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History of ballet in Saratov

The first professional ballet company was recruited for Saratov Opera House in 1928 under the direction of ballet master S.N. Kevorkov who moved from Baku along with a group of his ex-students V. Vronsky, A. Klein, A.Kamenski, T.Ramonova, V.Arskaya, V.Urussova and A.Urussova. That same year the company presented Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky and Red Poppie Flower by Glier. The Saratov ballet of the period was characterized by a daring quest for new possibilities in choreography based on the best traditions of the past.

Солисты балета

1928Leading dancers

Photo from archives

In the 30 and 40  the repertoire was dominated by productions staged based on dramatic stories: Esmeralde by C. Puni ( 1933), Corsaire by A.Adam ( 1935), The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by B.Asafiev ( 1936), Don Quixote by L.Minkus ( 1937), Raimonde by A.Glazunov ( 1939), The Swan Lake by P.Tchaikovsky ( 1940).

In the 50  the time came for experimental ballets: The Kerchief by Keneshei (choreography by D.Khorongozo, 1956) and Young Years by M.Tchulaki (choreography by V. Adashevski, 1958). The stage sets for both the productions were created with the participation of the gifted stage designer E.Shuiski. Ballets showing a pronounced ethnic colouring constituted a special attraction for the audience. A display of skill and imagination were the Tatar and Armenian dances in Shurale by Farhid Yarullin (choreography by V.Adashevski, 1951), and Gayane by Khachaturian (choreography by Ashot Asaturian, 1972).

A significant stage in the evolvement of ballet is closely linked to the activities of Honored Artist of Russia V.T.Adashevski, an outstanding figure in choreography. When in position of Chief Ballet Master at Saratov Opera since 1951 to  1968, he staged Esmeralde, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Shurale ( 1951), Don Quixote ( 1953), The Merry Swindler, Seven Beauties ( 1954), Laurencia ( 1955), Corsaire ( 1957), Bayadere ( 1958), Grande Waltz, The Nutcracker ( 1959), The Girl And Death ( 1961), The Sleeping Beauty ( 1962).

In the 60-s, the stage was dominated by brilliant ballerinas and prominent dancers V.Urussova, V. Dubrovina, B.Bregvadze, Y.Gorbbatchov, L.Fedorushko, P.Petrov, L.Shelogurova, A.Fedorov. A growing interest for symphony music along with a new trend within Soviet ballet defined as «choreographic symphonism», gave rise to productions where music and the dramatic story merged to form a harmonious finality. In close succession, there followed premieres of Stone Flower by S.Prokofiev (choreographer A.Tomski), Cinderella (choreographer V.Drechin), Spartacus by A.Khachaturian (choreographer E.Changa), The Humpback Horse by R.Schedrin (choreographer I.Belski), ballet-oratorio Mother's Field by K.Moldobassanov (choreographer A. Dementiev).

Throughout the last quarter of the 20th century Saratov Ballet collaborated with prominent ballet personalities, among them, O.Vinogradov (Lisa and Collen ), N.Dolgoushin (Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty), M.Lavrovski (Romeo and Juliet), N.Ryzhenko (Masquerade).

«Swan Lake». «Swan Lake».

The repertoire also comprises a number of ballets by local composers: «The Girl And Death» to the music by V.Kovalev ( 1962), «Goya» by E.Gokhman ( 1997).

In the second half of the 20th century, a great success with the audience was rightfully enjoyed by M.Bezzubikov, G.Albert, M.Tcherkashin, A.Stepkin, V.Bgashev, T.Chernobrovkina, L.Telius, and I.Stetsur-Mova and D.Kourynov who extensively perform on Saratov stage now.

The creative resources of Saratov Ballet are now as great thanks to the inflow of young talented soloists, among them, International Competitions winners N.Kolosova, V.Sharipova, J.Tanyukhina, and the promising E.Zakharova, A.Mikheyev, A.Rodionov, O.Ivanov.

Today, the Saratov Ballet is a full-fledged company inspired with new creative ideas under the direction of Honoured Worker of Culture of Russia Valeri Nesterov, who is the choreographer and libretto writer of the recent productions of Mystery of Tango to the music by A.Piazzola, The Girl and Death by V.Kovalev, I.Strauss's Grande Waltz, J.Kollodub's The Snow Queen.


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