When I don’t go to the National Arts Festival (and that is most years) I am always grateful that there is still a LOT of fabulous things happening in Johannesburg while the NAF is happening. When I do go, I lament what I am missing in Johannesburg. This year one of the events I am missing is Dirk Badenhorst’s international ballet gala Russian Ballet Stars from 4-6 July 2014 at Joburg Theatre. These are real stars (not second and third casts) from Russia’s major ballet companies.
The press release says: “Featuring stars from several of Russia’s greatest ballet companies, Russian Ballet Stars showcases Russia’s matchless dancers in a glittering array of highlights from the best-loved ballet classics. Included in the line-up of dancers jetting into Johannesburg are Alla Bocharova, prima ballerina of the Yakobson Theater, St Petersburg. Born in St. Petersburg in 1987, Miss Bochorova studied at the Vaganova Academy, most fabled ballet school in the world, danced with St Petersburg Ballet Theatre from 2006 to 2012 when she was invited to join the city’s Yakobson State Ballet Theatre as principal ballerina.
Leonid Yakobson (1904-75) was one of the USSR’s most celebrated choreographers but the isolation imposed on Russian artists during the Soviet era makes his a name still relatively unknown in the West. His greatness was acknowledged by the Russian Federation with the establishment in 1994 of the Yakobson State Academic Ballet Theatre. As principal dancer and now prima ballerina of the company, Alla Bochorova’s repertoire includes leading roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadère as well as works by Leonid Yakobson.
Oleg Gabyshev was born in Volgograd in 1985 and graduated from the famous Perm Ballet School. Since 2004 he has been a dancer with the celebrated Boris Eifman State Ballet Theatre, St Petersburg, where he now holds the rank of principal dancer. Applauded internationally for his powerful dancing and dramatic force, his repertoire includes Boris Eifman ballets such as Requiem, Tchaikovsky, Don Quixote, The Karamazous, Red Giselle, Anna Karenina, The Seagull, Onegin and the title role in Don Juan. On two occasions he has been awarded Russia’s most distinguished accolades for performing artists, The Golden Mask.
Nikolay Korypaev was educated at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and after graduation in 2005 joined the acclaimed ballet company of St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre. Mr Korypaev has won distinction for a wide-ranging repertoire and for his brilliance in the ballets of Spanish master choreographer, Nacho Duato, who recently made history by becoming the first Westerner to be appointed artistic director of a major Russian ballet company. Under Mr Duato’s guidance, Mr Korypaev has danced with the Mikhailovksy Ballet in all the major ballet cities of the world.
Nikolay Korypaev’s repertoire includes leading roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, La Sylphide, La Esmeralda, The Nutckracker, In a Minor Key and, all by Nacho Duato, Without Words, Duende, Nunc Dimitis, Preludio, The Sleeping Beauty, Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness.
The full programme for Russian Ballet Stars at the Joburg Theatre, subject to change is: Swan Aria, Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux, Russian Macho, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux, Seguidilla and Habanera from Carmen, Russian Laziness, Grand Pas Classique, Schéhèrazade Pas de Deux, Tosca, The Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux, Moldovanka, The Dying Swan, Requiem and Don Quixote Pas de Deux.
RUSSIAN BALLET STARS: FAST FACTS
What: Russian Ballet Stars
Where: Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg
When: Friday 4 July at 8pm; Saturday 5 July at 3pm; Saturday 5 July at 8pm; Sunday 6 July at 3pm
Tickets: R200, R340, R450
Booking: At Joburg Theatre / By phone 0861 670 670 / Online www.joburgtheatre.com