23rd October 2015
The Autumn Ballet season 2015 is well under way and our local audiences have had the joy of watching Swan Lake Ballet, Nutcracker and Don Quixote all performed to a large live orchestra.
From the rich and ancient culture of Astrakhan on the banks of the Volga River, the renowned and highly acclaimed Russian State Ballet and Opera House returns with three new vibrant, stunning and enchanting ballets productions which will captivate and delight the whole family.
Swan Lake – the greatest of all romantic ballets
The Nutcracker – an eternal seasonal favourite
Don Quixote – a wonderfully entertaining ballet
Directed and choreographed by Konstantin Uralsky
Former Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Dancer, Director of the New York Ballet Company and Ballet Artistic Director of the Glinka State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Chelyabinsk, and Artistic Director of the Russian State Ballet & Opera Theatre of Astrakhan, Konstantin URALSKY has been creating ballets for more than twenty years and toured world-wide with the Company.
He is a classic Russian artist and his work is a phenomenon in Russian national culture, renowned for its creative expression.
A number of ballet productions choreographed by Uralsky are exceptional in their depth of philosophical conceptual thinking and valuable creative discoveries in the field of music and choreographic drama. His creative experience deserves attention and study of young, novice choreographers.
Uralsky never puts on stage frivolous, senseless, entertaining or purely formal performances. He is concerned about the problems of the modern world, especially the tragic conflict, to which he devoted most of his work. But he sees the world not from its one side only, not darkly pessimistic, but in its entirety with everything wonderful, positive and bright in life.
This all-around position seems to me the most efficient nowadays.
Producer Alexej Ignatow, who has co-ordinated the UK tour, said: “It’s fantastic to bring such a talented and inspiring Russian ballet company to the UK to offer local audiences the opportunity to experience world class ballet performances. We want to make ballet much more accessible and with such a renowned Bolshoi star as Konstantin Uralsky, as director, audiences know that these performances promise to be both stunning and magical.”
“Ballet is often thought to be “difficult” and elitist, but this is not so. Both forms are timeless and, like any art, they need to be presented in an accessible and attractive way to the audience. This is why we feel it is so important to present our productions in a classical, traditional style that is familiar to all.”
For more information and how to book tickets please visit our website
See you soon at one of our local theatres.
23rd September 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
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.’
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.’
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.’
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.
29th August 2013
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.
20th August 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:
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
27th November 2012
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
20th November 2012
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.
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22nd October 2012
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.
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.
14th October 2012
It has been a week since the tour started. And it has been a great, extremely busy, stressful at times and rewarding week. With each production you tour with, you need to know and do different things. So you are adjusting and getting used to the dancers, technicians, being on the road and working on the go 24/7 during the first week.
Russian State Ballet and Opera Theatre of Komi have proven to the British audience that they can be just as graceful and beautiful on stage as any other top ballet companies. In the past week they have performed Swan Lake Ballet and am sure champagne and flowers will be received. 😉
Images from the rehearsals
Monday is usually a day off for people on tour. Not for people who are left in the office. On days off, the cast enjoy much rewarded sleep in and a walk around the town they are stopping at. Last Monday the dancers enjoyed the wonderful Nottingham city centre. What I personally like about Nottingham is that everything is near by. You can walk to most places. The cast will visit a few big cities like Manchester, Liverpool and of course London. London is always the favourite. Perhaps because its the city that always circulates in Russian text books while learning English.
As this is the first behind the scene post, we would love to know what in particular you are interested to know. Perhaps, the time of rehearing or a few videos taking with soloist dancers?
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21st September 2012
I thought it would be useful to write a post about the story of Swan Lake just in time for the weekend reading. I am not afraid to say that Swan Lake is one of the most popular ballet of all times. Most people familiar with the story of the beautiful lady who turns into Swan by an evil curse. Not many people know that the ballet actually has two endings. The ‘happy’ ending and the ‘sad’ ending. I will tell you the story of ‘happy’ ending.
The legendary composer Tchaikovsky wrote the music for Swan Lake from 1875-1876. Most of the 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 premie 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 favourite ballet.
I won’t repeat myself in writing the Swan Lake synopsis in detail as it is already written on our website under the ‘Swan Lake performance’. I cannot help but mention the wonderful love story that Swan Lake has brought into our lives.
The Story in my words….
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 the bride for himself. Of course, the young Prince is not happy about it as he is not in love 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 skies. Prince Siegfried follows them to the lake. At the lake 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 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 who 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 Odilie looks very much like Odette. Siegfried is fascinated by Odile 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 Prince 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 Odilie.
Siegfried realises 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 feelings for her.
Suddenly Rothbart appears in a fury and recognises that the two of them realised what is going on. Siegfried invited Rothbart to fight him and he wins. The evil spell is broken straightaway and all the swans are changed into young girls.
LOVE wins over EVIL.
Stay with us and next week you can enjoy reading the story of Sleeping Beauty.
18th September 2012
Now that we are in September, its time to really focus on our upcoming Autumn Tour. From 6th October til the 15th December we will be bringing the world famous Russian State Ballet and Opera House to perform to UK audiences!
Today I thought I would share some of the pictures of the theatre HGH performing Swan Lake. I won”t share too many photos as I don”t want to spoil the surprise for those coming to the show…
Let me know which picture is your favourite! If you would like to find out which venues near you Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty will be visiting CLICK HERE.