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Russian National Ballet

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Has anyone seen a company which calls themselves The Russian National Ballet?

Their artistic director is Sergei Radchenko.

The current tour is....... the Nutcracker. :)

(I know, I know; but most of the kids I teach have NEVER seen a ballet before)

((besides, I still love it, even after all these years.))

I cannot tell from the info if they dance to live music or canned. (there is no mention of an orchestra)

I am assuming not live. :)

They are on tour in central Europe this autumn/winter, and there is a possibility to order bunches of tickets for ballet schools and the like; but I am a bit wary as I have not heard of them before and do not want to take kids to see something which may even turn them _off_ of more than on to ballet.



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Yes, they came here. I didn't see them, but friends did. Radchenko was a great character dancer with the Bolshoi.

The reports I got were mixed -- what you'd expect from a company that spends much of its life on the road, with dancers of a variety of ages, technical ability, etc. Yet both of my friends who saw it enjoyed it. It was a few years ago now, so I can't remember details (I'm sorry) but you might turn up something on them on Google.

I"m sure it was canned music here. If you're taking kids who've never seen the ballet, unless you're dragging them kicking and screaming because they think it's dumb and they'd rather be skate boarding, or whatever active children do there, my best guess is that it's safe. (please don't hate me if I'm wrong! :) )

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Of course I won't hate you if you are wrong!

Thank you very much for your information.

I am just trying to be careful, as there are so many touring companies around, and I have heard such horror-stories about some.

It is sad that, although nearly every mid-sized city over here has their own opera, acting-dept., orchestra and ballet/dance group, only a very few do classical ballet anymore.

It is probably just too expensive.

Thanks again. :)


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We just returned from seeing this company perform Swan Lake. There was a pretty good crowd for this area. Too bad we can't seem to attract the same numbers for our local companies in their performances.

It was an enjoyable evening and they did a lovely job considering the difficulty of touring and adjusting to different stages all the time.

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In our area they toured as the Moscow Festival Ballet. They seem to change their name around quite a bit!

Unfortunately I found the 1st and 2nd Acts to be the worst of a professional company I have ever seen. With my Russian background, it was an embarassment for me with my students sitting there, some seeing their very first Swan Lake. I walked out. Cannot tell you about the rest.

When I lived in St. Petersburg, I did have the opportunity to see the various companies (again always changing names) directed by Radchenko. Although the productions where not of the quality of Mariinski or Bolshoi, I never walked out. The dancers were decent, the production qualities were also very nice and of course beautiful theatres always do help. In the Swan Lake I so last week, I could not say any of this!

Sorry for the opposing view, but I just thought perhaps others might like to hear there are some of us who will never go to another Radchenko production! :angry:

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Your opposing view is quite ok with me! I was trying to be PC with them. I too saw problems, like a Prince who looked like he was working too hard and never had a facial expresion other than concentration. The corps was in unison with all their moves and the little swans were quite good. Not being familiar with Swan Lake other than seeing Peter Martins I have nothing else to compare it with. There were other things that I noted and discussed with my DDs on the way home but they were technique issues and a few personal things such as "did you see her foot, what was wrong with that?" :ermm:

My bigger concern is the Theater Manager walking around and seeing the crowd that was there. I'd like more classical dance to be available in our area but now I'm worried that he'll bring them back to do a Nut and hurt the three regional companies that are fighting for an audience for the same 2-3 week time frame in December. :unsure:

My hope would be that last nights performance build an interest in dance and send more children into the local ballet schools.

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My feeling is that, if you have the opportunity to see one of the great classics done by a professional company trained in that tradition -- grab it! Especially if you don't often get to see this kind of ballet.

There will be elements (perhaps a dancer, a short section, a musical phrase something that you cannot anticipate) that will be beautiful. And that you will remember for a long time.

Some of the provincial Swan Lakes and Giselles I saw when very young gave me a familiarity with the material and an admiration for many kinds of dancers. Although I didn't know it at the time, they helped train my eye. I was very grateful for these experiences later on when I had the opportunity to attend first-rate productions with great dancers.

These performances exist serve an important function and exist outside the ordianry parameters of ballet criticism.


On the OTHER hand (and there always is an other hand), I wonder about photo of Siegfred leaping, taken from one of today's LINKS. I can't imagine why they considered this a good advertisement for the purity of the dancing.


