15 years is a very impressive date. Especially now, when things change rapidly in all areas of our lives and when the audience is literally drowning in a stream of impressions from all possible sources.
On the other hand, 15 years in ballet is only the beginning, the age of challenges, hopes and endless possibilities and that is exactly how we feel about our Anniversary Season — as a team of experienced professionals and at the same time as perspective graduates of Choreography Academy, making their first steps on stage. If we look at it from this angle, we still have everything ahead.
In human life 15 is the age of searches of the meaning, the age of challenges and conflicts. Therefore our Anniversary Programme consists of actual modern choreography works that are rebellious, clumsy and frank, just like teenagers are. They introduce on stage the naked soul of a human being of the 21st century. Semperoper Ballet Dresden will bring to us sharp drama ballets of three leading modern choreographers — Ratmansky, Ekman and Lidberg. St. Petersburg ballet lovers will find the rare combination of radical novelty and impeccable taste in the works of Vienna State Ballet, Jiří Bubeníček, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León and mysterious Stephan Thoss. Edward Clug will present Peer Gynt based on the dramatic poem by Ibsen of the same name, an adventurous choreographic story about a man who balances between dreams and reality in order to find oneself. Romantic music by Grig, rich stage design, character and virtuosity of Denis Matvienko in the title role will make Russian premiere of this ballet by Slovene National Theatre Maribor a real inrigue of the festival.
The festival admirers might have noticed that we celebrate our anniversary in the company of our old friends from Dresden, Vienna and Maribor. Although these companies are already familiar to our audience, they will prepare special gifts for the Dance Open anniversary.
15 years is also the age of the romantic dreams about love that will come true. Three star dancers — Sarah Lamb, Matthew Golding (Principal Dancers with the Royal Ballet Covent Garden) and Gary Avis (Principal Character Dancer with the Royal Ballet Covent Garden) — and the Perm Ballet company will tell us the tragic and eternal story about the adolescent love. Two evenings of the festival will be devoted to Romeo and Juliet in MacMillan choreography. This ballet will let us once again get in touch with the enormous creative heritage of two genius of XXth century: great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and legendary British choreographer Kenneth MacMillan. In the year of 125th anniversary of Prokofiev we just couldn't resist inviting one of the most interresting interpretations of his ballet to the Festival.
Finally, our Star Gala will be filled with famous ballet names, because discovering stars is our mission and on the oocasion of the 15th anniversary they will fly to Saint-Petersburg once again. True constellation.