Category Archives: Blog

Upcoming Ballet Tour 2014

We now have less then a month until our 7th Ballet season kicks off in England. As you can imagine we are busy busy busy organising last bits for the tour. The posters are distributed to the theatres

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The tickets are on sale and the ballet cast are busy rehearsing for their upcoming tour. This year we are bringing to you the timeless ballet Swan Lake. ‘The twinned role of the pure White Swan and the scheming, duplicitous Black Swan tests the full range of a ballerina’s powers, particularly in the two great Pas de Deux.’

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The Christmas absolute favourite ballet Nutcracker. ‘The Nutcracker became one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous compositions and perhaps the most popular ballet in the world.’

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Giselle the greatest of all romantic Ballets. ‘Giselle, a ballet in two acts by 19th century’s French composer Adolphe Adam stands out as one of the most celebrated classical ballets.’

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The tour will begin in Harlow on 17 October 2014 and will finish in Eastbourne on 07 December 2014. Please visit our website for more information.

Have a great week and don’t forget to follow us on facebook  for more updates.

Sneak Peak: We have fairy tale creatures too!

Pantomime season will shortly be upon us! If you are looking for some fairy tale creates to entertain yourself and your children this Autumn then certainly consider our ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty. You may just recognised some well known and well loved fairy tale characters!

Sneak Peak: Sleeping Beauty

I hope you enjoyed our last Sneak Peak Post. I really enjoy sharing pictures of the tours coming up with you. Its great to share sneak peaks behind the scenes and to get people excited for the tour. There are only a few more weeks until our Autumn tour premieres so here are some behind the scenes pictures of Sleeping Beauty.

Don”t forget to check out the Amande Concerts website to find out when we are visiting a theatre near you!

Romeo and Juliet story

For the first time this year Russian State Ballet and Opera House will be bringing the mesmerising ballet, Romeo and Juliet to a theatre near you.

The world’s greatest love story “for never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and Romeo”. (William Shakespeare)

For more information about Romeo and Juliet, about the history and where we will be performing please go to Romeo and Juliet Ballet

William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet was one of the first works of literature to inspire ballet choreographers – so perfectly suited to dance are its drama, romance and tragedy.

Set to one of Prokofiev’s most evocative scores, this production is filled with beautiful dance, riveting battles, and compelling drama, all amidst stunning production designs.

Romeo and Juliet has become one of the most beloved ballets, captured the imagination of many generations over the years, and continues to attract audiences worldwide, full of mystery and romance. The Ballet is known for its breathless ‘Pas de Deux’, dramatic emotions and tragic tale, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest classical ballets of all time!

Most people will be familiar with the story of Romeo and Juliet, however, we would like to take the opportunity and tell you the story in our own words. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it!

If you would like to read the history of the ballet and how it developed and changed.

 

As Romeo is daydreaming about romantic love the citizens of Verona are having a party in the main square of the town. Even maids, salesmen and florists are having a good time. Sadly, however, for decades the two wealthy families of Verona, Capulet and Montague have been fighting with each other.

Another quarrel is happening at the square while other people are enjoying the party. Mothers and wives are begging the men to stop fighting. Right in the middle of the fight Tybalt (the favourite nephew of Capulet) appears, Tybalt is known for his famous fights on the streets. The Prince of Escalus, ruler of Verona, appears and stops the fight.

In Juliet’s room her nurse is getting Juliet’s dress ready as she is going to a ball today for the first time. The nurse decides to try on the dress and pretends she is at the ball. Juliet is peeking through the door and quietly laughing to herself.

At the same time 4 young men are also getting ready for the ball. Mercutio and Benvolio trying to distract Romeo from daydreaming. The boys are trying to persuade Romeo to sneak to the ball in disguised masks as Capulet family holds the ball and Romeo is the son of Montague.

Back in the square of Verona everyone is doing their usual daily things. Mercution and Benvolio are at the square. A pretty girl is flirting with Mercutio and suddenly she sprays a bit of water from the fountain on Mercutio but he quickly ducks away and the water lands on the new outfit of Tybalt. Everyone is laughing at him. Mercutio does not waste an opportunity to say a few jokes towards his enemy, Tybalt. As you can imagine Tybalt gets angry straight away and there is no stopping him. Romeo appears and tries to calm him down by saying he loves Tybalt like his friend, which angers Tybalt even more, as he knows it’s not true.

