280th anniversary of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet
The participants of the press conference held on June 18 in the Atrium of the Bolshoi Theatre’s Auxiliary wing were: Rector of the Academy, People’s Artist of Russia, winner of the State Prizes Nikolay Tsiskaridze; First Vice-Rector and Artistic Director of the Academy, People’s Artist of Russia Zhanna Ayupova; leading dance teachers of the Academy and representatives of major choreographic schools of the world having participated in gala concerts — the Royal Danish School of Ballet — Thomas Lund (Head Master), the New National Theatre Ballet School, Tokyo — Fukuda Asami (Director), the La Scala Theatre Academy — Luisa Vinci (Director), Maurizio Vanadia (Artistic Director of the Ballet School of the La Scala Theatre Academy), the Dance Academy of the National University of Arts of Korea — Sunhee Kim (Dean of the School of Dance), the John Cranko Ballet School (Stuttgart) — Matacz Tadeusz Andrzes (Director), the Moscow State Academy of Choreography — Marina Leonova (Rector).
A key topic of the discussion was the anniversary of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, the oldest Russian ballet school and one of the best professional schools in the world. Under the press conference, the presentation of the anniversary book of the Academy and the exhibition “280 Glorious Years”, which is represented in the Imperial Foyer Halls of the Bolshoi Theatre, was held.
This is the first anniversary of the Academy, which celebration started in the Mariinsky Theatre and continued in the State Kremlin Palace with the support of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation.
The first gala concert was held on June 19 on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, the second one was held in June 20 in the State Kremlin Palace. Rector of the Vaganova Academy, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation Nikolay Tsiskaridze noted, “The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet is one of the oldest schools in our country and one of the best professional ballet schools in the world, and in May it celebrated its 280th birthday,” Tsiskaridze reminded. He said that the anniversary events specially arranged both in Petersburg and in Moscow unified two capitals. “The Art, Science and Sport Foundation, founded by Alisher Usmanov, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, and Grishko helped in organization of these events,” said the rector of the Vaganova Academy.
The Moscow program was marked by two anniversaries: the 280th anniversary of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa birthday, therefore the program included rarely performed fragments from Petipa’s ballets, for example, Rosarium from The Awakening of Flora (Fr. Le Réveil de Flore), a fragment from The Naiad & the Fisherman (Fr. La Naïade et le Pêcheur), and Dance of the Hours (It. Danza delle ore) from La Gioconda opera with Petipa’s choreography.
An important feature of the program was the fact that, in addition to students from the Vaganova Academy, students from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and representatives of foreign ballet schools also participated. Among them there were the ballet school of the La Scala Theatre Academy, the Royal Danish School of Ballet, the Korean National University of Arts, the New National Theatre Ballet School, Tokyo. The concert was concluded with performances of the Vaganova Academy alumni being leading soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet: Svetlana Zakharova, Olga Smirnova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Yulia Stepanova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Xenia Zhiganshina, Alyona Kovalyova.
The Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation regularly supports important social events in culture and the arts, paying particular attention not only to their promotion, but also to the preservation of the cultural heritage.