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Russian National Ballet Theatre

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Russian Classical Ballet Theatre (aka Russian National Ballet Theatre,

Artistic Director: Elena Radchenko)

Performance in Detroit, Michigan at Music Hall, January 23, 2010

A small traveling troup of some thirteen dancers (counted at the final curtain call, when all of the evening's performing artists appeared), presented a performance in the beautiful and intimate venue of the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts of clean, unmannered technical artistry, smooth pacing, and heartfelt dancing.

Not an easy thing to do when the program consists of ten excerpts,

mostly pas de deux, one pas de trois, two pas de quatres (Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre and a work of Vitaliy Zabelin -who danced in it- to a movement of a Tchaikovsky symphony) and a solo (yes, Fokine's The Dying Swan).

Duets included Petipa's: Sleeping Beauty Act III, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Paquita, R. Zakharov's Cinderella Act III (Prokofiev), and Asaf Messerer's Melody set to Gluck's Elysian Fields.

The trio was from Saint-Leon's The Little Humpbacked Horse to Pugni; it was an underwater scene: the womens' tutus had decorations of starfish.

Medleys of this sort tend to lead to surfeit of affects, and eventually tedium. Not last night. When the program finished I wished it to go on.

The dancing was generally of high quality, secure, and theatrically absorbing. The presentation had throughout impeccable timing; no long waits between numbers- the bane of stage managers..

The costumes looked elegant and fresh. I wish the management would help a few of the male dancers tone down their almost Kabuki- exaggerated make-up. The women looked lovely.

I don't think I can report who danced what. Visual confirmation contradicted credits in the program.

I am fairly sure that Marianna Chemalina partnered by Ruslan Mukhambetkaliev danced in Don Q and Paquita.

And I may be possibly right in saying that Nadezhda Illarionova

danced in Corsaire, Pas de Quatre, and The Dying Swan.

For the rest I will simply list the names of the dancers in no particular


Maria Klueva, Ekaterina Pankovskaya, Elena Aytuganova, Viktoria Krakhmaleva, Maria Barcova, Tatiana Muratova;

Marat Abdrakhmanov, Alexander Daev, Dmitri Shchemelinin, Vitaliy Zabelin.

The audience of the far-from-sold-out Music Hall received and applauded the performers with warmth and enthusiasm.

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