The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN

The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN | Danza Ballet 
The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN | Danza Ballet 

With the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Committee for Culture and the Committee for External Relation of Saint-Petersburg.

The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN April 18-22, 2013

April, 19th and April, 20th, beginning at 7 pm, Alexandrinsky Theater


  • WORLD PREMIERE! “Le Sacre du Printemps”, choreography by Edward Clug (Slovene National Theatre Maribor, SNG)
  • RUSSIAN PREMIERE! “Spazio-Tempo”, choreography by Jacopo Godani (Semperoper Ballett Dresden)
  • PREMIERE IN SAINT-PETERSBURG! “Classical Symphony”, choreography by Yuri Possokhov (the Bolshoi Theater of Russia)
  • April, 21st, beginning at 7 pm, the Oktyarbsky Concert Hall – THE GALA “HISTORY OF RUSSIAN BALLET”
  • April, 22nd, beginning at 7 pm, the Oktyarbsky Concert Hall – THE GALA OF INTERNATIONAL BALLET STARS DANCE OPEN
  • April, 22nd, beginning at 11 pm, Marble Hall of the Russian Museum of Ethnography – CEREMONY OF THE 4TH INTERNATIONAL BALLET AWARD DANCE OPEN

The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN 2013 will gather the best soloists of nearly 20 ballet companies from all over the world in Saint-Petersburg. As usual, Natalia Makarova, a legendary ballerina, who not long ago was honored at 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors by US President Barack Obama, will head the panel of Jury of the Festival. This year Galas of the DANCE OPEN Festival will be covered by a French television channel Mezzo – their interest confirms the International reputation of the Festival, which according to the British national daily newspaper The Independent is one of the best European spring Festivals.

Besides the world ballet stars, students of the ballet schools from all over the world will come to the Festival to participate in master-classes. Among them are students from the USA, Brazil, Panama, France, Belgium, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Finland and others. On April, 19th the Gala of Young Ballet Stars will be held at The State Drama Theatre «Na Liteynom» which will start the concert Program of the Festival.

The Program of the upcoming DANCE OPEN Festival will include four Galas. For the first time within the Festival Nights of One-Act Ballets will be held (April, 19th and April, 20th, the Alexandrinsky Theater). Three contemporary One-Act ballets will be presented by the Semperoper Ballett Dresden, Slovene National Theatre Maribor and the Bolshoi Theater of Russia. These premiere ballets are staged by famous choreographers: Jacopo Godani, Edward Clug and Yuri Possokhov who are nowadays in the limelight of the leading ballet critics and world mass-media.

100 years ago Vaslav Nijinsky staged for the first time the “Le Sacre du Printemps” ballet to music of a young composer Igor Stravinsky. The spectators of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées hissed off that provocative and avant-garde performance that had absolutely unaccustomed aesthetics. In 2013 it will be the 100nd anniversary of the Nijinsky’s premiere.

The world premiere of the “Le Sacre du Printemps” ballet by Balkan choreographer Edward Clug has powerful intensity, daring compositional decisions and stage special effects: water will stream through the flies of the Alexandrinsky Theater. Edward Clug has been running Slovene National Theatre in Maribor for over 10 years and has known by Russian spectators for his ballets “QUATRO” and “Radio and Juliet” staged to Radiohead music. “Spazio-Tempo” ballet choreographed by a young Italian ballet master, former leading soloist of the Frankfurt Ballet, Jacopo Godani. Godani’s style demonstrates imaginative approach to the plot and dramatic concept, wonderful choreography, interesting light design. “Spazio-Tempo” shows personal touch of the choreographer as well as William Forsythe’s influence. This ballet is a bright dynamic show with the original music by the German experimental electro acoustic band 48nord.

“Classical Symphony” by Yuri Possokhov is breathtaking, technical, and humorous ballet. Prokofiev’s theatricality and music vivacity perfectly suited for realization of Possokhov’s idea. As a result he created a plotless one-act ballet with the original choreography including classical pas, pirouettes and fouettes, and full of wonderful lightness and elegant smoothness.

The upcoming Festival will be full of surprises – the Gala “History of Russian Ballet” will be held at the Oktyarbsky Concert Hall on April, 21st.

