The heritage of the great Monegasque tradition of the “Russian Seasons” initiated by Sergei Diaghilev at the beginning of the last century will be perpetuated at the Grimaldi Forum on 12 and 13 September 2015 at a Russian Gala, with two major gala performances featuring the stars of Russian ballet.
Diaghilev, the talented entrepreneur who surprised Europe with his revolutionary art and who launched the Russian fashion in the West, moved to the little Principality of Monaco in 1910. His artist friends then set to work – it’s here that Mikhail Fokin created the choreography for Karsavina and Nijinsky. Audiences in Monte-Carlo were the first to enthuse about Stravinsky’s famous dramatic ballet Petrouchka. On the French Riviera, a host of legendary and talented Russian choreographers, dancers and composers created masterpieces that form a precious part of our global cultural heritage.
Almost 100 years later, in 2012, the organizers of the Russian Gala decided to bring this artistic magic back to life by inviting some of today’s leading Russian ballet stars to perform at an evening event. The stage at the Grimaldi Forum was successively host to the solo dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet and dancers from the Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theaters, who presented both classical and contemporary dance performances. This event remains memorable for all those who attended, not only because of the rich variety of choreographic works, but also because of the enthusiasm and sense of commitment that could be felt in the theater.
This year, the new Russian Gala will delight anyone who loves tradition, as well as lovers of the arts. World-renowned dance stars will appear on stage at the Salle des Princes – performers from the Mikhailovsky Theater, including the enchanting Irina Perren, known as “the pure poetic incarnation of dance,” the breathtaking Sabina Iapparova, the virtuoso Leonid Sarafanov and “the king of classical accompaniment,” Marat Shemiunov; the male and female dance stars of the Bolshoi Theater – Kristina Kretova, named “Revelation of 2013” by all the European critics, the delicate Anastasia Stashkevich, the sparkling Anna Tikhomirova, the virile Mikhail Lobukhin and the elegant Artem Ovcharenko. The Mariinsky Theater will present a charming “Light Dance” by Olesia Novikova with the bewitching Filipp Stepin.
The program for these two ballet evenings will be divided between timeless classical dance and expressive contemporary dance. They will be an evocative portrayal of genuine traditions, not fixed in the past like museum pieces, but the living basis for new inspiration and innovative and modern artistic expression.