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Stars of the 21st Century
International Ballet Gala
(Stars of the 21st Century Gala Website)
Investment Trade Bank
Presents a Solomon Tencer Production
Solomon Tencer, Executive Director
Nadia Veselova-Tencer, Artistic Director
Marguerite Mehler, Production Stage Manager
Penny Jacobus, Lighting Director
Audrey Ross, Press

At New York State Theater
Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 11, 2008

(See Stars of the 21st Century International Ballet Gala 2007)
(See an Interview with Solomon Tencer)


American Ballet Theatre - David Hallberg
Berlin Opera Ballet - Ronald Savkovic, Shoko Nakamura
Bolshoi Ballet - Svetlana Lunkina, Nikolai Tsiskaridze
Mikhailovsky Opera & Ballet Theatre - Anastasia and Denis Matvienko
Munich Ballet - Lucia Lacarra, Cyril Pierre
New York City Ballet - Maria Kowroski
Royal Ballet - Roberta Marquez, David Makhateli
Vienna Opera Ballet - Daniil Simkin

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Tschaikovsky
Maria Kowroski, David Hallberg

Choreography: Dmitrij Simkin
Music: Mussorgsky
Daniil Simkin

Giselle, Act II Pas de Deux
Choreography: Coralli and Perrot
Music: Adolphe Adam
Svetlana Lunkina, Nikolai Tsiskaridze

E Lucevan Le Stelle
Choreography: Ronald Savkovic
Music: Puccini (aria from "Tosca")
Tenor: Mihail Kotlyarov
Shoko Nakamura, Ronald Savkovic

Le Corsaire Pas de Deux
Choreography: Petipa
Music: Drigo
Anastasia and Denis Matvienko

Les Bourgeois
Choreography: Ben Van Cauwenbergh
Music: Jacques Brel
Daniil Simkin

Thais Pas de Deux
Choreography: Roland Petit
Music: Massenet
Lucia Lacarra, Cyril Pierre

La Sylphide Pas de Deux
Choreography: Bournonville
Music: Hermann Lovenskjold
Svetlana Lunkina, David Makhateli

Radio & Juliet
Choreography: Edward Clug
Music: Radiohead
Anastasia Matvienko, Denis Matvienko

Choreography: Ronald Savkovic
Music: Fado Portugues
Shoko Nakamura, Ronald Savkovic

The Lady of the Camellias, Act III Pas de Deux
Choreography: John Neumeier
Music: Chopin
Lucia Lacarra, Cyril Pierre

La Rose Malade
Choreography: Roland Petit
Music: Gustav Mahler
Svetlana Lunkina, Nikolai Tsiskaridze

Don Quixote Pas de Deux
Choreography: Petipa
Music: Minkus
Roberta Marquez, Daniil Simkin

Choreography: Nadia Veselova Tencer

As always, Solomon Tencer and Nadia Veselova Tencer created an ensemble of international ballet stars, some now familiar, and some newly introduced, in a program of eclectic choreographies, including works by Balanchine, Coralli and Perrot, Petipa, Petit, Neumeier, Savkovic’s original work, Bournonville, Daniil Simkin’s solo work for himself, and Nadia Veselova Tencer’s Defile, the free-flowing finale that brings back all the dancers in solo and duo to one common score. One highlight of the 2008 Gala was the introduction of Daniil Simkin, Vienna Opera Ballet, in Moorhuhn, to a Mussorgsky score. Although this contemporary work was electronic, with bird chirps and pantomime, Simkin revealed his astounding virtuosity and freshness of presentation. Another highlight was Le Corsaire, danced by Anastasia and Denis Matvienko, who were well received last year, traveling from the Mikhailovsky Opera & Ballet Theatre in St. Petersburg. Mr. Matvienko exudes dynamism, charisma, and propulsion, and Ms. Matvienko was smoother and more flowing this time around.

Many of tonight’s works, in contrast, were ethereal, surreal, rapturous, and mesmerizing. Svetlana Lunkina and Nikolai Tsiskaridze, from The Bolshoi, captured the essence of their sorrowful and remorseful pas de deux in the dim woodlands, even without the leafy sets. Ms. Lunkina was in the dramatic character of the love-lost Wili, the maiden who dies of a broken engagement. Mr. Tsiskaridze was attentive and theatrically in his role. Shoko Nakamura and Ronald Savkovic, of Berlin Opera Ballet, brought opera to the stage, with tenor, Mihail Kotlyarov, in an aria from Puccini’s Tosca, E Lucevan Le Stelle. Mr. Kotlyarov’s solid voice added to the ardent and amorous pas de deux, choreographed by Savkovic, with the dancers in deep, dark black. Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre, of Munich Ballet, renowned from previous Stars Galas, danced The Lady of the Camellias, Act III Pas de Deux, to Chopin, choreographed by John Neumeier. Ms. Lacarra wore a long white flowing gown, as she leapt into Mr. Pierre’s arms, spinning and carried offstage.

Earlier, Ms. Lacarra and Mr. Pierre also danced Roland Petit’s Thais Pas de Deux, to a Massenet score, with worldly lust. Petit also choreographed La Rose Malade, to a Mahler score, performed by Svetlana Lunkina and Nikolai Tsiskaridze of The Bolshoi. This was truly the quintessential etherealness of the evening, as the duo intertwined and spun about each other in ever-so-slow rapture. Maria Kowroski of NYC Ballet and David Hallberg of American Ballet Theatre had opened the evening in Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, but they focused on technicality, style, and appeal, in less daring aplomb than showcased by the visiting soloists and couples. Mr. Hallberg exuded princely vigilance and executed chivalrous lifts, but this duo will grow into Gala dance expectations. In contrast, Roberta Marquez, of Royal Ballet, and Daniil Simkin, in his third performance of the night, danced the renowned Don Quixote Pas de Deux, with Ms. Marquez conquering all 32 fouettés en tournant, and Mr. Simkin leaping and spinning on one leg en air, wowing the audience at every beat of the music.

Rounding out tonight’s Gala were: Daniil Simkin’s second solo work, Les Bourgeois, choreographed by Ben Van Cauwenbergh to a song by Jacques Brel, in which he defied gravity with double jumps and a cigarette, all to Brel and a French accordion; Svetlana Lunkina and David Makhateli (of Royal Ballet) in La Sylphide Pas de Deux, choreographed by Bournonville to music of Hermann Lovenskjold, with Mr. Makhateli in the iconic kilt and Ms. Lunkina in a white chiffony costume, lunging and leaping with romantic resoluteness; Anastasia Matvienko and Denis Matvienko in Edward Clug's Radio & Juliet, to an electronic Radiohead score, with repetitive angular and robot-like motion; Shoko Nakamura and Ronald Savkovic in Savkovic’s Transparente to a Fado Portugues musical backdrop, with Ms. Nakamura in a long burgundy gown, dancing with angst and ardor, while Mr. Savkovic swirled about her, assisted by two chairs as props; and Ms. Veselova Tencer’s soaring and serendipitous Defile to close this 2008 Stars Gala.

Kudos to the Tencers and the international ensemble of performers.

Svetlana Lunkina and Nikolai Tsiskaridze in Giselle, Pas de Deux
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Shoko Nakamura and Ronald Savkovic in E Lucevan Le Stelle
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Anastasia Matvienko in Le Corsaire, Pas de Deux
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Anastasia Matvienko and Denis Matvienko in Le Corsaire, Pas de Deux
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Daniil Simkin in Les Bourgeois
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Shoko Nakamura and Ronald Savkovic in Transparente
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

Lucia Lacarra & Cyril Pierre in The Lady of the Camellias
Photo Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at