2018 Nuriyev Festival: classic, Eifman and parallel programme

2018 Nuriyev Festival: classic, Eifman and parallel programme Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The Rudolf Nuriyev International Classical Ballet Festival will traditionally take place on the stage of the Tatarstan Academy State Opera and Ballet Theatre in May. This year the festival is dedicated to two significant figures in the world of ballet at once – Marius Petipa and Rudolf Nuriyev, who gave his name to the Kazan ballet forum in May 1992. Realnoe Vremya tells what plays and stars ballet lovers will see in May.

La Bayadère as lead-off

The festival will open on 10 May with Ludwig Minkus's La Bayadère. The play will be shown during the festival twice. La Bayadère has constantly been in the repertoire of the Kazan theatre in recent years. Nevertheless, it was decided to create a new version of the ballet in 2018, so citizens of Kazan will see a premiere. Boss of the ballet company Vladimir Yakovlev is the art director of the staging, scenography belongs to Andrey Zlobin and Anna Ipatieva. In the first evening of the festival, one can see prima ballerina of Kazan ballet Kristina Andreyeva as Nikiya and Oleg Ivenko as Solor, who has recently shot as Rudolf Nuriyev in The White Crow.

La Bayadère is a significant play in the memory of Nuriyev, who would be 80 years in 2018. When Rudolf Nuriyev was in Kazan in May 1992 at the invitation of Kazan opera theatre director Raufal Mukhametzyanov, he evaluated the potential of the Kazan ballet company and not only gave his name to the international ballet festival but also planned further cooperation with the main music Tatarstan theatre. A staging of La Bayadère was in his plans. He had brilliantly performed the role of Solor in this ballet and staged the ballet in the West many times.

Swan Lake, Shurale, Don Quijote and Romeo and Juliette are after La Bayadère in the festival's playbill. In addition, a gala concert of the Kazan Choreographic College is also on the theatre programme. It celebrates a quarter century this year, not only current students but also graduates who successfully perform on stages of different theatres will take part in the concert. Ballet master from Saint Petersburg Aleksandr Polubentsev prepared the gala concert.

La Bayadère is a significant play in the memory of Nuriyev, who would be 80 years in 2018. Photo: kazan-opera.ru

All stars

Festivals of the Tatarstan Academy State Opera and Ballet Theatre named after M. Jalil always have surprises, they will be this time as well. The arrival of the company of cult modern ballet theatre of Boris Eifman is the first surprise. Citizens of Kazan will see a performance of the master, which is called Tchaikovsky. Pro et contra. The play caused a great buzz among citizens of Kazan. This is why it will be shown twice. However, there aren't tickets to it anyway.

It will be possible to see another neoclassical ballet on festival days. It's three one-act ballets brought by the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre – Suite en Blanc, The Little Death and Second Detail. Serge Lifar is the producer, Jiří Kylián is a producer of the second one and William Forsythe is that of the third one. The one-act ballets will be shown twice, due to the buzz again. The tickets are already unavailable as well as to Eifman's ballet.

One will traditionally be able to see a ''scattering'' of stars at the Nuriyev festival. It's Mathilde Froustey from San Francisco Ballet, soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre David Zaleyev, Timur Askerov, Renata Shakirova, Laurretta Summerscales from Munich ballet, soloist of the Dresden theatre István Simon and others.

Stars of not a less calibre will represent the Kazan ballet company: apart from Oleg Ivenko and Kristina Andreyeva, it's Mikhail Timayev, Koya Okawa, Alessandro Caggegi, Amanda Gomes, Artyom Belov, Aleksandra Yelagina.

A parallel programme will be held on Nuriyev festival days for the first time. Visiting it, spectators will be able to talk with participants and guests of the fest. A parallel programme is, as a rule, a part of the events that take place at top festivals for a deeper submersion of the audience into the atmosphere and content of the fest. At the Nuriyev festival, it will be consist of three areas.

The arrival of the company of cult modern ballet theatre of Boris Eifman is the first surprise. Citizens of Kazan will see a performance of the master, which is called Tchaikovsky. Pro et contra. Photo: kazan-opera.ru

The first area can be called educational. The audience that bought tickets to the festival's plays can come one hour in advance and listen to a detailed lecture about the staging they are going to see in one of the halls of the theatre. Moscow ballet critic Aleksandr Maksov and teachers of the Kazan conservatory will read the lectures and accompany them with videos.

The second area is recitals during which speakers may be asked questions like in a live conversation. The third one is films, it's planned to show films about Nuriyev and Petipa and ballet, in general. The entrance to the events of the second and third areas is free, they will be held in the M. Salimzhanov Actor's House.

The tickets to the festival's plays whose price varies from 300 to 3,000 rubles have already been sold. So those who couldn't buy them can hope for luck on festival days – an extra ticket.

By Tatiana Mamayeva
Tatarstan