Between 14 August and 3 September, 13 Gala Concerts were presented by Arts Center Saint-Michel in Japan. The company’s local partner was Koransha, one of the oldest producer companies in Japan, renowned for its long-standing contacts with the ballet companies from Russia and Europe.
Leading soloists of the four major ballet companies in Russia – the Mariinsky Theater, Bolshoi Theater, Mikhailovsky Theater and Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater took part in the tour. Amid the participants were Anastassia Goryacheva and Svetlana Pavlova (Bolshoi Theater), Katerina Chebykina and Borish Zhurilov (Mariinsky Theater), Sergey Manuilov (Stanislavsky Theater), Mikhail Venshchikov, Irina Kosheleva and Andrey Yakhnyuk (Mikhailovsky Theater).
Program A, presented this time in the north of Japan, featured Mikhail Fokin’s ballet Chopiniana, or Les Sylphides (staged by M. Venshchikov), as well as the fragments from The Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Little Humpbacked Horse, Don Quixote, Giselle, as well as Mikhail Fokin’s miniature The Swan. The Japanese audience, traditionally appreciative of the Russian classical ballets, received the Russian dancers and their performance with great enthusiasm.
Program B, presented on 1 and 2 September at the Bunkyo Civic Center, Tokio, attracted the audience of over two thousand. Other internationally acclaimed stars, Farukh Ruzimatov, Yulia Makhalina, Irina Perren, Marat Shemiunov joined the above cast for this program.
The gem of the show was Anton Dolin’s Pas de Quatre, staged in the early 20th century as the homage to the four great ballerinas of the Romanticism Era – Maria Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Lucile Grahn and Fanny Cerrito. Irina Perren (Taglioni), Oxana Bondareva (Grisi), Katerina Chebykina (Grahn), Anastassia Goryacheva, Sept. 2, and Irina Kosheleva, Sept. 1 (Cerrito) have treated the spectators to the brilliant interpretations of the parts once performed by their legendary predecessors. Lubov Kunakova, the ballet mistress from the Mariinsky Theater, the Merited Artist of the Russian Federation, made an invaluable contribution to the staging of the shows.
Another highlight of the Tokio concerts was the one-act ballet The Moor’s Pavane, choreographed by Jose Limon (staged by Alice Kondodina, music by Henry Purcell). Farukh Ruzimatov (The Moor), Irina Perren (the Moor’s Wife), Alexander Omar (the Moor’s Friend), Kristina Makhviladze (Emilia) performed the principal parts in the tragedy by Shakespeare, re-told in the language of the Art Nouveau dance.
The program also featured the modern pieces, Lacrimosaand Bolero, choreographed by Nikolai Androsov, Confession choreographed by Clair Brianz, Six Years Later by Roy Assaf; the audience was treated to the first performance of the choreographic duet Onegin pdd, staged for the occasion by Mikhail Venshchikov.