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Belarussian BalletEverything I know


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#1 singing_medora

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:20 AM

Hi, everyone!
When I posted the description of myself you showed interest inour company. Hoping that it is sincere I've decided to tell you a bit. :blink:
It was founded inthe mid 20th years as a small division of the First National Theatre and for there was no ballet schools they took all talented youth who somehow particitated in folklore dance groups. Frankly speaking my relatives were among those who started professional theatre in Belarus. :)
At first they invited choreographers from St.-Petersburg and the ballet staged were mostly upon national literature and the musoc of national composers. It was exactly the time of the policy of belarussisation of all spheres of life after becoming a sovereign republic. The technique and style were developped by a great number of world-known touring Moscow ballet dancers. Since that times classical ballet has been developped and popularised. (if there is such a word? sorry!)
Well, actually, during its (guess, I may say) long history Belarussian Ballet could boast its vivid, bright and colourful performances of the classical heritage like The Swan Lake, La Bayadere, The Fountain of Bakhchisaraj, The Sleeping Beauty and many others. You know, In the soviet times ballet was an art which was carefully considered and paid attention to by the soviet leaders. The same was in Belarus that's why the quality of the company was among the best In the Soviet Union after The Bolshoi and Kirov theatres.

#2 singing_medora

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:49 AM

The first actual leader of Belarussian ballet who made it famous was and is Valentin Yelizariev who graduated from the Vaganova Academy and Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in St-Petersburg and was invited for the post of chief choreographer in Minsk. He staged a great number of ballets developing and showing his own undeniable style. He presented more than 30 performances in and outside our country. And these are not simply small ballets or performances. He managed to stage grand ballets preserving classical features and adding his own details in such harmony with the whole ballet that tey are praised in many countries of the world. Actually during his "reigning" :) BB visited an unbelievable number of countries. France, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, Greece, Great Britain, Norway, Turkey, Holland, Netherlands, China and many others...You may not believe me but it's really true. Perhaps, the only country they missed is...the US, unfortunately. In 1995 Yelizariev got "Benois de la Dance" for his staging of the ballet "Passions" upon our national legend. Co-operation with V. Okunev, a painter and designer from St.Petersburg (who actually also co-operates with Eifman, so well-known to you) made this performance really striking and impressive, making people think about their past and their ancestors.
A myriad of brilliant dancers graduated from the Belarussian Choreographical College which this year celebrates its anniversary - it was founded 60 years ago.

#3 carbro

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:36 PM

Since that times classical ballet has been developped and popularised. (if there is such a word? sorry!)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The word has been inreasingly popularized in recent years. :clapping: I use the American spelling; the one you used is perfectly acceptable British.

This is a wonderful capsule of a company little known in the US, one with emphasis on both the standard, classical repertoire and works reflecting local culture; dancers trained in the venerated traditions centered in Russia.

I can hope -- can't I? -- for a US tour including the NYC area. :beg:

Thank you, singing_medora!

#4 singing_medora

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 02:36 AM

Hi! :)
Here are some details I wanted to add about our company. I’ve already written that some famous stars of the world ballet like Aleksey Turko or Igor Sed’ko from Eifman ballet are the graduates of our Choreographic College. :wub: Actually former members of our company are dancing all over the world and this shows the quality of preparation that our ballet school gives. Also mentioning X Moscow Competition I should say that Ivan Vasiliev, our student is a dancer who impresses the audience most of all and according to the reviews is an undeniable leader of the junior group. :P He is already a winner of various competitions, so you can see that our company is trying to gain its status on the world’s stage! Wish them luck! Alexander Buber is also a striking star who presented our ballet in Moscow. Unfortunately, he isn’t in the 3rd round, according to some reviews ‘cause of his modern performance. :huh: But we also have a one more chance – this is a couple Borchenkos :wub: who are originally from St-Petersburg, but work with our company. In fact, they present Russia in Moscow but still we feel pride for their success and wish them luck in the 3rd round. Some people say that they don’t deserve this position of being included into the list of the dancers in the 3rd round and I’m a bit disappointed because of that… but I still hope that these are just envious people who were not taught to lose beautifully saying this rubbish. :clapping: I know that if the person you relay on loses it is disappointing but that doesn’t mean that you should offend other people saying they do not deserve something as well, and claiming that all the places in the 3rd round were already sold. I still believe that Kate and Peter being the twins feel each other better than anyone else. :beg: A lot of articles devoted to this couple were written for it’s really a rare thing - twins dancing together. Being graduates from The Vaganova Academy they possess an incredible style of dancing and very beautiful like “talking” hands. :wub:
Newspaper journalists were also interested in them because this year Kate won a great prize – “Philip Morris Debut” which was established by the (if my memory serves me right) tobacco company Philip Morris known by its charity actions and culture supporting prizes in our country. “P.M.Debut” is given to the talented young dancers and the history of this prize started in 1995.

