili, Andrei Uvarov and MDT by Alexei Ratmansky in 2001. Set to Leonard Bernstein's legendary ballet score, The Dybbuk (originally created for Jerome Robbins' ballet of the same name for New York City Ballet in 1974), Leah is inspired by the classic 1920s drama written by the Russian Jewish playwright S.A-nsky and weaves Yiddish folk tales and legends into a tragic story of mysticism, magic and transcendental love suspended between the angelic and the demonic.
Programme II: Dreams about Japan and Charms of Mannerism make up this programme, both of them choreographed for Ananiashvili and the Bolshoi Principals by Alexei Ratmansky, currently a principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet but set to take over artistic directorship of the Bolshoi Ballet from January 2004. Charms of Mannerism is inspired by Couperin's joyous harpsichord works les Tours de Magie, les Jeunes Signores, la Polissonne, la Linotte Effarouchee, le Trophee, L’Anguille, Les Fauvettes Plaintives, Le Tic-Toc-Cho and explores developing relationships between the protagonists in a range of classical ballet variations. The baroque score is a perfect backdrop to the mime, gesturing and sophistication of classical ballet infused with irony, charm and humour. Two of the dancers for whom it was originally created** in 1997, Nina Ananiashvili and Sergei Filin, are joined by Inna Petrova and Andrei Uvarov for the London performances.
Nina Ananiashvili has toured extensively in Japan as a guest ballerina and is adored by Japanese balletomanes. The idea for Dreams about Japan was conceived by her and developed with Ratmansky for a special showcase performance premiered at the Bolshoi in 1998 featuring stars of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballets***. Since then it has toured throughout Russia, France, the US and Japan to huge critical acclaim and is regularly broadcast on Japanese national TV. The score was commissioned from the world famous Taiko drumming group Kodo, and will be played in London by seven leading percussionists from the Bolshoi Orchestra in an arrangement by their lead percussionist Victor Grishin. The ballet is structured according to one of the traditional forms of Kabuki theatre performance when the most popular highlights from various classical plays are brought together into one performance. Four well-known tableaux are included in Ratmansky's work which imbues classical ballet with the philosophy, steps and poses of Japanese dancing styles: The Heron Maiden, Maiden of the Dojoji Temple, Double Possession and The New Year's Lion Dance.
The Russian Orchestra of London conducted by the outstanding Russian violinist and conductor Sergey Stadler (Programme I) and Maestro Alexander Sotnikov (Programme II) play live for all works apart from Second Before the Ground which is a special arrangement by the Kronos Quartet on tape. The Ratmansky ballets are all designed by Mikhail Makharadze, a Georgian artist living in Spain who works for companies and theatres throughout Europe. Lighting is by Vyacheslav Kuteev.
Release date: 13 November 2003
PR: Debra Boraston, DBPR Associates, 11a Parkhill Road, London NW3 2YH T. 020 7483 1950
Notes to Editors:
PROGRAMME I: 2, 3 & 4 March
Choreography and design – Stanton Welch; Music - Antonio Vivaldi;
Performers - Nina Ananiashvili, Sergei Filin, Dmitri Belogolovtsev & MDT
Second Before the Ground
Choreography – Trey McIntyre; Music – Kronos Quartet;
Production and lighting design -Vyacheslav Kuteev; Costume designs - Galina Babaeva and Nadejda Babenkova.
Performers - Inna Petrova, Elina Palshina, Sergei Filin, Dmitri Belogolovtsev, Yuri Klevtsov & Moscow Dance Theatre
Choreography- Alexei Ratmansky; Music - Leonard Bernstein; Designs – Mikhail Makharadze;
Performers - Nina Ananiashvili, Andrei Uvarov & dancers of MDT
PROGRAMME II: 5 & 6 March
Charms of Mannerism
Choreography - Alexei Ratmansky; Music - Francois Couperin; Designs - Mikhail Makharadze;
Performers - Nina Ananiashvili, Inna Petrova, Sergei Filin, Andrei Uvarov
(**originally created for Nina Ananiashvili, Tatiana Terekhova, Sergei Filin
and Alexei Fadeyechev)
Dreams about Japan
Choreography – Alexei Ratmansky; Music – Kodo; Designs - Mikhail Makharadze;
Performers - Nina Ananiashvili, Inna Petrova, Maria Alexandrova, Sergei Filin, Andrei Uvarov, Dmitri Belogolovtsev, Dmitri Gudanov.
(***originally created for Nina Ananiashvili, Tatiana Terekhova, Inna Petrova, Alexei Fadeyechev, Sergei Filin, Andrei Uvarov and Dmitri Gudanov).
Nina Ananiashvili with Stars of Russian Ballet and Moscow Dance Theatre is managed by London-based Ensemble Productions Ltd, an independent production company founded by Olga Balakleets and Julian Gallant which promotes international cultural exchange with projects in the UK and overseas, especially Russia. Forthcoming 2003/4 events in the UK include a Brazilian concert series at the Wigmore Hall (03/04 season), the Benois de la Danse showcase at Sadler's wells 23 February 2004, Igor Zelensky and Friends at the Royal Albert Hall (April 04) and Helikon Opera at the Peacock Theatre (May 04). www.ensembleproductions.co.uk
FURTHER BOOKING INFORMATION:
Sadler’s Wells Box Office Tel.020 7863 8000 www.sadlerswells.com
Ticket prices: £10-£45
FURTHER PRESS INFORMATION:
Debra Boraston, DBPR Associates, Tel. 020 7483 1950
E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.henrymoorestudio.co.uk/dbpr