Mercution and Tybalt start fighting. Romeo tries to stop the fight and gets right in the middle of them. This encourages Tybalt to stab Mercutio. Mercutio dies.
The fight continues as Romeo becomes angry with pain and kills Tybalt. The pain takes over the square of Verona.

Back in Juliet’s room Romeo and Juliet are together. But he cannot stay in town after he killed Tybalt. At the sunset Romeo leaves and the couple say good-bye to each other.

Juliet’s parents introduce her to Count Paris. He is in love with her and asks her parents to marry the lovely Juliet. This sounds like an arranged marriage and of course Juliet refuses to marry as she is in love with Romeo. Juliet is unable to tell her parents the truth, as they hate Romeo. Juliet’s father is puzzled by Juliet’s behaviour but doesn’t take any notice of her sadness and agrees for her to marry Count Paris. Juliet is heartbroken. Only Father Larenzo is now able to help.

Father Lorenzo decides to give Juliet a ‘special’ drug that will put her to sleep, it will be ‘death like coma’. Everyone will think Juliet killed herself, apart from Romeo. Laurence will make sure Romeo will know that it is all an act.

When Juliet returns home, she drinks the drug and falls asleep.

Romeo finds out about Juliet death and he is heartbroken. Friar Laurence did not have enough time to tell Romeo the truth. How irresponsible of him! Romeo visits Juliet in Capulet’s crypt, where Juliet is lying peacefully.

Romeo sees Juliet and starts to sob. He does not want to live without her. He takes out a poison from his pocket and drinks it. Moments later, Juliet wakes up and sees Romeo. She is happy to see him only to find out he is dead! She also does not want to live without him. Juliet sees Romeo’s knife and kills herself with it, this time it’s not a ‘death like coma’.

Romeo and Juliet will now be together, forever.

 

The Nutcracker Story

After last year success Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back to perform The Nutcracker.

“The Nutcracker” Ballet created by one of the most famous Russian composers Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was shown for the first time on 18 December 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St.Petersburg. It was performed along with Tchaikovsky’s Opera, Iolanta.

More than 120 years passed, and this performance is still an integral part of any Christmas celebration, along with Christmas tree and presents.

The wonderful Christmas story is based on “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffmann. It tells the story of Marie, a rather sad little girl, whose godfather Drosselmeyer gives her a Nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve which turns into a Prince, and the magic starts…

We have decided to tell you the story of Nutcracker in our own words. Many people know the story of the Nutcracker as a fairy tale and not as a Ballet. If you would like to read the history of Nutcracker Ballet.

Please get comfortable for the wonderful journey to the Magical World of sugar plum fairies and the Kingdom of Sweets.

It’s Christmas Eve in the Siberhaus home and family and friends have gathered in the sitting room to decorate the beautiful Christmas tree. All the children gather together to light up the Christmas tree. The Children absolutely love the candles and decorations. They are seen to admire the tree.

As the party begins children are given presents and every one is having a good time dancing and talking. As the clock strikes eight a person enters the room wearing a black smock. After a few seconds we realise it’s Drosselmeyer, a local magician and Marie and Fritz godfather. Drosselmeyer gives handmade presents to the children. The four dolls that Drosselmeyer made himself dance around for the guests and everyone is amazed.

Drosselmeyer puts the dolls away and gets out a wooden nutcracker carved out as a little man. The Nutcracker is used for cracking hazelnuts so other children don’t take any notice of the doll apart from Marie. She admires the Nutcracker and plays with him. Her annoying little brother breaks the Nutcracker on purpose. As you can imagine Marie is very upset and sad that such a unique doll is broken.

Soon the party comes to an end and all the guest are leaving. During the night, after everyone has gone to bed Marie returns to the sitting room to see where the Nutcracker is. As she bends down to see the Nutcracker, the clock strikes midnight and she sees her godfather, Drosselmeyer. All of the sudden mice begin to fill the room and the Christmas tree becomes gigantic.

The Nutcracker also grows to a full size. Marie sees her precious nutcracker in the form of a live person at the head of a company of soldiers. They soon start to fight against a horde of mice lead by mouse King. It is only thanks to Marie’s assistance that the Nutcracker finally wins. She throws a slipper at the King of mice giving the Nutcracker a chance to kill the King. The Nutcracker invites Marie to accompany him to the Kingdom of Sweets.

The mice retreat and the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince. He leads Marie through beautiful snowflakes, which dance around them. A snow king and snow queen rule over the snow flakes. Surrounded by icicles, crystals and snowflakes, they perform a ‘pas de deux’ in honour of Marie and the Nutcracker and wish them a good journey.

