Moscow Festival Ballet performs "Giselle" at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
The exciting Moscow Festival Ballet, a company that embraces and expounds on the grand Russian classical tradition, performs one of its signature pieces, "Giselle," on Friday, April 16, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. An Art-to-Heart Q&A session with the company will take place immediately after the performance, which is one of the highlights of the Quick Center's season-long Russian Arts and Letters Festival.
Formed in 1989, this relatively young troupe is the brainchild of Sergei Radchenko, a legendary principal dancer with Russia's great Bolshoi Ballet. Radchenko sought to create a company that would bring together the highest classical elements of the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in a fresh, independent way.
Born in 1944, Radchenko graduated from the Moscow School of Dance and joined the Bolshoi, spending 25 years with the company. Radchenko enjoyed a reputation for his affinity for Spanish dance and he is fondly remembered as the bullfighter in the Bizet-Shchedrin "Carmen Suite."
Under his direction, leading dancers from across the former Soviet Union along with stars from the Bolshoi and Kirov have created and staged new productions of timeless classics, including "Giselle," "Don Quixote," "Paquita," and "Carmen." Radchenko has researched original choreography and stage productions of several of Marius Petipa's classic ballets, including his "Don Quixote" and "Paquita," as well as the re-creation of Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli's "Giselle" that it will perform at the Quick.
"Giselle" is the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with a count, Albrecht, who, disguised as a villager, tries to woo the young woman. However, her mother, Berthe, takes an instant dislike to Giselle's love and tries to dissuade her by telling the legend of the Wilis, ghost girls who have been jilted and die before their wedding days. This vengeful sisterhood becomes deadly at night, when they force any man who crosses their path to dance himself to death.
When Giselle learns Albrecht is intended for another, she loses all reason and kills herself, setting off a series of harrowing scenes in this memorable tragedy.
The Moscow Festival Ballet has been well received in its homeland and around the world. The troupe has completed two European tours, with memorable performances in Italy, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Two tours of Great Britain, including capacity audiences at London's famed Coliseum, resulted in engagement for five seasons in a row. The company has also performed in Turkey and Greece, and recently completed a two-month tour of Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In addition to touring, the company specializes in commissioning new works and performing full-length, 20th-century ballets, including "Cinderella," "Romeo and Juliet," "Legend of Love," "Stone Flower" and "The Golden Age."
Tickets are $25 to $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website www.quickcenter.com. Media inquiries should be made to Dana Ambrosini, Fairfield University's assistant director of media relations, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726.
Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on March 18, 2004
Vol. 36, No. 229