Gala in Olavinlinna Castle


Date: July 20, 2014 
Venue: Savonlinna (Finland)

On July, 20, in frames of the St. Petersburg - Savonlinna ballet days project, the Ballet Gala was held in Olavinlinna Castle. Accordina to the tradition, the International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN presented to the audience outstanding ballet dancers.

It is the third year of the Russian-Finnish project, but for the first time the famous Savonlinna Opera Festival, the major opera festival in Northern Europe, has become it’s official partner. Established by the famous opera singer Aino Ackt? at the very beginning of the 20th century, nowadays the Festival presents to the audience the world’s classical masterpieces and premieres by renowned contemporary directors. A very special atmosphere and wonderful acoustics of the medieval castle of St.Olaf (1475) make the performances, and it is a privilege for St. Petersburg ballet forum DANCE OPEN to present the specifically lined up program.

Representateurs of the leading ballet companies of Russia took part in this concert: Mariinsky theatre(Anastasiya and Denis Mavienko, Viktoria Tereshkina, Filipp Stepin), Mikhailovsky theatre (Irina Perren, Marat Shemiunov), Eifman Ballet (Naalia Povoroznyuk, Oleg Markov), Bolshoi theater (Kseniya Zhiganshina), and Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre (Elizaveta Cheprasova). Guest dancers Remi Wortmeyer, from Dutch National Ballet and Oksana Kucheruk, principal dancer of the Ballet Bordeaux performed as guest dancers.

Spectators had the chance to sample a feast of riches and choose what is most to their taste: a lyrical pas de deux from Marius Petipa's comic ballet The Cavalry Halt (music by Ivan Armsheimer) or the tender, youthful coquetry of the pas de deux from Le Papillon (music by Jacques Offenbach), choreographed in 1860 by the celebrated dancer Marie Taglioni. To see if the heroic adagio from Spartacus (music by Aram Khachaturian) has a power to move their hearts. To judge which is more expressive and passionate: a duet from Boris Eifman's Anna Karenina (music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky) or a fragment from Radio and Juliet, choreographed by Edward Clug to the music of Radiohead. To share their admiration between the canonical Russian dance from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and the dance of a French gamin from the recently premiered Joel to music by Jacques Offenbach. To witness the joyful beginnings of love in Spring Waters (music by Sergei Rachmaninov) or the tragic collapse of a female soul in Portrait in Red (music by Antonio Vivaldi, as performed by Vanessa May).

Especially for that concert the piece, created for legenary soviet ballerina Alla Osipenko was recreated: adagio from "Antony and Cleopatra" was performed with great virtuosity by Irina Perren and Marat Shemiunov. It's also very valuable, that Alla Osipenko personally helped dancers to restore this piece.

Ballet Gala in Olavinlinna had a great success: audience not only burst with ovation after each piece, but also demanded two encores from soloists.

The Gala was organized by International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN in partnership with the Savonlinna Opera Festival (Finland), with support of South-East Finland – Russia ENPI Program of cross-border cooperation.