Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Best of Russian ballet dances into Bangkok this week

Oct 03. 2018
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I am sometimes asked why the organisers of Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance and Music favour Russian ballets and operas.

The answer is simple: Russia’s unchallenged superiority in classical art means its opera and ballet performers are permanently in high demand.

More than a dozen major Russian ballet companies have performed in Bangkok, including the Kremlin Ballet (2003), Mariinsky Ballet (2011), Novosibirsk Ballet Theatre (2015), Moscow Musical Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after K Stanislavsky and V Nemirovith-Danchenko (2016). Meanwhile the Yekaterinburg Ballet and Opera Theatre have performed at five festivals – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2017.

Russian opera singers stepped into the Bangkok limelight with the Bolshoi Theatre in 2011, Chelyabinsk State Opera Theatre in 2012, Samara Opera Theatre in 2015 and Helicon Opera Theatre twice – in 2013 and 2016.

The 20th Bangkok International Festival of Dance and Music will feature another fantastic Russian company – the Moscow State Classical Ballet. This relatively young theatre (barely five decades old!) is led by former Bolshoi stars Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov who infuse the best traditions of Russian classical ballet with fresh ideas from a new generation of choreographers, dancers, musicians and designers. 

They will bring three fabulous productions – the world famous “Nutcracker” with unparalleled music by great Pyotr Tchaikovsky, “Firebird and Rite of Spring”, composed by another icon of classical music, Igor Stravinsky and “The Legend of Swan Lake and the Ugly Duckling” composed by Edvard Grieg and staged by Natalia Kasatkina. An additional show will be performed for special-needs children. 

Hopefully, Thai audiences will be impressed by the strong, sincere emotions and unbelievable skills of our ballet stars. This taste of the magnificent heritage of Russian ballet should also contribute to awareness of Russian culture in Thailand. 

Kirill Barsky

Russian ambassador to Thailand

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