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September 18, 2009

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Russian company debuts with an audience favorite

ST Petersburg Ballet will perform "Swan Lake" at Shanghai Grand Theatre next month. It will be the first time for this young and successful ballet company from Russia to perform in Shanghai. And it is one of several "Swan Lakes" at the theater in the new 2009-10 season.

The other versions of "Swan Lake" included the local Shanghai Ballet's performance at the opening show earlier this month. Still to come are performances by the San Francisco Ballet Co, which takes over the theater on next Wednesday for three nights, and performances next year by two groups from Chelyabinsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of M.I.Glinka and the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theater of the Republic of Belarus.

"Swan Lake" is a classical Russian ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikvosky during 1875-76.

The dance tells the story of Odette Odile, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.

The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger and the ballet received its premiere in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow as "The Lake of the Swans."

It has been presented in many different versions by numerous corps around the world, and it's one of the most familiar and successful ballet works to audiences in China.

The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre was founded in 1994 by Russian entrepreneur Konstantin Tachkin to deliver classical Russian ballet to audiences worldwide.

They tour extensively and have performed in Spain, Germany, Belgium, France, the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan. The company is well-known for many successful performances of the classical ballet works such as "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Giselle" and "The Nutcracker."

They travel with their own orchestra under the baton of conductor Alexander Kantorov.

This company is made up mostly of graduates from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg.

The role of Odette Odile in the upcoming performance of the "Swan Lake" will be played by Irina Kolesnikova, the company's prima ballerina.

She was born in 1980 and graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in 1998. Kolesnikova is the winner of many international competitions, including the gold medal at Prague in 2002, the Natalia Makarova Prize and silver medal at Arabesque 2002 in Perm, and the silver medal at the Japanese International and Modern Dance Competition in 2005.

With the St Petersburg corps, she has become renowned for the title roles in "Giselle" and "Swan Lake." She was nominated for the Best Female Dancer in Britain's National Dance Awards, after a performance of "Swan Lake" at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

She also gives perfect performances in other repertoire including the "Sleeping Beauty" as the role of Princess Aurora, Masha in "The Nutcracker" and as lead dancer in the "Legend of Love."

Kolesnikova is excited about her trip to Shanghai. "It's my first time to China, and I am surprised to see such an amazing city. As the celebration performance for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, I am confident to bring the top Russian ballet art to the audience here," she says at a press conference in Shanghai.

The ballet company's China tour will also include Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, where the group will give two performances at the Ningbo Grand Theater on October 5-6.

Date: October 2-3, 7:15pm

Address: 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 180-980 yuan

Tel: 6308-1990, 6308-2119


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