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Kirov-Mariinsky Reestablishes Link with Kirov Academy, Wash, DC

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A very VERY reliable source has announced that Maestro Valery Gergiev has visited Washington, DC's Kirov Academy of Ballet -- a.k.a. Universal Ballet Academy -- and met with its Artistic Director (and ex-Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet boss) Oleg Vinogradov. Not only will UBA go back to the "Kirov Academy of Ballet" name, but an exchange of students and teachers is in the works.

The name change officially takes place in September 2006, at which time details of the exchanges will be made known. CONGRATULATIONS, Washington, DC, and the UBA/Kirov Academy!

I did notice that Maestro Vinogradov was in the audience during the recent Kennedy Center run of the Kirov-Mariinsky, including the 'Giselles' that he and Yuri Slonimsky staged in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1978, the version still danced by the troupe. Vinogradov was looking quite dapper when I saw him...but I had no idea about the news behind his smile. Now we know.

A press release is now circulating & I'll post link to it once I get a copy. It was read to me a few minutes ago.

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...and so Alertniks will want to know, if there are to be exchanges of students, will there be any performances, open master classes, etc. etc.

I remember that SAB and Vaganova did a joint demostration at Brooklyn Academy of Music several (as many as 10, maybe) years ago--it was fantastic.

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Here is the full text of the press release, sent by my source at the academy:


For More Information:

Mary Catherine West


Washington, DC

June 2006

Effective September 2006, the Universal Ballet Academy will return to its former name, the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC. The Academy and the Mariinsky/Kirov Ballet also announce the continuation of closer artistic ties between the school and the great Russian company on which it is modeled.

During a meeting at the Academy, Valery Gergiev, Artistic Director and General Manager of the Mariinsky Theatre said, “We must build a program between the Academy and St. Petersburg that embraces the standards and artistry of the Mariinsky/Kirov tradition”.

Oleg Vinogradov, former Artistic Director of the Kirov Ballet for 24 years, has provided the artistic vision for the school since its inception. Mr. Vinogradov recognized the need for a school in the west that would save the Russian style of training. “Maestro Gergiev is a man of vision who recognizes the importance of our organizations working together. This collaboration will help to preserve and highlight the beauty and style of the Kirov”.

Maestro Gergiev was impressed by the Academy’s careful adherence to the principles and goals of the Kirov tradition. Plans for student and teacher exchange and the Academy’s participation in the development of the Kirov presence in Washington, DC are under discussion. Mr. Vinogradov looks forward to this closer working relationship with the Mariinsky/Kirov Theatre, which will benefit students at the Academy and the greater Washington community at large.

### end of release

I had a crazy dream last night -- that the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet would find its 'temporary-permanent home' in DC during the long closure of the Mariinsky Theater. That they would become the 'resident ballet company' of the Kennedy Center, thus opening the way for opera & ballet to be truly EQUAL partners at the Center's Opera House. Hey, we're allowed to dream, right? :wink: Seriously, I too look forward to more details about the exchanges.

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I had a crazy dream last night -- that the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet would find its 'temporary-permanent home' in DC during the long closure of the Mariinsky Theater. That they would become the 'resident

I'll have some of whatever you're having.

Wouldn't that be great?

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