Saint Petersburg


The Cutting Edge

“Peer Gynt”

In the year of its fifteenth anniversary the DANCE OPEN International Ballet Festival once again invites all-comers for a heartfelt conversation in the language of dance.

From 16 to 25 April at the Alexandrinsky Theatre the audiences can immerse themselves in the depths of the subconscious, yield to the power of emotions and feel that they are at the cutting edge of world culture.

The theme of this year’s festival is the intense search for meanings: restless and disturbing contemporary choreography that lays bare the souls of heroes of the new age.

Vienna State Opera’s ballet company


The festival opens on 16 April with a new programme by the Vienna State Opera’s ballet company created exclusively for DANCE OPEN. Each of the episodes, which have been selected personally by Manuel Legris, is a model of brilliant technique and subtle drama. Jiří Bubeníček’s source of inspiration for his magnetic sketch “Le Souffle de l’Esprit” (“The Breath of the Spirit”) to music by Bach, Pachelbel, Hoffstetter and Otto Bubeníček was an album of Da Vinci reproductions he was given as a present one summer evening... The no less brilliant miniature “Skew-whiff” by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León is a ‘sweet bagatelle’ full of ironic quotes from world choreographic calligraphy to Rossini’s music. And Stephan Thoss’s “Bluebeard’s Secret” is a dance of passion and suffering, the eternal yearning to be understood and the eternal struggle between men and women to the music of Philip Glass.

“Romeo and Juliet”


The conversation about love will continue on 18 and 19 April. The Perm Theatre Ballet Company and soloists from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden will perform Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s version of Sergey Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Principal roles will be danced by Matthew Golding (Romeo) and Gary Avis (Tybalt) from Covent Garden, while the part of Juliet will be performed by Anna Tsygankova, prima donna of the Dutch National Ballet.

© Ian Whalen


21 April will see the first performance of a programme prepared by the Semperoper Ballett from Dresden. St. Petersburg audiences will enjoy a constellation of high-impact mini-masterpieces of European choreography by Alexey Ratmansky (“Tanzsuite” — “Dance Suite”), Pontus Lidberg (“Im anderen Raum — “In Another Space”) and Alexander Ekman (“Cacti”).

“Peer Gynt”


On 23 April the ballet company of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor, directed by choreographer Edward Clug, will perform a fantasy version of “Peer Gynt” with Denis Matvienko in the title role.

The Gala Concert on 25 April will be packed with star names as never before. It will feature stars top dancers from the Bolshoi Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Norwegian National Ballet and the Bavarian State Opera, leading soloists from the ballet companies of Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, San Francisco, Stuttgart, etc.

This year’s programme will also include the awards ceremony for the 6th annual DANCE OPEN International Ballet Prize, which will be held on 25 April. The prize is awarded for outstanding personal achievements in the field of ballet, regardless of styles, genres and trends. The chairman of the international jury will be the master of world choreography Hans van Manen.

Besides the Gala Concert and the awards ceremony, the festival will feature a rich and varied fringe programme including a series of ballet photography workshops and an exhibition of selected works in one of St. Petersburg’s fashionable creative spaces. The 125th anniversary of the birth of the 20th century musical genius Sergey Prokofiev will be marked by an exhibition from the Alexey Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum on the Alexandrinsky’s New Stage. There will also be dance master-classes and open professional discussions.

Photos provided by the producers of the festival

Where St.Petersburg

March 2019

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