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Culture news, 02.06.2004 14:12

St. Petersburg celebrates choreographer George Balanchine's 100th birthday

George Balanchine A program entitled 'The Balanchine Century,' devoted to the 100-year jubilee of the great choreographer, opened in St. Petersburg Wednesday. The program will include a series of ballet spectacles reflecting not only Balanchine's work, but that of his predecessors and successors as well.

In the ballet program, together with such Marinskii theater stars as Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Daria Pavlenko, Zhanna Ayupova, Andrian Fadeev, Igor Kolb, Leonid Sarafanov and Danil Korsuntsev will appear Jose Martinez, Peter Boyle, Alina Kozhrakaru, Johan Kobborg, Galina Stepanenko and Andrei Bolotin. Also performing will be the Perm State Ballet and Opera Theater ballet company, and the Petersburg Conservatory company.

An exhibition also entitled 'The Balanchine Century' will open in the State Hermitage. The exhibition will include for the first time materials associated with the St. Petersburg phase of the choreographer's life, as well as the work of New York photographer Paula Holnik and Costas. On June 3-5, an academic conference entitled 'Balanchine: Past, Present, Future,' will be held in the Hermitage and the Marinskii theater. Participants will include historians, critics and theater professionals from Russia and the United States. Included in the symposium will be a showing of the film 'Merrill Brockway Balanchine' about the life and work of the choreographer. The film includes biographical materials, interviews and fragments from Balanchine ballets. The first part focuses from the choreographer's birth to his debut with the New York City Ballet in 1964 at Lincoln Center, in the new State Theater building. The second part focuses on his work, as well as his collaboration with the composer Igor Stravinsky.

The program will run through June 7. It was prepared by the Marinskii theater, together with the State Hermitage, the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatrical and Musical Arts, the US Consulate General in St. Peterburg, and the George Balanchine Foundation (New York).

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