Yesterday there was a general rehearsal and the concerts started today. In the program of the first concert I provide the names of the students dancing each piece and for the graduating class, in parentheses, also the names of their pedagogues.
The first part of the concert consisted of a 20 minute long ballet «Conservatory», based on the choreography by Bournonville. The piece is absolutely charming and the costumes stunningly beautiful. Pas de trois was danced by:
Екатерина Ялынская [Ekaterina Yalynskaya] (Васильева) as Victorina
Евгений Кузнецов [Evgeniy Kuznetsov] as Ballet master
Анастасия Лукина [Anastasia Lukina (with the final 'a' stressed)] as Elisa
Anastasia Lukina, remarkably delicate and artistic, was a real discovery of the concert. She will be graduating next year. To me Lukina outshone the established "stars", Zhiganshina and Shakirova, in terms of finesse and artistry. It is a good sign of how serious she is and how focused she is on ballet, that there are no visible traces of her presence in the internet, despite the fact that she won Mikhailovsky's Grand Prix on November 10, 2013. I am also told she is a "straight A" student.
After the intermission there was a Divertissement. It consisted of the following pieces.
Pas de quatre Розарий from «Le Réveil de Flore», a "reconstruction" by Yuri Burlaka
another long, stunningly charming classical piece danced by
Ника Цхвитария [Nika Ckhvitaria] as Flora
Анастасия Лукина [Anastasia Lukina] as Aurora
Ольга Рудницкая [Olga Rudnickaya] (Васильева) as Diana
Александра Кирная [Aleksandra Kirnaya] (Ситникова) as Hebe
Inclusion of this Pas de quatre from «Le Réveil de Flore» in the program has triple significance for the School. The printed program says that Burlaka's choreography is after Иван Хлюстин, in the West known as Ivan Clustine, a famous dancer, ballet master and pedagogue-repetiteur to Anna Pavlova.
Pavlova danced her first principal part, of Goddess Flora, in «Le Réveil de Flore». This occurred on September 10, 1900. Finally, on the same day young Agrippina Vaganova danced her first solo part, of Goddess Hebe.
The Sabre Dance from «Gayane»
Наталья Клишина [Natalya Klishina] (Васильева)
Марат Нафиков [Marat Nafikov] (Еникеев)
Chaconne (music by Handel), chor. Viktor Baranov
Екатерина Ялынская (Васильева)
Игорь Ячменёв [Igor Yachmenyov] (Щеглов)
Children's Pas de deux (music by Tchaikovsky), chor. Marat Gaziev, reworked by Nikolai Tsiskaridze
danced delightfully by the third-graders
Ксения Андреенко [Ksenia Andreenko]
Дмитрий Задорожный [Dmitriy Zadorozhnyi]
Tango from the «Golden Age» (music by Shostakovich), chor. Yuri Grigorovich
Зинаида Гагарская [Zinaida Gagarskaya] (Васильева)
Леонид Леонтьев [Leonid Leontyev] (Щеглов)
Pas de deux Diana and Actaeon from «Esmeralda», chor. Agrippina Vaganova
Рената Шакирова [Renata Shakirova]
Алишер Калибай [Alisher Kalibay] (Еникеев)
— very well done, with the choreography not simplified
The Castanets Dance from the Soviet ballet «Laurensia» (music by Aleksandr Krein), chor. Vakhtang Chabukiani
Анастасия Толстая [Anastasia Tolstaya] (Ситникова)
Наиль Еникеев [Nail Yenikeev] (Еникеев)
The Grand pas from «Paquita», a feast of Russian Imperial Ballet, formed the third part of the concert. Agrippina Vaganova liked «Paquita» very much herself. It was in «Paquita» that she had finally been noticed among the ranks of the corps de ballet of the Imperial Theater. Many years later Vaganova used the Grand pas for her graduating class in 1930. This is why we have at least the Grand pas from «Paquita» preserved.
Ксения Жиганшина [Ksenia Zhiganshina] (Васильева)
Виталий Амелишко [Vitaliy Amelishko] (Щеглов) both very professional
Pas de trois:
Тамара Гимадиева [Tamara Gimadieva] (Васильева)
Александра Дементьева [Aleksandra Dementyeva] (Ситникова)
Романбек Бейшеналиев [Romanbek Beishenaliev] (Щеглов)
1st variation (from «La Vestale»)
Алена Ковалева [Aliona Kovaliova] (6 grade)
2nd variation (Queen of the Waters from «The Little Humpbacked Horse»):
Анастасия Лукина (8 grade)
3rd variation (from «Le Roi Candaule»):
Ника Цхвитария (8 grade)
Two girls wearing gold tutu:
Two girls wearing lilac tutu:
Deborah Davis (an American student)
Two girls wearing azure tutu:
Virginia (a student from Brazil, I don't know her last name)
and children in the Polish Dance. Principals in most professional companies would love to be able to do the fouettés the way Zhiganshina did in the coda yet in terms of artistry Kovaliova, Lukina and Ckhvitaria were more refined.
Excellent program and preparation of students overall, and a veritable treasure for any lover of la danse classique. I have been to many ballet school concerts at various ballet schools around the world but this one has been certainly among the most artistically satisfying showcases I ever saw. Most companies would be proud to show it as their regular repertoire offering.