Russians return with beloved classic
What is it about Russian dance that makes it so difficult to describe its virtues? Those four syllable names? The technique that Pavlova once danced? The drama of Soviet stars defecting and finding a place in American dance? Perhaps the answer lies not so much in the dancers’ obvious theatrical flair (both on and off the stage), but in the total commitment apparent in their every step and gesture. The State Ballet Theater of Russia boasts the greatest assembly of dance talent anywhere in the world, and local folks can see at least 65 of them when the touring company from Voronezh, a provincial city south of Moscow, presents Cinderella, with choreography by Vladimir Vasiliev, at Hippodrome Theatre tomorrow evening and Saturday afternoon.
Cinderella is a contemporary retelling of the classic story set to Sergei Prokofiev’s wonderfully hummable score – I sigh when I hear “The Midnight Waltz.” According to a press release, the Russians have cut back much of the traditional mime in favor of non-stop athletic dance, so one might expect a performance that will be daring, spectacular, and at times heart-stopping. The troupe also employs stupendous sets of the grandiose productions that Western companies rarely attempt. Live music, too! And we’ve been promised a sleeker version – the costumes are pastel, not heavy brocade, and hopefully the wigs less puffy.
Currently directed by Igor Nepomnyashchiy, Artistic Director of the Theatre, and Lyudmila Sycheva, Artistic Director of the Ballet, The Moscow Times calls the production, “A gentle, dream-like retelling of the familiar fairy tale with commendable choreography and an enlivening array of original twists and turns.”
So it is with great expectation that local dance fans await Russian prima ballerina, Svetlana Noskova, as the heroine, along with her prince charming and a cast of characters that are as familiar to both young and old as those in that other Russian classic, The Nutcracker.
The State Ballet of Russia dances the three-act production of Cinderella tomorrow – Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and this Saturday – January 19, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Hippodrome Theatre at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center – 12 North Eutaw Street, in Baltimore, MD. Purchase tickets online, or call (800) 343-3103.