North Central College Fine & Performing Arts

Russian National Ballet performs two ballets in one night!

Published on 4/26/2018

Russian National Ballet Theatre will perform "Romeo and Juliet," "Carmen" and "Chopiniana" Saturday, May 5 at Pfeiffer Hall.
Article submitted to the Daily Herald by freelance journalist by Natalia Dagenhart 
 

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"Ballet is a dance executed by the human soul," said famous Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. This statement can be applied to the Russian National Ballet Theatre, with its dancers putting their soul into their dancing and adding their personal touch and sincerity to each of their performances. Russian National Ballet Theatre will create an atmosphere of passion and elegance by performing two full-length one-act ballets "Romeo and Juliet" and "Carmen Suite" and a grand pas "Chopiniana" at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at historic Pfeiffer Hall, which is part of North Central College and is located in walking distance from downtown Naperville.

It is important to note that the Russian National Ballet Theatre is one of the best private classical ballet companies in Russia. It includes over fifty experienced and talented dancers. The company was established in Moscow in 1989. At that time, many Soviet dancers and choreographers started their own dance companies that combined the timeless traditions of classical Russian Ballet and new dance experiences from around the world. One such organization was the Russian National Ballet Theatre. The legendary Bolshoi Theater principal dancer Elena Radchenko became the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, and in 1994 by Presidential decree she was selected to be the first permanent artistic director of the company. Since then, the Russian National Ballet Theatre has been one of the leading Russian ballet companies and has been greatly appreciated and valued all around the world. The company's performance of "Romeo and Juliet," "Carmen Suite" and "Chopiniana" in Naperville is part of their big annual North American tour.

The full-length one-act ballet "Romeo and Juliet" is a brilliant masterpiece as it is based on William Shakespeare's timeless tragedy and on the touching music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The audience will recognize the passionate melodic lines and rich orchestration that demonstrate the whole spectrum of emotions and feelings between the Montagues and their enemies, the Capulets, and between two young innocent people, Romeo and Juliet, who fell in love to each other despite the conflict between their families.

This particular production is unique as the Russian National Ballet presents its own version of "Romeo and Juliet." Original choreography was designed by Marius Petipa; later it was restaged by Elena Radchenko with Alexander Daev being a choreography assistant. Libretto, the sets and the costumes were created by Elena and Sergey Radchenko. The Russian National Ballet Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" is also unique because Elena Radchenko combined Tchaikovsky's Fantasy-Overture "Romeo and Juliet" and his Symphony number 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathetique." The merging of some parts of these two great works created a distinctive full-length one-act ballet, which is the only one of its kind. It premiered in 2010 in Moscow, and now the Russian National Ballet Theatre is happy to present this masterpiece to its American audiences.

"Carmen Suite" is a full-length one-act ballet created in 1967 by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso to music written by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin for his wife, prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Shchedrin used Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen" that was based on a touching story by Prosper Merimee and arranged it for strings and percussion. He added new fresh instrumental colors, rhythms and musical phrases and created a masterpiece suited to be performed in the form of a ballet production. Additional choreography and staging were created by Iryna Kovalova. The premier of "Carmen Suite" took place on April 20, 1967 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

This ballet consists of thirteen beautiful dance numbers with each number being a complete dance representing a particular character or situation of the story. The Russian National Ballet dancers are eager to demonstrate their own understanding of this timeless masterpiece and their outstanding dancing techniques and passionate illustration of Shchedrin's "Carmen Suite." Free-spirited Carmen, fickle Don José, popular bullfighter Escamillo, Fate, who represents Carmen's alter ego, and other characters --the dancers who play these characters can't wait to tell this tragic story to Chicago area ballet lovers.

Russian National Ballet will also introduce a grand pas "Chopiniana," which is a suite of dances that serves as a showpiece for lead dancers and demi-soloists. Based on touching music by Frederic Chopin with a suite of piano pieces orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov, choreography by Mikhail Fokine, and sets and costumes by Elena and Sergei Radchenko, this great ballet will carry the audience on the waves of gorgeous themes, moods and feelings.

Don't miss the beauty and pageantry of the Russian National Ballet Theatre!
Tickets are available at the North Central College Box Office 630-637-SHOW (7469) or online at www.northcentralcollege.edu/performance and range from $40 to $25.