We got a very interesting Press Release today:
Please see attached a story from the Arizona Daily Star about a
company claiming to be the 'ST Petersburg Ballet Theatre' and
promoted by CAMI in the US.
As you may know, the real SPBT has been touring the UK, promoted by
Patricia Murray-Bett at Artsworld UK, not the US.
Also included is a statement from SPBT's website.
If you would like to speak to someone from SPBT or Artsworld UK this
can be arranged.
Tel: +44 (0)1600 891512
Mobile: +44 (0)7951 600362
Tutugate? Ballet troupe at UA not the real deal
By Eric Swedlund
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.13.2008
Will the real St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre please pliÃ©?
When UAPresents hosted a sold-out performance of the classic
"Giselle" Saturday at Centennial Hall, some audience members were
shocked that the troupe they saw wasn't the world-class dancers they
"In three minutes I knew there was something wrong," said Linda
Walker, artistic director for Tucson Regional Ballet. "I was sitting
next to my co-director and she nudged me and said 'Who is this?' They
were dancers who were trained, but they were were not the St.
Petersburg Ballet company. It was obvious."
The confusion stems from the name the Russian touring group uses
while in Western Europe, Japan, and North and South America. The
official name of the troupe that performed at the UA Saturday is the
St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre.
Walker said it appears that UAPresents may have been duped and
worries that the integrity of the university's arts presenter could
be at stake.
"The U of A artists series is prestigious and you trust what they
say," she said. "I just feel inside that they are as much surprised
as I am."
The confusion extended to the Arizona Daily Star, which previewed the
ballet on Friday and reported on the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre.
The story misstated several facts, including that renowned ballerina
Irina Kolesnikova would be the featured dancer.
The famed St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre itself received so many
letters before the tour that it sought to clear the air for ballet
fans, publishing a statement on Dec. 1 that the troupe was definitely
not touring the United States. "We have no idea why they are
presenting themselves in America as the St. Petersburg Ballet
Theatre," the group wrote.
"To me, those were excellent student dancers, apprentice-level
dancers at some professional companies, but gosh there are dancers at
the University of Arizona who are more accomplished than those
dancers," Walker said. "They were not St. Petersburg Ballet dancers,
you could tell that."
Libby Howell said she was disappointed that the dancers weren't as
talented as she expected but still enjoyed seeing "Giselle" performed
live for the first time.
"I for one would not ask for a refund or a replacement ticket because
I do think there were aspects of the performance that were
worthwhile," she said. "It wasn't the quality I was expecting, but it
was a good production. Not excellent, but good."
UAPresents Executive Director Natalie Bohnet said the agency that
booked the show, Columbia Artists Management Inc. of New York,
presented the group as St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre and that
UAPresents didn't think any more about it. The agent, Andrew S.
Grossman, was traveling and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
"It's an agent we've worked with for many, many years and one of the
most reputable in the business," Bohnet said. "We're apologetic that
some in our audience had a bad experience with this particular
UAPresents will credit people not satisfied with the performance with
tickets to another performance, just as it would do with any
complaints, Bohnet said. The staff received about 10 complaints from
an audience of 2,500.
"Out of all our things we've had this year, I wouldn't put it as the
prime example of what we do here," Bohnet said. "I think the dancers
were a little young and inexperienced."
Still, Bohnet said she didn't think UAPresents was fooled, noting
that several other quality arts presenters across the country have
hosted the ballet troupe and that the current tour has received
numerous positive reviews.