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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


(A scene from “Bolero”)

Audiences in Durban will see Russian Ballet at its finest when this acclaimed company tours South Africa in May.

Described as one of the most highly respected companies in Russia, Crown of the Russian Ballet will open the SA tour in Johannesburg. They have the distinction of being the first production to play in the newly revamped Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace. They will reach Durban to perform in the Playhouse Opera from May 20 to 21.

Crown of the Russian Ballet was founded by the current Artistic Director and lead ballerina, Anna Alexidze, and current chief choreographer and principal dancer, Anatoly Emelianov, in 1997. Driven to explore and expand their creative and professional horizons, they set to work developing a new ballet repertoire of innovative classical and contemporary works. Some 17 years later, they enjoy the reputation of being one of Russia's most highly respected ballet companies. Their work includes classical masterpieces as well as modern dance.

The 2014 South African Touring programme is titled Masterpieces of French Music in Ballet and opens with Bizet’s Carmen, a passionate one-act ballet. The second half includes Saint-Saëns’ emotionally charged Dying Swan. This piece will forever be associated with the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and promises to touch the soul. The Pas de Quatre by Pugni is a fine showcase of the ballet of the Romantic age and includes adagio, petite and grand allegro, fast and exacting footwork and expressive lyrical arm movements. Jaques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas (better known by Rod Mc Kuen’s English lyric If You Go Away), showcases chief choreographer Anatoly Emelianov’s innovative contemporary work. Other works featured in the second half are Ravel’s fiery Bolero and the famous Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam.

In honour of their contribution to furthering Russian Culture both Anna Alexidze and Anatoly Emelianov were awarded the prestigious Knight of the Second Order of Dyagilev in 2007.

"Choreographer Anatoly Emelianov is indeed talented with his modern vision of art and his contemporary way of thinking. It is very good that his ballet is built on the classical basis but at the same time is free of dogma and is non-traditional. Interesting are the thoughts of this young man, thinking in a modern way about love and the human credo. The Crown of Russian Ballet is non-traditional one and has its own unique art face.” wrote Mikhail Lavrovsky, former Bolshoi ballet dancer and current ballet Master-Repetiteur at the Bolshoi Theatre.

The Company has toured extensively sharing their vision of the art of ballet and being a vital part of the contemporary artistic conversation. They have played to acclaim in Russia, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan, China and many other countries. They aim through their performances not only to share their Russian culture but also to show how the beauty of art reflects the human spirit and can be a powerful catalyst for change.

Crown of the Russian Ballet is presented by Edouard Miasnikov Agency whose objective remains to widen cultural exchange and sharing between Russia and South Africa. There will be two performances in Durban at the Playhouse Opera on May 20 and 21 at 19h30. Tickets are affordably priced from R150 to R280 for both evening and matinee performances! Booking through Computicket.