FORMER BOLSHOI BALLET PRINCIPALS VALENTINA KOZLOVA AND LEONID KOZLOV CELEBRATE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR DEFECTION TO THE U.S. WITH 'THE LEGACY GALA' - A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY PERFORMANCE AT THE JOYCE THEATER
WENDY WHELAN and PHILIP NEAL
IRINA DVOROVENKO and MAXIM BELOSERKOVSKY
WHITNEY JENSEN and ALBERT DAVYDOV
Monday November 23 at 7:30 PM
The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue
Tickets: $35; $50; $100
(Patron pricing includes two premium tickets and the party following the performance, generously sponsored by Firebird Russian Restaurant. Patron pricing: $350; $500; $1000)
Valentina Kozlova and Leonid Kozlov are proud to present "The Legacy Gala," commemorating the 30th anniversary of their defection to the U.S. As principal dancers with the Bolshoi Ballet, the couple defected in Los Angeles on September 16, 1979 while on a U.S. tour with the Bolshoi. The one-night-only celebration will take place Monday November 23 at 7:30 PM at The Joyce Theater, and will feature performances by Kozlova and Kozlov, dancing a duet created especially for the occasion by Margo Sappington; NYCB principals Wendy Whelan and Philip Neal; ABT principals Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky; Larisa Ponomarenko and Whitney Jensen of the Boston Ballet; and Albert Davydov of the NJ Ballet. In addition, Kozlova will appear in her signature solo, "Vissi D'Arte, Vissi D'Amore," created for her by Sappington, who is director for the evening. Each of the guest artists has a longstanding relationship with Valentina Kozlova, as a dance partner, protegee, or fellow ballet company member.
In addition to live performances, the evening will include rarely seen footage of the couple's defection, along with news coverage of their return to Moscow in 1991. Glasnost enabled Kozlova and Kozlov to visit their homeland for the first time since their defection and to give heralded performances before audiences of 6,000 at the Kremlin Palace.
Following their defection, Valentina and Leonid made headlines again in 1982 when they starred together on Broadway in George Abbott's acclaimed revival of the musical "On Your Toes." They subsequently were invited by Balanchine to join New York City Ballet as principals and remained with that company for years, also guesting with companies around the world.
Since 1989, Mr. Kozlov has been Artistic Advisor to the New Jersey Ballet, and in 1991 he established Kozlov Dance International. Ms. Kozlova went on to establish the Daring Project with Margo Sappington, which appeared in seasons at The Joyce and on international tours. She opened her Manhattan-based Dance Conservatory of New York in 2003, where she trains dancers in the traditional Vaganova method.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit a new "Legacy" scholarship established by Ms. Kozlova, who states that The Legacy Gala is her way of "giving back to a country that welcomed me with open arms. I want to impart the artistry of my dance heritage by offering scholarships to talented and needy students with intensive teacher training."
Valentina and Leonid Kozlov galaNovember 23, 2009
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