Preview – 2011 Diaghilev Festival – Kremlin Ballet Theater at English National Opera


UPDATE: for a really nice preview, please see Natasha Dissanayake’s interview with Nikolai Tsiskaridze on the website.

On my way into English National Ballet’s Nutcracker, I was handed a flyer for … a Diaghilev Festival? With a picture of the original costuming for “L’Apres Midi d’un Faune” on the cover? Well, color me interested! I kept it close at hand until I returned home and had chance for a closer perusal of the contents.

The impression is – well, mixed. While the ballets on offer (to be presented in April, 2011, at the Coliseum) had me salivating at a chance to see live what I have only read of before (The Blue God! Thamar! Nijinska’s Bolero!), the names associated with it are wholly unknown to me. “Russian Ballet Stars” and the “Kremlin Ballet Theater?” The St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra? What is this, a bunch of school kids working off their tuition fees by doing a performance abroad? And none of the ballet “stars” are named? That does not seem right to me.

And the ballets, well, it’s all good that “The Blue God” is a UK premiere, but do I really want to see Wayne Eagling’s choreography from the “new production that premiered at the State Kremlin Palace on 25th October 2005?” Meanwhile “Thamar” is by “Jurjius Smoriginas?” I thought it was by Michel Fokine! What is going on here? I am very curious as to how authentic this “Diaghilev” festival is really going to be.

For those who are unable to resist the call, however, I’m please to report that there are discounts available; most usefully, a multibuy giving 15% off tickets for two shows and 20% off of three shows. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to get these discounts automatically or not as there is no associated code and I’m not buying my tickets any time soon. And yes, I’m going to go; I have got to see “L’Apres Midi d’un Faune” and witness that gorgeous poster of Nijinski come to life at last.

Here’s the order of shows; see the ENO website for details (each show is linked to their site).

Program One (Tuesday and Wednesday April 12 and 13th, matinee and evening performance on the 13th): The Blue God and The Firebird
Program Two (Thursday and Friday April 14th and 15th): Thamar and Scheherazade
Program Three (Saturday and Sunday April 16th and 17th): Le Pavillon D’Armide, L’Apres-Midi D’un Faune, and Bolero.

Hmm … the ENO website shows that the stars in question are Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Ilze Liepa, Maria Alexandrova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Irma Nioradze, Ilya Kuznetsov … so should we go or not? I’m afraid this article by Arlene Croce reviewing two books about Diaghilev makes me just want to say yes to all three.


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One Response to “Preview – 2011 Diaghilev Festival – Kremlin Ballet Theater at English National Opera”

  1. A year in blogging – Webcowgirl’s most popular posts of 2011 – and tips for improving your blog stats « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] Preview – 2011 Diaghilev Festival – Kremlin Ballet Theater at English National Opera625 […]

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