Performed by the Chelyabinsk State Academic Opera & Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi ballet stars from Moscow: Yulia Stepanova & Mikhail Lobukhin, the rich production of the classic ballet “La Bayadère” by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus was staged this weekend in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
La Bayadère is considered one of the largest Russian ballets. It was created especially for the famous dancer Yekaterina Vazem in a special performance of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Immediately after the premiere in 1877, the work was considered one of the masterpieces of choreographer Petipa and especially the famous scene in the “kingdom of sounds” where the stage fills with many dancers in white tutu skirts and enchants the spectators. This scene has taken on a life of its own and to this day it is often shown on various ballet evenings. The many versions of the ballet nowadays were influenced by the version of the Kirov Ballet in 1941. Since then it has been shown all over the world in all major dance companies.
This is the story of the Beidera, the temple dancer Nikia, and the warrior Solor, who swore eternal oath of allegiance to each other. However, their love encounters difficulties since the high priest is also in love with a dancer, and Raja Dogmatta chose Solor to marry his daughter Gamzati. Nikia, without knowing about the arrangement, agrees to dance at the engagement ceremony of the two. It is a story about passion, jealousy, war and the triumph of spirit and love in an exotic atmosphere.
La Bayadère is a rich ballet with dozens of participants and hundreds of exotic costumes and a large set including a giant elephant that was built especially in Israel with precise instructions from the band’s management. The show is two hours with no dull moments. The dancers float in their colorful outfits as if challenging gravity. Yulia Stepanova demonstrates the highest level of performance with accurate motions and Mikhail Lobukhin displayed some exceptional abilities, both winning cheers of excitement from the audience. The dance was accompanied by wonderful classical music that probably would be more impressive with a live orchestra.
Yulia Stephanova was born in Orenburg. She graduated from Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg (Lyudmila Sofronova’s class). She performed with Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre and joined the Bolshoi in 2015-2016 season. She won a prize in St. Petersburg for her academic achievements and the Talioni Award in the European Ballet Competition in 2014.
Mikhail Lobukhin was born in St. Petersburg. In 2002 he graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg. He received a Diploma Certificate Bachelor of Arts with honors (teacher Boris Bregvadze). In January 2010 he joined the Bolshoi Ballet and also performed and toured with other companies such as Tartar Ballet, Marianisky Ballet, and more. He won a number of prizes, including the Golden Spotlight Award in 2008.
Chliavinsk Opera House Ballet Theatre
Chliavinsk Opera House Ballet Theatre, named after the composer Glinka, was founded in 1956. The founding nucleus of the ballet group came from dancers who graduated from Leningrad, St. Petersburg, that soon became famous throughout the Soviet Union for dancing the best classical ballets. The theatre was run for years by one of the most prominent conductors of his time, Maestro Zack. The dancers performed throughout the world performing many classical works including La Biedra, Pique by Minkus and Esmeralda by Pony, and others.