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When I saw them a couple of years ago, they were about the equivalent of one of our top 30 regional ballet companies... not as good as say the top 15. Of course, since our local Hartford company died an untimely death 7 years ago, they were better than anything available locally. The audience loved them and the house was well sold, but I thought the audience was more appreciative than the dancing was good. I suspect they do better in the big cities than on the university tours, where it seems they're doing a long series of one-night-stands. I'm not sure if any company could hold up quality to the kind of tours they seemed subjected to.

And the brochure from the theater usually has some mis-labelled photo... I seem to remember the Shades scene from Bayadere being labelled as Swan Lake... don't know if the problem is with the agent or the presenter.

One thing for sure: figuring out who is dancing is very difficult... they list several casts and it's anybody's guess who's dancing what. Bring a pen, and be ready... just as the lights go out, if you're lucky, they'll quickly read off who is dancing what. Write quickly, those multi-syllabic names are easy to get lost in.

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One thing for sure:  figuring out who is dancing is very difficult... they list several casts and it's anybody's guess who's dancing what.  Bring a pen, and be ready... just as the lights go out, if you're lucky, they'll quickly read off who is dancing what.  Write quickly, those multi-syllabic names are easy to get lost in.

You HAVE been lucky. In my experience with the Moscow Classical Ballet, Russian National Ballet, and Tchaikovsky Ballet (with orchestra), there was no attempt to name the evening's soloists. This seems rather demeaning to the dancers when there are two different names cast for each lead role.

I understand that the dancers in such companies are often disqualified from advancement in the top companies for a variety of reasons. Even I can see the technical flaws that prevent an otherwise quite delightful Aurora or Odette/Odile from careers elsewhere.

Recent posts on the Maryinski and Bolshoi threads suggest one reason: Russia seems to be turning out a great many more good dancers than they can fit into their own companies.

This kind of tour reminds me of the touring Broadway musicals. Except that the dancers are so much further form home. I wonder what life is like for them.

I also wonder whether this sort of gig sometimes produces job offers in the US, UK, or the other countries to which they tour? It would be nice to think so.

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Bart, another of my techniques was to hunt out the sound engineer during intermission... it wouldn't work in every house, but at Jorgensen the sound board sits in the back of the house. I go with my pen and program in hand and not speaking a word of Russian, smile and ask for example "Natalya? Tatiyana?" (attempting the first names of the principal ballerinas), and the engineer marks up my program with who is dancing. Of course, he could be marking it all wrong just to reward me for annoying him, but...

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I have seen this company on three occassions, once in a mixed programme, once in Carmen and once in DonQuixote. As another poster said some way back, their standard is mixed. The first two programmes I saw were good - some items were even outstanding (such as the Mariinsky's version of the Waltz of the Flowers), but their Don Quixote was pretty awful, with the exception of the character dancing and a few of the soloists.

I'm not sure how good their Swan Lake will be - I suppose it depends a lot on which dancers you get to see. I remember I was dying to see the soloist who danced Amour in the dream scene of DonQuixote doing Kitri - she was beautifully trained and far better, technically and artistically, than the dancer who actually danced Kitri!

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Here's a LINK to the management of this company in the U.S. It contains some background information.


This is the same impresario that presents Opera Lyrico d'Europa, famous for its long barnstorming tours of university towns and medium-sized cities all over the U.S. Sings and orchestera are primarily Bulgarian. I've seen a few of these and feel -- as with the ballet -- that in many parts of the country this may be the only chance to see a well-done professional production of the most popular operas of Verdi, Puccini, etc.

And that is not to be sneezed at.

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I just wish there were underwriting for US company tours... so many do such good work that it's a shame they aren't seen on the college circuit. I'm sure it's mostly a funding problem, though perhaps the prestige of Russian ballet still carries weight. Does anyone here know? Is it much cheaper to tour the Russian National Ballet in the US than say Boston Ballet or Pennsylvania Ballet? What stands in the way?

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I have no direct information, BUT I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it is actually cheaper to tour the Russian groups because they can get away with paying the dancers less and putting them up in less-nice places. Also, companies like Boston might have requirements about using their orchestras on tour, which would add to the cost.

It would be most interesting if anyone had any hard numbers or explanations...

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It certainly is cheaper to tour with recorded music.  It took Michael Kaiser to negotiate the return of NYCB to Kennedy Center, with an agreement to swap orchestras every other visit.

Exactly. It is definitely cheaper to tour with recordings, but from what I understand, some companies' contracts with their orchestras do not permit them to use anything other than their own orchestra (including recorded music) on tour.

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