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Hermitage Th. Ballet Feb. '08 U.S. tour

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From another forum's discussion on the various St. Petersburg-based troupes that are currently touring the U.K. or the U.S. I discovered that dancers from another troupe -- the company of the Hermitage Theater, at the Hermitage Museum -- will make their U.S. debut of Feb. 8 '08 in Savannah, GA, and will continue a tour of the S.E. for about two weeks. The full schedule is here:


The site also includes mini-bios of the featured dancers, video preview, TV interviews with a Board member. As per one of the TV spots, this appears to be the first of ten consecutive years of presentations of the troupe in the U.S. They are doing a gala highlights program this time around but plan to present the full troupe of 150 (!!!???) dancers, with orchestra, by the year 2010.

The guest soloists include Nioradze, TKachenko, Kolegova & S. Popov of the Kirov-Mariinsky, as well as Perren, Kotsyubira and Shemyunov from the Mikhailovsky (Ruzimatov's troupe).

Sounds interesting. Hopefully some BalletTalkers in Georgia, Alabama, N. Florida or the Carolinas will be able to attend and report.

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The mystery deepens. As was pointed out in another thread, the Hermitage Ballet's website has suddenly gone blank. Now....

According to this small news item from a local newspaper, the scheduled final performance of the Hermitage Ballet in Augusta, GA, on 22 Feb, was cancelled:


To add to the mystery, I've just received a note from TicketMaster that my credit card has been credited the amount of my ticket for the Atlanta performance on the 21st (what was to have been the pennultimate performance)! [TicketMaster had no way of knowing that I never made it to Atlanta -- my flight had been cancelled and I could find no other flight that day. So perhaps DELTA Airlines did me a favor by cancelling that flight??? WOW.]

Does anybody know what on earth happened with the Hermitage Ballet tour? It was to have included all of the dancers cited above -- all 'heavy hitters' from various St. Petersburg troupes. I even saw a photo of Kirov soloist Elvira Tarasova accompanying one of the early reviews of the tour, making me wonder if Tarasova had been added to the tour?

I wonder if attendance was so low that the last performances were cancelled to not lose more money? I wonder what this means for the announced Scholarship Program to send American ballet students & teachers from the Southern-US region to St. Petersburg...cancelled too?

This almost reminds me of the infamous 'Bolshoi in Las Vegas' fiasco of the late-1990s. I sure hope that the famous Kirov & Maly soloists listed above did not suffer financially or otherwise.

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Amy, if it helps at all -- the Hermitage Ballet is totally separate from the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet that you & I will be seeing later this month (in different venues). I still plan to see the SPSAB perform GISELLE in Rockville, MD, next week. They'd better not cancel that one!!!

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