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The Mikhailovsky Ballet Presents "Le Halte de Cavalerie", "Class Concert", and "Prelude" at the David H. Koch Theater
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The Mikhailovsky Ballet Presents "Le Halte de Cavalerie", "Class Concert", and "Prelude" at the David H. Koch Theater

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The Mikhailovsky Ballet

Le Halte de Cavalerie
Class Concert

Vladimir Kekhman, General Director, Mikhailovsky Theatre
Michael Tatarnikov, Musical Director and Principal Conductor
Nacho Duato, Resident Choreographer
Mikhail Messerer, Ballet Master in Chief
Andrey Kuligin, Company Manager
Evgeny Popov, Ballet Master
Michael Vool, Production Manager
Andrew Hill, Lighting Supervisor
KPM Associates, Kevin P. McAnarney, Press

In Performances at the David H. Koch Theater
At Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 18, 2014

Le Halte de Cavalerie (Mikhailovsky Premiere, 1975): Music by Ivan Armsheimer, Libretto and Choreography by Marius Petipa, Revived by Pyotr Gusev, Set and Costume Design by Vyacheslav Okunev, Stage Manager, Pavel Novosyolov, Conductor, Pavel Bubelnikov, Performed by Ivan Vasiliev, Angelina Vorontsova, Olga Semyonova, Alexey Malakhov, Vladimir Tsal, Maxim Podosyonov, Elena Silyakova, Maria Dmitrienko, and the Company.

It was easy to see that the Mikhailovsky brought this fantastic and rare one-act ballet to New York with sparkling new costumes, in blue, red, yellow, orange, and gold, designed by Vyacheslav Okunev. A cavalry of Hussars arrives in the village, to the dismay of Peter (Ivan Vasiliev in another star role for this Mikhailovsky run). Peter has drawn competition for his attention from Teresa (Olga Semyonova) and Maria (Angelina Vorontsova), one dressed in red and one in blue. Maria is demure, Teresa, flirtatious. When the soldiers see Teresa, competition ensues between the Colonel, the Captain, and the Cornet, in three levels of rank. Teresa plays with all of them through enchanting solos and pas de deux. Peter and Maria, in the background, are suddenly engaged, and, with a trumpet’s call, the Hussars depart from their “halt”, as the men of the village rejoice. The characterizations are strong and ingénue, giving this ballet a family-friendly, comic motif. Mr. Vasiliev showed off his vivacity and confidence with rapid twirls and a fervent pas de deux with Ms. Vorontsova. In this brief ballet, the romantic chase in military one-upsmanship was center focus.

Ms. Vorontsova danced with endearing charm, while Ms. Semyonova danced with stunning flourish. Of the lead Hussars, Vladimir Tsal, as Captain, filled the stage with the most persona, while Alexey Malakhov, as Colonel, and Maxim Podosyonov, as Cornet, exuded entertaining affect and theatricality. Elena Silyakova and Maria Dmitrienko, as friends of Teresa and Maria, added dynamism and feigned drama to the mix. Marius Petipa, who conceived the libretto and choreography, added a bit of mischief and mayhem, but all in innocent fun. The Corps ensemble dances, with young village ladies and soldiers, were synchronized in staging by Pyotr Gusev, who designed this revival of this 1896 ballet. Pavel Bubelnikov conducted the propulsive Armsheimer score.

Class Concert (Mikhailovsky Premiere, 2014): Music by Glazunov, Lyadov, Rubinstein, Shostakovich, Music Composition by Alexander Tseytlin, Choreography by Asaf Messerer, Staging by Mikhail Messerer, Stage Designer, Vyacheslav Okunev, Lighting Designer, Alexander Kibitkin, Music Director and Conductor, Pavel Bubelnikov, Producer, Dmitry Astafyev, Dr. Habil, Stage Manager, Pavel Novosyolov, Performed by Students of the Vaganova Ballet Company, Brighton Ballet School, Ellison Ballet, Greenwich Ballet, and the Company.

Valentin Bogdanov conducted the expansive and educational, Class Concert, originally choreographed in 1962 by Asaf Messerer, uncle of the Mikhailovsky’s Ballet Master in Chief, who newly staged the one-act ballet. We watched young students, older students, Corps, Corphés and Corphées, Soloists, Principals, then Stars (Vasiliev and Osipova), from first ballet lesson to virtuosic feats. The ballet barre, key, early on, soon disappears, leaving the full stage for leaps, lunges, tight twirls, and every choreographic device imaginable. The score is a mélange of Glazunov, Lyadov, Rubinstein, and the ever sensational Shostakovich. What I found most astounding was the stage poise and courage of the tiniest dancers, seen first in repetitive ensemble steps, and later in daring, expansive passages. The audience was thrilled to see Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev in the ballet’s finale, doing everything one would expect of them, including Ms. Osipova’s mid-air dashes, as if in flight, and Mr. Vasiliev’s mid-air spins and scissors kicks, self-propelled from the wings, seizing the moment. Kudos to Mikhail Messerer for this spellbinding revival.

Prelude (Mikhailovsky Premiere, 2011): Music by Handel, Beethoven, Britten, Choreographer, Stage Designer, Costume Designer, Nacho Duato, Lighting Designer, Brad Fields, Costume Production Engineer, Alla Marusina, Music Director of the Production, Valery Ovsyanikov, Stage Manager, Pavel Novosyolov, Conductor, Valentin Bogdanov, Performed by Leonid Sarafanov, Irina Perren, Marat Shemiunov, Angelina Vorontsova, Sergey Strelkov, and the Company.

Nacho Duato, the recent Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky, who now holds that post in Berlin, has choreographed Prelude. This One-act ballet is described in the program as a mix of Mr. Duato’s impressions, when he first arrived in Russia and expanded his reach to the world of ballet, from his contemporary dance comfort zone, where he was a renowned performer and choreographer. This is a sumptuous ballet, as well as a partial modern dance, with some Mikhailovsky dancers en pointe, some in ballet slippers, and some barefoot. The score, an incredible combination of Beethoven, Britten, and Handel, draws the listener through multiple dimensions. The choreography includes many groupings in long, full, draped material, perhaps satin and tulle, designed, as well, by Mr. Duato, who also did the staging. The ensembles are evocative of crowds, as Mr. Duato must have been struck with the cultural and language differences on arrival in St. Petersburg. This 2011 ballet was created for the Mikhailovsky, and they performed with persuasive reverence. Moments of angst and longing are enhanced in the connections of groupings and starkness of solos.

The Mikhailovsky Ballet in
"Le Halte de Cavalerie"
Courtesy of Sveta Tarlova

Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev
in "Class Concert"
Courtesy of Stas Levshin

Natalia Osipova in
"Class Concert"
Courtesy of Stas Levshin

The Mikhailovsky Ballet
in "Prelude"
Courtesy of Stas Levshin

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