CriticalDance Forum

St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre
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Author:  Kevin Ng [ Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre

Cassandra, I am glad to read your review of the second cast which I missed myself last month. This week both performances of La Bayadere in Newcastle were danced by the first cast - Kolesnikova/Akulinin. I was informed that the company will bring back this new production of La Bayadere for the next UK tour this autumn.

Author:  mehunt [ Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre

I have a sort of silly question, but what is the relation of this company to the one currently touring the US (as discussed in this thread)

Are they the same company? they appear to have different directors and dancers, but similar names? Can anyone shed light on this? I'm scheduled to see the "St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre" troupe which I've been told is the one that Galina Mezentseva toured with and which is under Yuri Petukhov's direction.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre

Not a silly question at all! I was similarly confused at first, but that word "State" makes all the difference. They are totally separate companies, though I've heard that the company currently touring in the US is not above using the company currently touring in the UK's press notices.

Author:  mehunt [ Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre

Thanks, Cassandra! I've been reading a little online and it sounds like a lot of people confuse them. I gather that the one touring the UK is about 10 years old, and directed by Tatchkin, while the one I'll be seeing her in California was apparently founded in 1966 by Pyotr Gusev.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:03 am ]
Post subject: 

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre is back in the UK for another tour. Here are the details of the towns to be visited:

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:21 am ]
Post subject: 

Flight from modernity
by LAURA THOMPSON for the Daily Telegraph

Indeed, watching Swan Lake, I felt that the company could have been formed in 1954, or even 1894. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply turns ballet into something different, takes it away from the modernising tendency that has both revitalised and unnerved it in Britain.

published: November 24, 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Swan Lake
By Jann Parry for The Observer

There's no shortage of newcomers wanting to see a proper, preferably Russian, production of Swan Lake. Of the many troupes which tour the United Kingdom at this time of year, the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre is one of the best.

click for more


Swan Lake
ByDavid dougill for The Sunday Times

Tchaikovsky said that he was so impressed by Delibes’s score for Sylvia when he first heard it that it made him ashamed of his own Swan Lake. Be that as it may, there was room for both — and for multitudes ever since, Swan Lake is the classical ballet. The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, a popular and regular visitor to the UK.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:54 am ]
Post subject: 

La Bayadere/Swan Lake
By Richard Edmonds for The Stage

The first astonishing thing in an evening filled with marvels is the transformation of Symphony Hall’s normally austere stage into a smart little theatre complete with proscenium arch and orchestra pit (the latter a rarity) thus creating a perfect frame for two excellent ballets.

La Bayadere, with its score by Minkus and libretto by Petipa, is set in some mysterious hinterland (checked) between India and Persia and has a delectable touch of The Arabian Nights about it.

click for more

Author:  Tahor [ Tue May 02, 2006 10:39 am ]
Post subject: 

Gloukhikh / Mirov - More than Just the Poster Please!

Russian dancers are often advertised on tours yet never for one reason or another show up – it seems to be an Anglo-Russian tradition! The recent loss of a great principal Russian male to the UK has been noticed. Where is Yuri Gloukhikh / Mirov hiding, the beautifully elegant partner of Irina Kolesnikova from the Tachkin ballet company? He was seen on posters all over the UK, but sadly did not grace a single stage here on the recent tour. I feel sure other readers may have noticed and lamented his absence, I heard many people in theatres asking where he was.

Yuri is a supremely elegant dancer, a temperament rarely seen anywhere now; the refinement of his second act Giselle for example, seen here in the UK, was quite extraordinary and stunningly beautiful. Gloukhikh and Kolesnikova were absolute perfection together. Rarely has there been such poetry on stage between a great Ballerina and her Prince, and watching the two of them dance together was a magical experience for many of us. Great things are going on sometimes on these regional tours with smaller companies, this artist was a supreme example.

Can we have him back please?! No doubt his appearance in the UK having fallen foul to balletic political intrigue, let us hope that Yuri, Tachkin himself, the impresario and all else involved can sort the situation out and give us the live version next year rather than just the poster! His absence is noticed, he is missed, and we need him back, please.

Ironically the tradition of Russian male dancers appearing on tour posters but never on the tour itself has a long and proud tradition in the UK. Rather as happened with Gloukhikh does anyone remember the posters of Tsiskaridze outside the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2001…?