#5 bart

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 05:17 AM

Really fascinating information. And very encouraging. There's obviously a lot of enthusiasm and national pride about Belorussian dance.

One small question about the Choreographic Institute. I gather that this is a ballet school. Do they also "teach" choreography to the ballet students? I am not clear about the title.

Questions: you mention the folkloric origins of Belorussian dance. What is the connection today between ballet and traditional folk dance? Are there folk companies in Belorussia similar to Moiseyev (which is very well known in the US)? How are these institutions funded -- and how can the government afford to support what appears to be a very ambitious program?

#6 singing_medora

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 09:29 AM

Hi!
I’m so inspired that our ballet interested you! I really couldn’t expect this! I know that for many people Belarus is like “the country somewhere”, perhaps even without all comforts of civilization… I think it’s our own guilt, for before recent years we never tried to be opened to the world and to show the world our own culture. And now when everyone tries to be as much connected with the world community as he can, we have to develop with an impossible and unbelievable speed and frankly speaking we do it eagerly!
By the way does anybody know whether it is possible to write articles to some online magazines about ballet? You see I know a lot and if anyone is interested I can provide with valuable information…It will be great if I can help people know more about Belarussian ballet, perhaps someone will decide to come to us and watch it with his own eyes or I can gain the attention of some impresario in our ballet…It my greatest dream!!! Now our company suffers some hardships for the theater closes for the reconstruction and it is the most advantageous time for touring.
As for the questions:
1)We’ve got several establishments which provide students with dance education. They are Choreographic College. I see that the name can puzzle but it is called so cause there the students are taught to dance both classical and national choreography. To simplify – ballet and national dances of various peoples. Here students are not taught how to invent ballets, just how to dance. It gives secondary education but recently they came to a decision to transform it into Academy and give the higher education. Perhaps, this will lead to the appearance of the Ballet Masters and Choreographers Chair.
At our Academy of Music there’s already a Department of Choreography where they prepare future ballet teachers, choreographers and ballet critics. In fact, some our leading dancers have only secondary education and are happy! But if they want to become a teacher and to stay in the theatre after retirement they are forced to graduate from this Academy. Actually, we also have a University of Culture where they teach national dances, modern dances and ballroom dances, and we have quite a number of colleges of arts all over the country teaching national and modern dances. But to start working with the Ballet Theatre you have to graduate from the Choreographic College, where the students start learning at 9-10 years.
The number of these educational establishments is quite confusing and especially the number of Academies, but…. The things are as they are.

#7 singing_medora

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 12:57 AM

Speaking about ballet and folklore I’d say that nowadays there’s no any connection between them. Many years ago, as I’ve already mentioned there were a couple of national ballets staged according to the national literature. But still they were primary ballets with typical classical choreography and within there were some national folklore dances which were somehow changed to satisfy general rules of ballet. They were included into the ballet when for example there was a wedding or some other traditional holiday where Belarusians have their own customs and national dances.

#8 singing_medora

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 02:19 AM

Yahoo!!!
Our Alexandr Buber has won the competition in Nagoe, Japan! Congratulations!!!!!
You see? Belarussian ballet is great and it's growing better and getter!!!!! :shake:

#9 Helene

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 08:11 AM

Yahoo!!!
Our Alexandr Buber has won the competition in Nagoe, Japan! Congratulations!!!!!
You see? Belarussian ballet is great and it's growing better and getter!!!!! :beg:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's terrific news!

I hope they'll be able to tour to the West someday.

#10 singing_medora

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 05:09 AM

Can't get why you call these news terrific?.. :mellow:

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 05:17 AM

Meaning wonderful! :blink:

#12 bart

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 06:33 AM

Can't get why you call these news terrific?.. :mellow:

Meaning wonderful!    :blink:

Yes. Wonderful. Completely positive.
Nothing to do with "terror" or "terrible" -- although the word goes back hundreds of years to the same root.

