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Ballet Russes in MA
4 April 2008
Ballet Russes in MA

Ballets Russes
2009 Russian Revel
May 16 - 23rd
Boston, MA

Ballets Russes 2009, a non-profit organization created to celebrate the Ballets Russes centenary will stage a Russian Revel on May 22nd, 2008 at the Cutler Majestic Theater. A gala dinner will follow at the Four Seasons. The evening will feature prima ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili of the Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theater. She will dance The Dying Swan. Mikhail Martyniuk and Kristina Kretova will dance a pas de deux from Le Pavillion d'Armide by Nicholas Tcherepnine. Three Russian bass singers, Alexey Tikhomirov, Vladimir Kudashev, and Mikhail Guzhov, will perform arias from Boris Godunov and Prince Igor. Yevgeny Yevtushenko will read his poetry.

The dinner at the Four Seasons following the Russian Revel will honor Yevtushenko with a portrait made of the poet by Boris Chaliapin that appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in the 1960s.

The Ballets Russes 2009 centenary festival is scheduled to run from May 16th to May 23rd, 2009. Festival events include performances by the Boston Ballet and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The Museum of Fine Arts will be the site of a film series on ballet in Russia and Boston University will host a three day conference about this glittering cultural phenomenon. Although the festival is based in Boston, drawings and paintings from the Serge Lifar collection of Ballets Russes material and ballet costumes will be on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford simultaneously. A fashion show is being organized that will feature clothes based on Ballets Russes inspired designs. The festival will close with a street procession and a puppet theatre production for children.

Throughout the 2008-2009 season, Boston cultural organizations will feature Ballets Russes events to raise awareness of the centenary. In October 2008, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform Stravinsky's Petrushka. The New England String Ensemble will feature Ballets Russes music in a concert at Jordan Hall in April.

Peter Rand, Executive Director of Ballets Russes 2009, and Anna Winestein, Associate Director, have organized the May 22nd Russian Revel to honor the Russian origins of the Ballets Russes, which was launched by Serge Diaghilev in May 1909 in Paris to bring Russian culture to Europe. According to Rand, The Ballets Russes was conceived as a performing arts enterprise that employed some of the greatest composers, painters, dancers, and choreographers of the twentieth century, and had an enormous impact on western culture.

"This festival is a creative work in progress," Rand said recently. "I invite everyone to join us. The Ballets Russes was all about collaboration, and that's the spirit of this centenary celebration."

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