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed May 03, 2006 3:47 am ]
Post subject: 

As someone who has been watching the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre for some years now, I have to agree with Tahor regarding Yuri Gloukhikh. He is a serious loss to the company and his absence means that the fascinating partnership that had developed between him and the company’s prima, Irina Kolesnikova is now just a fond memory.

Gloukhikh had quite a devoted following in the UK and when I recently went to Nottingham to see the Bolshoi, I was told by a local ballet fan that some months earlier a group of his admirers had actually staged a demonstration outside the theatre demanding his return with one lady handcuffing herself to the wall beside the stage door. I think that illustrates the strength of feeling amongst his fans who all feel his loss acutely.

By the way, I’m told several people witnessing the demo took photos, so if anyone reading this has any; I’d love to see some pictures of the event posted here.

Author:  Kevin Ng [ Wed May 03, 2006 4:32 am ]
Post subject: 

Yes, Tahor, I do miss Gloukhikh's dancing a lot, and was disappointed that he was absent from the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre's UK tour last winter. I've admired his dancing ever since I first saw him in 2000.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  Irina Kolesnikova

There is a picture of Irina Kolesnikova, leading dancer with the SPBT in today's Independent wearing items from the Bejewelled by Tiffany exhibition at Somerset House.

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  2006/07 Season

Here is the touring schedue for St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. The programme entitled 'Stars of SPBT Gala' looks particularly interesting. Not sure of the entire programme yet but the highlight will be Irina Kolesnikova dancing Paquita.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:10 am ]
Post subject: 

I thought I'd copy this press release here from another thread as it includes more details of the gala programme that will be such an interesting addition to the SPTB rep this year.

Konstantin Tachkin’s

“It would be difficult to go wrong with a dancer like Kolesnikova …4,500 people raised the roof.” Sunday Express

“A star she undoubtedly is.” Daily Telegraph

“Kolesnikova is a dream of an Odette. The evening was a triumph for her.” The Times

“Eat your heart out Robbie Williams – selling out is easier than you think – three shows had to be added!” The Witness, Durban, South Africa

South African ballet audiences were thrilled to have the first ever full length performances of Swan Lake performed by a Russian company during Spring 2006. St Petersburg Ballet Theatre with star prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova had to add extra shows to the sell-out tour. The press throughout the tour was unanimous but probably best summed up in this amazing line from The Pretoria News, which was published on 21 March:

“There are three excellent reasons to see the St Petersburg Ballet’s Swan Lake – Irina Kolneskova, Irina Kolneskova and Irina Kolesnikova.” The reviewer Adrienne Sichel concluded by saying “her artistry will be engraved on treasured memories”.

UK audiences have already fallen in love with the young dynamic company and in 2006/7, their 12th successive season, they will bring the Tchaikovsky trilogy of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker as well as the classic and British favourite ‘Giselle’ to venues across the UK. It is a role that ballet-goers here adore and Irina Kolesnikova, who has been described as ‘the dancing actress’ will perform the title role.

Love has been in the air both on and off the stage in recent months at the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre with principals Andrei Yakhnuk and Sabina Yapporova tying the knot two months ago. The company continues to attract new talent with 12 new dancers joining the company direct from the most famous ballet schools including Vaganova, Perm and Belarus in 2006.

This season’s tour will include performances of The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake in venues across the country from Eastbourne to Blackpool. New venues for this year are the Chichester Festival Theatre, Northampton Derngate, Belfast Grand Opera House, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Bradford Alhambra. There are also 3 dates at The Helix in Dublin.

There will be Gala performances at Eastbourne on 13 December, Crawley on 9th January and in Norwich on 22 January. This Stars of SPBT Gala programme includes in Act I Chopiniana, in Act II the Pas de deux of Diana and Acteon (music by Pugni, choreography by Vaganova), Pas de deux from Harlequinade (music by Drigo, chorography by Petipa), a selection from Raymonda (music by Glazunov, choregraphy by Petipa in the revised version by Sergeyev), The Dying Swan (music by Saint-Saens, choreography after Michel Fokine) and the Act III finale Paquita (music by Minkus with choreography by Petipa).

