Keys of the season 2015


April 21 Dutch National Ballet - Back to Bach
April 24, 25 Bolshoi theatre - The Taming of the Shrew
April 25 Wienner Stattsballett - Contra Clockwise Witness
April 22-28 Master-classes and Young Stars Gala
April 27 Gala DANCE OPEN 2015


We live in difficult times, full of uncertainty and worry. It's logical to ask if we really have time for ballet right now. Do we really need this ephemeral, tremulous, effete and elegant refinement when we are surrounded by so many problems? Is it really appropriate in this moment of fearful expectation, when we should be giving up all non-essentials, everything we can get by without?

We believe that ballet is essential. Essential if only because it can help us to preserve the qualities that make us human.

These crises of history ruthlessly separate the wheat from the chaff, laying bare for all to see the essence of things that were previously drowning in bluster. This is best seen in art. In the 2015 season, as never before, art demands sacrifices. And we are happy to sacrifice grand PR events, flamboyant ceremonies, expensive prizes and other cozy fripperies. We'll sacrifice anything, except for art itself - as long as the muses don't fall silent. Ballet people, after all, are used to tightening their belts.

To open our programme of "art at its purest", we have Back to Bach, an evening of mini-masterpieces performed by the renowned company of the Dutch National Ballet. Consisting of five sketches created by very different contemporary choreographers - van Manen, Wheeldon, Pastor - the performance is a meditation on the theme of returning to the source, of the way in which, in difficult situations, high art helps us to find a common denominator of humanity and goodness.

The Taming of the Shrew is another example of pure art. Despite his long-established tradition of working only with his own company, acclaimed choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot accepted the Bolshoi Theatre's offer, himself stitched together a score from fragments of music by Shostakovich, and created a masterpiece that has been eagerly devoured by audiences. DANCE OPEN is the first time that the performance has been presented away from its home stage.

Then there is Manuel Legris - a great dancer, the very embodiment of ballet. Having taken control of the Vienna State Ballet, he has transformed the company from classics devotees into a genuine choreographic trend-setter - and their programme Contra Clockwise Witness is a proof to that. How can we not be proud of the fact that this fascinating company is coming to Russia for the first time to perform at DANCE OPEN?

And, finally, our Gala. Here there will be many stars new to the Petersburg public - charming prima Sarah Lamb and "choreographer's dream" Vadim Muntagirov from Covent Garden, the scintillating Isabella Boylston from the US and acclaimed "Cuban sensation" Osiel Gouneo, J'aime Crandall, who "dances with her heart" and amazingly talanted Alban Lendorf who represent The Royal Danish Ballet…Soloists from the San Francisco Ballet, historically first company of US, will perform at the Gala for the first time. Others have appeared before at DANCE OPEN - like previous winner of the People’s Choice Award Yoel Carreño, the virtuoso Daniil Simkin or the mysteriously elegant Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton - and are now returning to a familiar audience, sometimes even changing their touring plans to do so. Once again, this proves that the love between the audience and the artist has to be reciprocated, and that art does not recognize borders.