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Herman Stevens

Diaghilev Festival

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I'm not really sure where to post this, but I just got a press release about a Diaghilev Festival in the last week of January 2005 in the northern Dutch town called Groningen.

The Diaghilev Festival will feature the Maryinksy Ballet and Orchestra, the Royal Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

The Festival is in conjunction with a big show in the Groninger Museum with lots of works by artists surrounding Sergei Diaghilev.

Most likely the participating ballet companies will do their contributions to the program at other locations too. (My experience is when Gergiev graces a town with a special Festival, usually two other countries are graced with the same material - and why not?)

In the preceding month, December 2004, the Dutch National B will do a Diaghilev program in their holiday season. I had already heard a whisper of a rumor that my prayers for a revived Les Sylphides might be honored. And I have a sneaking suspicion Petrushka or the Firebird will be presented, too, in the December show.

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No disrespect for our Dutch friends :unsure: , Herman, but WHY Groningen of all places??? :)

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Our American friends won't understand what we're yakking about (just a hundred miles or so) but I'm completely baffled myself. A hundred miles on the incredibly dense and cjammed Dutch road system equals three hundred US miles, after all. And it's not like I've ever heard ecstatic stories about the stage floor in Groningen...

And it's not just us who have to go there, but hundreds of orchestra members, dancers and crew. Where are the Groningers going to go?

The Hague would have been a fitting location to my mind, a city with a beachfront and a former, late 19th C casino, with the art show in the pretty, contemporary City Museum.

However, Groningen is where the Diaghilev Festival is going to occur.

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