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© RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

Russian Seasons of the 21st Century in Honor of Māris Liepa

by Joy Neumeyer at 28/11/2011 19:14

Nov. 30 at 7 pm, State Kremlin Palace, the Kremlin, m. Alexandrovsky Sad

Catch some of national ballet’s biggest names in the third annual “Russian Seasons of the 21st Century,” which this year honors the 75th birthday of Soviet dance great Māris Liepa. The gala’s 10-city Russian tour concludes Nov. 30 with a performance at the Kremlin Palace.

Born in Latvia, Liepa rose to stardom at the Bolshoi in the 1960s and ’70s. In honor of Liepa’s love of the Russian Seasons, Sergei Diaghilev’s famed early 20th century effort to introduce Russian culture to Europe, the program will feature some of the most famous Russian Seasons ballets.

The opener will be “Chopiniana” (better known as “Les Sylphides”), a brief, non-narrative “ballet blanc” with dancers in white. At this year’s gala, the male lead will be danced by Bolshoi principal Nikolai Tsiskaridze. Fellow Bolshoi principal Marianna Ryzhkina will pair with Tsiskaridze, along with Tsiskaridze protégée Angelina Vorontsova.

The evening’s second piece will be “Polovtsian Dances,” from Alexander Borodin’s 1890 opera “Prince Igor.” Liepa’s daughter and former Bolshoi soloist Ilze Liepa, who now spends much of her time as an actress, will perform the lead female role. Alongside her will be Mikhail Lobukhin, the former Marinsky soloist who joined the Bolshoi last year.

The gala concludes with “Le Spectre de la Rose,” originally choreographed by Michel Fokine for the Russian Seasons with Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina. Russian dancer Mikhail Kaniskin and Mexican-born rising star Elisa Cabrera, both soloists at the Berlin Opera Ballet, are to perform the roles made famous by Nijinsky and Karsavina.

Dancers from the Kremlin Ballet troupe will accompany the soloists.

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