Legendary St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre to perform at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Legendary St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre to perform at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Juliet The St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre will perform its latest work, "Romeo and Juliet," based on William Shakespeare's tragedy, on Friday, april 1, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. An "Art to Heart" question and answer session with the company will take place after the performance.

Formed in 1966 under the original title "Theatre of Ballet," this relatively new dance troupe is a creation of the famous artist of the old Kirov Ballet Professor Peter Gusev, under the management of the People's Artist of Russia program. Gusev graduated from the Petrograd Choreographic Academy in 1922 and was an artist with the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theatre until 1935. Gusev had proven himself as a brilliant choreographer before creating the St. Petersburg Ballet. Among his other ballet experiences, he directed the Kirov Ballet (1940-1950), organized the Ballet Theatre in Beijing and the ballet schools in Shanghai and Guanchjou (1958-1960) and worked as a ballet master in the Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre (1960-1966).

Image: Juliet In 1969, the prominent choreographer and honored artist of Russia Leonid Jacobson occupied the post of artistic director and manager. He demonstrated a mastery of different epochs and styles, producing numerous imaginative and original ballets, along with his well-known "miniatures," which cover a wide variety of themes from ancient monuments to romantic ballets.

Since then the company has become one of Russia's most internationally toured ballet ensembles dancing a wide range of classical and modern ballet repertoire. When the company performed in the famous Pompidou Center in Paris, critics marveled at its grace and creativity.

"Its fame does not seem to be exaggerated," wrote a reviewer for Le Parisian Libere. "The revelation of this choreography treasury is one of the most important recent events in the art of dance."

Jacobson says his dancers' ability to connect with audiences sets them apart.

"Just dancing, even good dancing does not automatically lead to communication," Jacobson said. "Thousands of people finish ballet schools and dance brilliantly, but very few speak to the audience through the language of Dance. Our artists can."

As of 2001, the title of Artistic Director has been held by Yuri Petukhov who has received first prize for best choreography and three first prizes as a ballet master from international competitions throughout Russia and abroad.

Image: Juliet The repertoire of the company consists of both classical and modern ballet performances and more than 60 dance pieces and 20 one-act ballets. Its latest performance, "Romeo and Juliet," is a tragedy based on the play by William Shakespeare in which two "star-crossed lovers" meet and secretly marry one another, despite their feuding families. The play ends in tragedy, thus a dramatic finish for this ballet.

Deborah Sommers, the Quick Center's director of programming, said she was delighted to welcome the company to Fairfield. Considered one of Sergei Prokofiev's greatest musical achievements, this play takes on new meaning through the movements of well trained dancers."

Tickets are $30 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.

Posted On: 03-01-2005 10:03 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 155