We have ventured to make this brave and uneasy action: to unfold in front of spectators a large scale live picture of the history of Russian ballet. Masterpieces of Perrot and Petipa, Saint-Leon and Fokine, Balanchine and Yakobson, Grigorovich, and Ratmansky will have a new life performed by the brightest stars of world ballet, – Ekaterina Galanova, the Director of the Festival says. – We will turn the clock back using a unique photo and video content that will include archive materials, and entertaining narration by the presenter about rare ballet facts and offstage stories.

Crowning pieces of Anna Pavlova and Mathilde Kschessinskaya, Galina Ulanova and Tatiana Vecheslova, Konstantin Sergeev, and Vakhtang Chabukiani will be performed in a different individual interpretation by the stars of today: Ulyana Lopatkina, Anastasia Matvienko, Anastasia Kolegova, Igor Kolb, Yuri Smekalov (Mariinsky Theater), Isabelle Ciaravola (Paris Opera Ballet), Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar (New York City Ballet), Evgenia Obraztsova, Anna Tikhomirova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Denis Medvedev and Denis Savin (Bolshoi Theater of Russia), Iana Salenko and Dinu Tamazlacaru (Staatsoper Berlin), Leonid Sarafanov (Mikhailovsky Theater), Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theater), Denis Matvienko (National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after T.G. Shevchenko).

The culmination of the Festival is the Gala of International Ballet Stars DANCE OPEN that will be held on April, 22nd at the Oktyarbsky Concert Hall. The Program of the Festival will include ageless classical and modern pieces. Many choreographies will be performed for the first time in Russia. Specifically for the Gala DANCE OPEN a colorful fragment of one-act ballet Walpurgis Night from the opera Faust by Charles Gounod will be re-made and performed by the international trio: Daniel Ulbricht (New York City Ballet), Mikhail Lobukhin and Anna Tikhomirova (Bolshoi Theater of Russia). Also, the spectators of the Festival will see the Duet from Cinderella (Sergey Prokofiev) in the production of famous Christopher Wheeldon. The Performance will take place in St. Petersburg after its premiere in Amsterdam where it had a raving success.

Also DANCE OPEN will present a piece by one of the most respectful choreographers, by David Dawson, duet from “A Sweet Spell of Oblivion” performed by Jurgita Dronina (Dutch National Ballet) and Steven McRae (Royal Ballet Covent Garden). David Dawson will join the Jury Panel of the Festival and exclusively for DANCE OPEN will stage a new version of the duet.

It will be an actual surprise for the spectators of the Festival to see the performance of the “Entredos Ballet Espanol” company. The performance combines elements of Spanish folk dance and flamenco. Yonah Acosta (English National Ballet), Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly (Stuttgart Ballet), Anna Tsygankova and Matthew Golding (Dutch National Ballet), Ashley Bouder (New York City Ballet), Joseph Gatti (Boston Ballet), Elisa Cabrera and Mikhail Kaniskin (Staatsoper Berlin), Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino (Bayerische Ballet) and others will also perform at the Gala of International Ballet Stars DANCE OPEN on April, 22nd.

The closing ceremony of the 4th International Ballet Award DANCE OPEN will take place immediately after the Gala in the Marble Hall of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The Jury always consists of the directors of the major ballet companies and established ballet theorists. They will secretly decide which of seven awards the ballet dancers – participants of the Gala DANCE OPEN would get. The winners will be awarded with a crystal replica of the bronze cast of the great ballerina Anna Pavlova’s foot.

The Ceremony is one of the most sophisticated and solemn events in Saint-Petersburg. Stars of the Russian sport and cinema award ballet winners. Among them were Alisa Freindlich, Nikolay Valuev, Alexander Domogarov, Tamara Moskvina, Alina Kabaeva, Mikhail Boyarsky, Vyacheslav Malafeev, Konstantin Bogomolov, Daria Moroz and many others.

The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN | Danza Ballet
Spazio-Tempo, choreography by Jacopo Godani. Semperoper Ballett Dresden. Photo by Costin Radu


The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN | Danza Ballet
Dance Open 2012. Photo by Mark Olich


The 12th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN | Danza Ballet
Anna Tsygankova.The Dutch National Ballet. Best of Balanchine. Photo by Ruud Baan

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