When the Prince and Marie reach the Realm of Sweets, the sugar-plum fairy is summoned and organises a welcome celebration in honour of Marie, featuring a series of character dances.

The first group, “Chocolate“, is a Spanish dance, where the second group, “Coffee“, takes the form of an Arabian dance. This is followed by “Tea“, performed by Chinese dancers. Next, there is a fiery Cossack dance, followed by the “Cane Flutes“. The grand pas de deux, danced by the sugar-plum fairy and the prince, is preceded by The “Waltz of the Flowers“.

A final waltz is performed by all the sweets, after which Clara and the Prince are crowned rulers of The Land of Sweets.

Soon, however, the people of the land of the sweets begin to disappear one by one, until the Nutcracker Prince himself disappears.

Marie suddenly wakes up and realises that it was all just a dream. In the room around her, everything has returned to normal and the Nutcracker remains under the Christmas tree. But, this wonderful dream and this very special Christmas Marie will remember forever.

Join us for an unforgettable journey in the run-up to Christmas and be part of the magic as its unfolds. Do not delay in purchasing your ticket for the greatest Ballet, The Nutcracker. Visit www.ballet-tickets.com for more information.

Swan Lake Story

After last year’s success, The Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back to perform Swan Lake, the most famous Ballets of all times, suitable for the whole family.

There will be no surprise to any that this production will be of the most delicate, intimate and powerful kind. This Company is known for its attention to details and, more particularly, for its dramatisation in dance of the tragedy and beauty that this Ballet is known for.

Full of mystery and romance, this Ballet has captured the imagination of many generations over the years, and continues to attract audiences worldwide and inspire both young and old.

We have decided to tell you the story of Swan Lake in our own words. Many people say that they do not ‘understand’ Ballet but most people do not know the story of the particular Ballet before they enter the auditorium. If you would like to read the synopsis of the Swan Lake Ballet otherwise stay with us for the simple story of Swan Lake.

The legendary composer Tchaikovsky wrote the music for Swan Lake around 1875-1876. Most of his original work about the Swan Lake story has not survived so we can only assume that the story came from the Russian folktale.The very first production of Swan Lake was performed on 4 March 1877. Unfortunately, the premier was not well received. Despite the criticism the ballet continued to be performed. A few years later Petipa decided to modify the choreography of Swan Lake and since then many other choreographers infused their own thoughts into the ballet.  Slowly, Swan Lake became the world’s favorite ballet.

The Ballet starts with Prince Siegfried’s birthday in his castle. As in most parties the guests are having a lovely time dancing. Siegfried’s mother reminds the Prince that there will be a ball tomorrow where he must choose a bride for himself.  Of course, the Prince is not very happy about the whole situation as he is not in love with anyone and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. To take his mind of things he goes hunting.  In the forest he notices swans flying in the sky. At the lake the Prince sees the beautiful white swans swimming near the shore of the lake.  The swans are cursed by an evil spell and only power of selfless love can break this evil spell.

Prince Siegfried notices the beautiful Swan (Odette) and is dazzled by her beauty. Later, she reviles to him that the only everlasting love can break her spell. Siegfried promises to love Odette forever.

The next day the ball takes place in the queen’s castle. Prince is nowhere to be seen. When he eventually arrives he is presented with the young girls from whom he is to make a choice to be his bride. He dances with them only to satisfy his mother but his thoughts are all about Odette.

Suddenly an unknown knight arrives (disguised as the evil curse) and his beautiful daughter Odile.  The Prince is confused, as Odile looks very much like Odette. Odile fascinates Siegfried and his doubts disappear. The father of Odile (evil curse) requests the Prince to prove the love for his daughter by swearing to love her eternally. As soon as he does that he sees a white swan in the window.

*Editor note – Odette has told the Price when they met that she can only become a human again if a man falls in love with her and chooses to be with her forever. The Prince to me is quite foolish not to question this when he sees Odile. *

Prince Siegfried realizes that he became a victim of the evil curse. In despair, he rushes to the lake to see Odette. The Prince appears at the lake and begs Odette’s forgiveness. He assures her of his strong and lasting feeling of her.

Suddenly Rothbart appears in a fury and recognises that the two of them realised what is going on. Siegfriend invites Rothbart to fight him and he wins. The evil spell is broken straightaway and all the swans are changed into young beautiful girls.

LOVE wins over EVIL.

Swan Lake has become one of the most loved of all Ballets.

