International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN (St.Petersburg) improves cultural links between Finland and Russia: Gala SUMMER NIGHT STARS will gather the brightest soloists in the medieval Olavinlinna castle while master-classes will provide the best ballet students of Eastern Finland an opportunity for study under supervision of the Vaganova Ballet Academy professors.

For at least a century Savonlinna has been famous for its opera festival. As a development step, recently Olavinlinna castle started to claim the status of a major European ballet center: for the third time St.Petersburg ballet festival DANCE OPEN, which is admitted to be one of the most influential choreographic forums in the world, gathers here the most outstanding soloists of the Russian and world ballet companies.

DANCE OPEN galas are special for their absolute exclusivity: every year the organizers present the best ballet dancers who are at the height of their fame. These events always perform to a full house – in St.Petersburg as well as abroad. It’s a rare chance for the audience to see la crème a la crème of the world choreography in the most concentrated program.

This year July 14 the Gala Summer Night Stars does not make an exception: brilliant Denis and Anastasia Matvienko along with Anton Korsakov and Anastasia Kolegova from Mariinsky Theater, renowned Irina Perren, Leonid Sarafanov, Sabina Yapparova and Marat Shemiunov from the Mikhailovsky Theater, passionate Jonah Acosta from the English National Ballet, noble Dinu Tamazlacaru and elegant Iana Salenko from the Staatsballett Berlin, unequalled Lucia Lacara and Marlon Dino, star couple from the Bavarian State Ballet, adorable Anna Tsygankova and charming Matthew Golding from the Dutch National Ballet will dance in Olavinlinna.

Ekaterina Galanova, General Manager of the International ballet Festival DANCE OPEN: «The Gala is unique for its venue. Very special authentic atmosphere of the medieval castle fits perfectly to the art of ballet emphasizing by that delicacy and elegance of dance. You simply immerse yourself in atmosphere of old legends and high feelings…The experience is wonderful and incomparable!»

The Gala is held within the project St.Petersburg – Savonlinna Ballet Days supported by South-East Finland – Russia ENPI Program of cross-border cooperation. The project in general is not only connecting different countries and nations but also has educational purposes. It brings together young generation of Russian and Finnish ballet, most prominent teachers of Russian ballet school and high level world ballet stars in order to give impulse for cooperation and to develop ballet art in both countries. Master-classes by the teachers of the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy are in high demand all over the world. Supported by European Program, the best students of the ballet schools from East Finland have a unique chance to attend master-classes for free.

St.Petersburg – Savonlinna Ballet Days project is designed for a long-term cooperation to support cultural links between Saint-Petersburg and South-East Finland. The project is organized by the International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN in cooperation with Savcor Ballet (Finland).

This project is co-funded by the European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland

Iana Salenko. Photo by Vladimir Cherenkov


Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino. Photo by Vladimir Cherenkov

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