It's wonderful (terrific) to learn about a great dance tradition that is once again moving out onto the world stage.

Can you tell us more about the coming season? (Especially contemporary choreography.)

#13 singing_medora

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 09:28 AM

Thanx everyone for explanation!
As for the coming season.
Every autumn we’ve got an Int’l Festival of Contemporary Choreography, the so-called IFMC. Works of choreographers from Eastern Europe and also from Germany, Baltic countries, Poland, France and other countries are always widely presented. During this festival you may visit different master-classes, which comparing to the European standards cost dead cheap! A famous Panfilov’s company is a permanent guest here. This is a really striking event in our cultural life for here our national traditions in modern dance come together with those of the western countries.
There aren’t many modern dance companies in our country but for all of them this festival is the most expectable event. And not for them only. I should say that all people who are somehow connected with dance or are just fans try to appear there because there you can meet like crème de la crème of dancing elite of many countries. Each year IFMC is a surprise and each year talented producers prepare something new and captivating. There you may watch a real diversity of emotions and get unforgettable pleasure from performances and just communicating with people.
You know, the Belarusians are really open –hearted and all people who come to our country for some event become the same under the influence of our smiles. So it would be easy to start chatting with anyone whose creative work has impressed you and share experience or some professional tricks. If anyone gets interested in this event I can provide you with information about the dates of the festival. :devil:

#14 carbro

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 11:56 AM

IFMC sounds like an exciting and very fertile event! Will you be attending? If so, I hope you report.

I can feel your Belarussian smile :devil: through your post, singing_medora!

#15 singing_medora

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:33 AM

People! :wub:
I gotta tell you awful news. Our theatre is going to be restored and our company doesn’t have a place to dance in! I agree, the building of our theatre is very old, it represents real cultural and historic value and actually needs restoration but why couldn’t it be done like in Moscow or St-Petersburg? You probably know they’re going to restore there theatres as well but there they have built or are going to build an alternative building not to cause difficulties for the company.
In our city we also have one concert hall where our ballet can give performances BUT acoustics there is unbearable and our company is always dancing with live orchestra! Moreover, there are almost no rooms where dancers can dress up, so some of them I mean corps de ballet will have to dress even in the corridors! Can you imagine that?! And consider, our company is the principal in the country and they have to work in such conditions! People connected with ballet, you will understand me…The salary is going to be really small for about 90 $!For you in the US it may seem unbelievable at all but in our country it is somehow possible to make both ends meet with such salary but if both spouses work in the company and they also have to raise a child it becomes impossible at all…And the last thing which is killing – one rehearsal or play at the stage of that concert hall will cost our company 5000 euros. Perhaps for your country it’s a normal amount of money but as you can see from the information about the salary and also taking into consideration that tickets cost 1-8 $ you may understand to which result the restoration of our theatre will lead. The number of ballets performed will be much fewer than in our “native” building for our company won’t be able to pay for the stage and they can’t even rely on any governmental support, see? Again ballet people will understand me – fewer ballets – fewer stimulus to work – fewer possibilities to express yourself!!! And for the people of art it’s so important! And what then? Our dancers won’t want work with our company and will look for some job abroad. And during 3 or4 years of restoration the company which have been famous since the times of appreciating Soviet Ballet, the company which gave birth to such stars as Alexey Turko, Alexandr Buber, Ivan Vasiliev, who was definitely the best at the 10th Competition in Moscow this year and many many other people who glorify our ballet school all over the world, this company will lose all its potential? I don’t know…I can’t help tears…Please anyone, if you know how to help us, respond me, s’il vous plait… :wub: Perhaps there are some sponsors :thumbsup: who can help our distinctive not to fade in the cruel world of money…If you are interested, probably someone will help us to organize a tour round America, you won’t regret! Perhaps you don’t believe that Belarus can present smth worth watching, you know little ‘bout our country but believe me, our ballet hve preserved everything, every feature, great inspiration, desire to express creativity – everything which was characteristic of Russian Ballet school, Soviet ballet – company admire all over the world! We synthesized this tradition with our national spirit and become an original ballet company, really, honestly worth visiting!
Excuse me the letter has become a little confused and messy but it’s all because I’m so frustrated… :(
Please, anyone help me…help us…Don’t let a part of World Ballet die… :blink:


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