Gala concert of the world ballet stars

in frames of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad
and Bilateral UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014


Date: February 8, 2014
Venue: Sochi

On February 8, 2014, the Olympic Sochi welcomed famous guests from Great Britain: on stage of the Winter Theatre a grand Gala featuring principal dancer with the Royal Opera House (Matthew Golding) and soloists with the English National Ballet (Yonah Acosta and ZdenekKonvalina) was held.

The project was the participant of the final part of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad. It was not only a symbolic baton passed from Olympic London to Sochi, but also one of the first events of the bilateral UK-Russia Year of Culture program taking place in both countries in 2014.

With no doubt all Russian participants of the Gala were stars whose names are well known overseas: Ulyana Lopatkina has been entitled by the international mass media as «divine»; Denis Matvienko is «a virtuoso with impossible dramatic charm»; Irina Perren is «personified poem of dance»; Marat Shemiunov is the «king of classical support»; Kristina Kretova has been acknowledged by European critics as «breakthrough of 2013»; Denis Medvedev is famous for his phenomenal technique; exquisite Anastasia Kolegova and artistic Igor Kolb, noble Danila Korsuntsev and manful Mikhail Lobukhin, delicate Anastasia Stashkevich and bright Anna Tikhomirova – no accidental name on the list.

The program of the Gala was diverse – it included eternal classical pieces as well as expressive modern choreography. One could enjoy tangle of ancient plots and kaleidoscope of national dances, lyrical pieces as well as exuberance of high spirits.

The gorgeous duet of Irina Perren and Marat Shemiunov (principal dancers with Mikhailovskytheater) performed the magnetic «Spartacus» adagio. The famous scene of the slaver kneeling down before beautiful captive (pas d’esclave from the «le Corsair» ballet) was performed by Anna Tikhomirova (Bolshoi theater) and Denis Matvienko (Mariinsky theater).

The program of the Gala also included several national dances: «Russian dance» performed by splendid principal dancer with Mariinsky theater UlyanaLopatkina, lively «TarasBulba» gopak performed by the soloist of Bolshoi theater – Denis Medvedev, «Greek dance» by ZdenekKonvalina, principal dancer with English National ballet and bright «Tarantella» by Anna Tikhomirova and Denis Medvedev.

Virtuoso heroic pas de dian from «Esmeralda» ballet by international duo - Jonah Acosta, soloist with English National Ballet, and graceful soloist with Bolshoi theater Anastasia Stashkevich charmed the audience. Celebrate Odilia by Kristina Kretova (Bolshoi theater) captivated the wonderful Prince (by Matthew Golding, the Royal Opera House). Mysterious stranger by Anastasia Kolegova enthralled Danila Korsuntsev (principal dancer with the Mariinsky ballet) in the «Ghostly Ball».

Surely the spectators remembered the bright piece from «Talisman» performed by Anastasia Stashkevich and Mikhail Lobukhin, artists of Bolshoi theater, along with the artists of famous ballet theater of L. Jacobson, laureate of many Russian and international awards.

The strong «Farewell» (Irina Perren and Marat Shemiunov) and the passionate «Je suismalade» (Igor Kolb and Irina Perren) were a real gift to admirers of contemporary choreography.

We believe that the international Gala will be remembered for being diverse, emotional, representing the best artists and pieces of ballet.

The concert was organized by JSC "OASIS"in cooperation with the international ballet festival DANCE OPEN by the order of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

Photos by Elizaveta Melina, Vitaliy Pustoslav and Ivan Klimichev