“The jewel in the crown of SPBT is the ravishingly beautiful Irina Kolesnikova, who rivals any star of the Bolshoi or Kirov in technique and stage artistry.”
Mike Dixon, The Stage.


Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  New programme from St. P. B. T.

Stars of SPBT Gala
Congress Theatre
14th December 2006

The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre last night premiered its first triple bill to be seen in Britain. This highly engaging touring company has veered off the beaten track of popular classics before with a more than decent production of La Bayadere and this new venture shows signs of becoming just as successful.

The first ballet was “Chopiniana” complete with rousing opening polonaise and in many ways this was the triumph of the evening with both the soloists and corps de ballet giving of their best. The dancers were led by husband and wife team Andrei Yakhnyuk and Sabina Yapparova, both of whom displayed a romanticism that steered clear of the languid posturings that sometimes mar this work. Yakhnyuk in particular looked a natural as the poet and danced his solo and the pas de deux quite beautifully. The other two soloists Alla Bocharova and Asiya Lukmanova also kept up the high standard, but it was the corps that stole the show on this occasion.

The second half opened with the Black Swan pas de deux as a hasty replacement for the announced Diana and Acteon that had to be dropped due to one of the costumes turning out to be unsuitable, though I’m assured that it will be danced at all subsequent performances of this programme. Irina Kolesnikova is an extremely assured Black Swan – all ice, but the sort of ice that burns, the only flaw being a partnering glitch by her prince, Dmitri Akulinin. She got this diverts section of the bill off to a sizzling start.

This was followed by the rarely performed Harlequinade pas de deux, a short piece about teasing and flirtation. Pretty Asiya Lukmanova made a very cute Columbine, but Vladimir Ippolitov’s Harlequin didn’t catch the nuances of the role nor did he have the technique for the explosions of virtuosity that I’ve seen other dancers display.

Next came “Panderos” from Raymonda, the big Spanish number from the ballet’s second act danced by Olga Shinkar and Alexander Murjo and backed by a line of male dancers looking like wannabe matadors: great fun.

To see Auber’s Grand pas Classique on the programme surprised me, as this is a pas de deux usually reserved for the very biggest of hitters. A cast iron technique is needed here and if Yapparova and Yakhnyuk didn’t feel nerves, I was certainly feeling a few for them. I needn’t have though, as these two came on stage looking totally confident and gave an excellent account of themselves both rising to the occasion with Yapparova holding those fiendish balances rather well and coping admirably in a work where timing is all.

The Dying Swan concluded the second part and I have to confess that I generally I have a problem with this piece; danced far too often and usually badly, its performances should be severely rationed, however Irina Kolesnikova is a dancer of great sensitivity and movingly portrayed a swan facing death with sadness and regret but reconciled to her fate. There is nothing extreme in Kolesnikova’s interpretation, no flailing arms or heaving bosoms to conjure up unfortunate memories of the Trocks, just a sincere attempt at a role that all too often is nothing better than a cliché. Coached by Lubov Kunakova, one of the very few Dying Swans that I’ve ever admired, Kolesnikova was genuinely touching and made this solo the highlight of the evening.

Paquita is a role that should fit Kolesnikova like a glove and where the imperial grand manner is a requisite but in this debut performance I detected a certain tenseness about her and felt that she needed to relax into the role. Her costume did her no favours, wearing a tutu of a pale blue shade that turned to a dowdy grey under the stage lighting, she looked underdressed next to the corps in their deep gold and the soloists in a rich claret colour. The corps de ballet that had so impressed in Chopiniana didn’t look so good here with arms askew and uniformity looking shaky, but nothing that a good shouting at by the ballet master won’t put right. But in Russia that corps is often made up of top soloists, sometime even a principal, so by those standards perhaps they didn’t do too badly. Akulinin, who got it wrong in the Black Swan pas de deux, redeemed himself with some exciting turns and better elevation than I’ve seen from him before, a very good looking young man, he absolutely looks the part in these princely roles, it’s a shame his partnering occasionally lets him down. The beautiful solos for the girls were rather uneven but both Lukmanova and Yapparova danced exquisitely. Although not a total success on the first night, this Paquita contained a lot to admire and will no doubt improve as the dancers grow into their roles. I look forward to seeing this again.

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