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City news, 15.10.2007 16:17

The 175th theatrical season of the Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theater Opened

Andrei_Kuligin By Olga Sharapova

The 175th theatrical season of the Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theater opened Saturday with the classic Minkus ballet “Don Quixote” with Denis Matviyenko in the title role. A soloist of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater and the New National Theater of Tokyo, Japan, Matviyenko was until 2002 a dancer with the Mariinsky Theater and the performance was something as a homecoming for the dramatic blond star.

In the words of Andrei Kuligin, assistant director of the ballet company, who has worked as the dancer at the Mussorgsky for more than 20 years, new life is being breathed into the ballet repertoire by the renovation of the theater.

Now, dancers have a large and comfortable rehearsal hall to train in and conditions for visiting stars like Matviyenko and the permanent company alike have been much improved.

"It is a fact,” Kuligin said, “that a theater takes some years to grow its own soloists. So for now the best way forward for us is to invite stars to again attract an audience to the Mussorgsky. This season spectators will see on the stage such excellent ballet stars as Diana Vishnyova and Igor Kolb.”

In November, the Mussorgsky will stage a new version of “Giselle” with Vishnyova in the lead role. However it will represent a departure from the traditional version that audiences know so well, Kaligin said, thanks to director Nikita Dolgushin.

Kuligin said that master classes for dancers form part of the ballet troupe’s plans. In October, the famous American teacher Jennifer Gube will give lessons in modern ballet and in the following month the legendary Natalia Makarova is due to give master classes.

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