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Moscow Festival Ballet in North America

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I just saw the Moscow Festival Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty in the Detroit area last night and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.

They were not the same as the Kirov-Mariinsky or the Bolshoi, but for me they had a very nice quality to their dancing. The dancing was well performed with a fresh wholesome feeling and the Russian fineness of style was there as well. There was a lovely airiness to their dancing. They just seemed to float along barely touching the ground. When they performed their spins and such there was a very nice smoothness to it along with beautifully balanced moves.

There was no casting information in the program. I was particularly impressed with the woman, who danced the Lilac Fairy. She was Very Elegant and danced with lovely long lines. I am try to find out her name. Another thing of interest was the presence of lead dancers of Oriental background who had fine Russian style facial expression, etc. The Prince was danced by a man who appeared to be from Japan or Korea and definitely resembled Leonid Sarafanov in his style and ability.

The women dancing the White Cat and Little Red Riding Hood were delightfully sensual. Princess Florine was danced with elegance. The scaled down in size female corps de ballet danced with harmonious beauty in the vision scene. The men performed their lifts well allowing the women to present beautiful poses.

Ticket prices were 1/2 to 1/4 of what I have paid to see the exceptional Kirov-Mariinsky and Bolshoi companies.

This may be just the beginning of the Moscow Festival Ballet's North American touring this season. They will be doing their second and final performance in the Detroit area next Saturday evening and I certainly hope that I can be there.

[some typo errors corrected later]

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I am going tomorrow to see MFB’s Cinderella.

I have to say that the lack of web presence of Radchenko’s ballet companies had been confusing if not frustrating altogether. Add to that many contradictory and mixed reviews of his productions. Well I am a ballet fan with no ability to tell the difference between a good and a so-so production, unless I will see both productions simultaneously.

As I mentioned I’ll be watching Cinderella (MFB) tomorrow, and last year I went to see “The Swan Lake” (Russian National Ballet). I hope I am not jumping over my head here, but the SW was so-so. There were many slips and other mistakes, which I am not sure how to describe here. But I did enjoy it - you would too considering it was the only production other then the Nutcracker within 100 miles. LOL

Well I just wanted to share this little thing I found about Radchenko’s ballet, hope you will find it useful.


The Russian National Ballet was founded in Moscow in the late 1980s. The company was founded by and incorporated graduates from the great Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm.

In 1994, the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Sergei Radchenko was selected by Presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company.

Mr. Radchenko is the founder and also artistic director of the Moscow Festival Ballet.

Radchenko has focused the two companies in slightly different directions, the Moscow Festival company undertaking vast international touring and commissioning modern works and new productions of full-length ballets. The Russian National Ballet has focused on upholding the grand national tradition of the major Russian ballet works, with a repertory of virtually all of the great full works of Petipa: Don Quixote, La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Paquita, Coppelia and La Sylphide, as well as productions of, among others, The Nutcracker, Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardee.

Sergei Radchenko

Artistic Director

Born in 1944, Sergei Radchenko graduated from the Moscow School of Dance in 1964 and then joined the Bolshoi Ballet, where he worked for 25 years. He danced the entire repertoire at the Bolshoi, but enjoyed a special reputation for Spanish dance, particularly the role of the bullfighter in the Bizet-Shchedrin Carmen Suite. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Moscow Festival Ballet and has achieved a remarkable feat in the establishment and development of this young but great Russian ballet company. He also presents a large number of master-classes, inviting leading teachers from the Bolshoi and Maryinsky theatres to ensure the continuation of the rich traditions of the Russian classical school.

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