Join us for an unforgettable journey in the run-up to Christmas and be part of the magic as it unfolds.Do not delay in purchasing your ticket for the greatest Ballet, Swan Lake.

Russian Ballet Season 2013

After an incredible 2013 Spring Season where Grand Opera of Belarus made its debut in UK with Madam Butterfly Opera and La Boheme Opera. We also had the talented Russian Cossacks touring across the Great Britain. The audiences were amazed at some of the tricks and dances the Cossacks did on stage. Have a look below:

Russian Cossacks Video

We have been extremely busy this summer getting ready for our 2013 Autumn Season.

This year Russian State Ballet and Opera House will be performing The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. Most of the performances will be performed to a Large Live Orchestra.

We have selected to work with the Russian State Opera and Ballet Theatre of Astrakhan this year. This is a new dynamic Theatre that has already won many awards and is considered to be one of the best in Russia.

The Nutcracker became one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous compositions, and perhaps the most popular ballet in the world.The Christmas story is based on “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffmann. It tells the story of Marie, a rather sad little girl, whose godfather Drosselmeyer gives her a Nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve which turns into Prince, and the magic starts…

The Premiere of Swan Lake transforms the classical ballet into a Fairy Tale. With instantly recognisable music and a captivating story of good against evil, Swan Lake is the greatest of Romantic Ballets.

Featuring timeless score from the incredible composer Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake is certified Russian Classic, replete with evocative music and beautiful dance. This Ballet has captured the imagination of many generations over the years and continues to attract audiences worldwide, full of mystery and romance.

Romeo and Juliet is probably the world’s best known love story. William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet was one of the first works of literature to inspire Ballet choreographers- so perfectly suited to dance are its drama, romance and tragedy.Set to one of Prokofiev’s most evocative scores, this production is filled with beautiful dance, riveting battles, and compelling drama, all amidst stunning production designs.

Two innocent youths meet by dance, relishing the discovery and passion of first love – only to be shattered by tragic twists of fate and the destructive hatred of their own families.

If you would like to book any of these wonderful Ballets please have a look here at your nearest venue:  BOOK TICKETS 

State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Belarus

Russian State Ballet and Opera House have been touring in UK for six weeks.  It has been a fantastic six weeks full of dancing, rehearsing, travelling and site seeing for the cast.

The Orchestra arrived a few weeks ago to join the troupe. Founded in April 1927, the Belarus State Academic Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest institutions in the former Soviet Union. The first performance given by the Symphonic Orchestra was conducted by the Great Russian composer R. Gluier, and featured the famous soloist and Austrian pianist R. Gottlieb. In 1937 the young, talented and now world famous I. Mussin took charge of the Orchestra. When you hear live music at the theatre (any theatre) it makes such a difference the way you watch ballet. I am sure a lot of people have goose pimples  when they hear live music, especially if it’s written by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky.

Andrei Galanov is a prominent conductor, internationally recognised for his work with leading orchestras in his native Belarus, Russia, and around the globe.

Maestro Galanov is an active guest conductor with many acclaimed orchestras such as the Chamber Orchestra of Provence in France, Teatro Marrucino Orchestra in Italy, and New Tokyo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Japan. His conducting has been well received by audiences in Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and Japan. For the past ten years he has been invited to perform at numerous festivals in France and Italy.

Maestro Galanov enjoys guest conducting with the National Symphony Orchestra of Belarus. He has led orchestras in special performances of new works by contemporary composers. He conducted the world premiere of “Requiem pour Tchernobyl” by Bruno Letort.

If you are able to  see any of our performances please book tickets here

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Behind the scene photos

As we have been extremely busy we haven’t posted a lot of ‘behind the scene’ posts while the tour is on. We still have a month to go so we try our best to tell you how the cast is going on. For this post, however, I’ve decided to concentrate on some lovely photos.

Sophie Teasdale came to take a few photos backstage. Here just a few of them. I think they look great.

You can also follow us on bloglovin website.

Sleeping Beauty Review

We thought you might find it interesting to read a few reviews about our ballet production that is currently touring in UK.

Sleeping Beauty Ballet At Theatre Severn – Review

This weekend saw the Amande Concerts brought the Russian State Ballet to Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury to give two wonderful performances of two different ballets.

Friday night saw a busy theatre wowed by Swan Lake and Saturday saw Sleeping Beauty lighting up the stage; both productions were accompanied by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky’s music, which added a depth to both performances.

I went along to Sleeping Beauty on the Saturday night, which was very much a family orientated production with the fairy tale element, and some added glitz from the beautiful colourful costumes.

