Ballet Calendar: April

Ballet Calendar: April

Dazzling and avant-garde premieres, birthdays of outstanding ballerinas and talented dancers - here we talk about the most significant events of the ballet world in the coming month.

On April 1, 1846, the Paquita Ballet-Pantomime was first presented on the stage of the Paris Opera. The performance by the ballet master Joseph Mazilier to the music of the composer Édouard Deldevez did not stay on the posters long, as Carlotta Grisi, the ballerina dancing the title role, left for Russia. It was here that Paquita had its new destiny. Marius Petipa turned the pantomime into a full-fledged ballet.

On April 5, 1935, Viktor Sergeyev was born - a ballet dancer, choreographer and coach of the USSR national rhythmic gymnastics team. He began his stage career at the Kuibyshev Opera and Ballet Theater, but real recognition was brought to him by the roles of ballet princes - Albert, Siegfried and the Nutcracker. After Sergeyev’s stage life was over, he had a long career in choreography and sports.

On April 8, 1931, The Bolt premiered at the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater. Libretto for this ballet, based on an industrial topic that was popular in the USSR, was written by Viktor Smirnov to the music by Dmitri Shostakovich. In its modern version - choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky - the performance has been on stage of the Bolshoi Theater since 2005.

On April 9, 1893, ballerina Victorina Krieger was born. Her career was an unusual one: Krieger worked at the State Academic Bolshoi Theater as a soloist, later she was an artistic director of the Moscow Art Ballet repertoire theater. Krieger also established herself as a famous theatrical figure: she wrote ballet reviews and headed the Bolshoi Theater Museum.

On April 15, 1907, choreographer Mikhail Fokine presented the ballet in one act Le Pavillon d'Armide at the Mariinsky Theater for the first time. This production became the graduation performance of the St. Petersburg Theater School. By the way, the part of Armide was danced by the birthday girl of April Elizaveta Gerdt. That year, she graduated from ballet school.

April 16 is marked in the history of Russian ballet as the date of birth of two outstanding ballerinas. In 1898, Valentina Ivanova, ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, ballet teacher, Honored Artist of the RSFSR, was born. She danced in La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Raymonda and dedicated over 40 years of her life to the Kirov Theater.

On April 16, 1927, a Soviet ballerina, Soviet and Russian ballet teacher, People's Artist of the RSFSR Rimma Karelskaya was born. She worked as a soloist at the Bolshoi and then as a ballet master and tutor. Besides, she was a close friend of Maya Plisetskaya.

On April 18, 2003, the Bolshoi Theater premiered Alexei Ratmansky's production of The Bright Stream ballet to the music by Dmitri Shostakovich. For the first time, the audience saw this ballet in 1935 on stage of the Leningrad Maly Opera and Ballet Theater. But on November 30 of the same year, the production was moved to Bolshoi, where Joseph Stalin watched it. By the way, his review of the performance was quite unflattering, he called it “ballet falsehood”.

On April 20, 1905, Mikhail Fokine made his debut as a choreographer. His first graduation performance was based on the story of Acis and Galatea. Fokine supplemented the classical choreography with antique costumes.

On April 29, 1891, Elizaveta Gerdt was born. She was a Russian ballerina and one of the most famous teachers of female classical dance in Russia. Since 1908, she danced on stage of the Mariinsky Theater, and her best parts were the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and the title role in Raymonda. At the age of 37, Gerdt began her teaching path. Among her students are such stars as Maya Plisetskaya, Ekaterina Maksimova and Raisa Struchkova.

On April 30, 1976, the ballet Angara based on the play Irkutsk Story by the Soviet author Arbuzov was performed for the first time on stage of the Bolshoi Theater. At the center of Yuri Grigorovich's ballet is human drama and the powerful natural element, the Angara River.