From the start the audience were enthralled by the dramatic music combined with the elegance of the dancers. The production had a good pace with the principle dancers keeping the attention of the audience through with their exquisite dancing. The group dances were perfectly timed, with strong routines that helped move the story along without racing through the story.

The dances received much-deserved rounds of applause, while the wicked witch played by a male dancer received boo’s when taking to the stage for the applause.

Its no suprise audiences were delighted as the world famous Russian State Ballet and Opera Theatre of Komi are renounced for their ballet and opera masterpieces. The Russian State Ballet and Opera House® have ensured that this classic ballet remains just as spell bounding today as it was when it was composed over 130 years ago.

Overall, I thought this was a magical night of entertainment at Theatre Seven.

Reviewed by Julia Wenlock at Theatre Severn.
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When a Pirouette becomes a Russian Revolution

Russian State Ballet and Opera House of Komi

What a coup for Theatre Severn to host the Russian State Ballet for two days to present two different shows. Friday night we saw Swan Lake flutter its dainties on the boards of the main theatre. Sadly I couldn’t be there as I was misspending my time watching The London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra in the Walker Theatre, from this critic – enough said. Fortunately tonight I caught the breathtakingly beautiful production of the Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping beauty is one of those stories you think you know as well as the others, the ones like Cinderella and Snow White; in truth I found I didn’t know the story at all well. However with the wonderful dancers of the Russian State Ballet and the classic score from Tchaikovsky, it didn’t matter. The show told the story. Now of course every show should do that but it took a stage full of highly disciplined and wonderfully trained Russian dancers to tell the story without a single word being spoken. Just with gesture, movement and expression the dancers transfixed their audience and took them on a journey through the dark side of European folklore. However, worry not, the story is merely an allegory for that favourite message, Good should and always will triumph over Evil.

For a touring theatre company the sheer scale of their operation is awe inspiring. The need to transport not only the lavish backdrops but costumes, ballet shoes, a whole host of staff from dancers, understudies, choreographers, dressers, wardrobe personnel, tour managers, producers, the list is endless and it boils down to a hundred minutes or so of actual show time. But thank goodness they overcome such difficulties to bring their show to the UK and treat us to some top drawer performances.

In these fairy stories presentation or design is essential. Aesthetics go a long way to creating the mes-en-scene. Of all the designers my Golden Globe would go to the costume creators. Favouring such soft pastel colours for the tutus superbly illuminated the beauty and delicate feminine poise of the girls. There was something awe inspiringly stunning about this cast and I think a lot of that came from wardrobe.

One aspect of performance that one isn’t always aware of is how much the dance steps have been chopped or changed to deal with the variety of stage sizes. The speed of some of their turns as they traversed the stage from upstage left to downstage right without either hitting their colleagues or waltzing through the scenery is really impressive. You would have thought they had rehearsed for weeks in that very space. Amazingly they only got in yesterday morning. So intense for the dancers, but the integrity of the show and the performance stays intact.

It has got to be so difficult to perform such classic, famous steps, named and known and get them constantly right. I believe they did and I also believe if they hadn’t, a large number of the more discerning ballet attendees would be right on it, ripping them apart for the simplest of errors. These dancers carry a huge weight of responsibility on their shoulders. They say to the audience, “This is what we do; it might be a famous dance, famous score and might have been danced by the greats. But we are great too, check us out.”  I applaud them. It is also worth pointing out no huge errors were made in their interpretation and it was a visual delight.  One wonders, however, if the floor was a little slippery for them as three slipped steps could be counted. Very brief slips and something all of these dancers would be way above being normally culpable for. It must have been the floor. However no blood was spilt and only I noticed as it’s what I do.

From spasmodic jerking and gesticulating at the staff disco to these classic pieces and all the panoply of options between the two; dance is a funny creature. It’s something we all feel we should have a go at. Some are good – some not so. But one thing all the mediums of dance have in common is the desire to use the body to get a message across. Dance seems an all encompassing house. Always allowing new genres or crazes whilst maintaining the old classics, dance is an explosion of colour and meaning and joy, that somehow, in covert or overt ways, sucks us in to its world. See these guys for proof of that.

Theatre Severn’s next Russian treat will be in February of next year. Coming from the Grand Opera House of Belarus, they will be bringing Puccini’s, Madame Butterfly and a thirty piece orchestra. To hear the music played live will be a fantastic experience. Book early.

This is a four star review.

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