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Friday, Nov. 24, 2006


Back to basics

After a summer of mixed fortunes in which the Mariinsky (formerly Kirov) Ballet faced criticism in some quarters for its ill-prepared performances, the "world's greatest ballet company" should be on safer ground this month and next when it performs classics from the ballet repertoire on a Japan tour starting Nov. 29.

News photo
The Mariinsky Ballet's Danila Korsuntsev supports Alina Somova. (c) BARANOVSKY PHOTOS

The St. Petersburg troupe, which has been active for more than 250 years, will perform "Swan Lake," "Le Corsaire (The Pirate)" and scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" on their first tour of Japan in three years.

Such familiar programs should mean that the Mariinsky avoids the same fate as on its tour in the summer, when performances of the Noah Gelber-choreographed "The Golden Age" at London's Coliseum theater reportedly had to be scrapped in order to fit in last-minute rehearsals.

On this tour, choreography and stage direction for "Swan Lake" will come from Konstantin Sergeyev. Pyotr Gusev will choreograph "Le Corsaire." Principal dancers include Danila Korsuntev and Diana Vishneva.

The Mariinsky Ballet will perform Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 4-10 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan: The Diana Vishneva Gala Performance will be staged Nov. 29; Ulyana Lopatkina Gala Performance, Nov. 30; Mariinsky All-stars Gala Performance, Dec. 4; "Le Corsaire" runs Dec. 5-7; "Swan Lake" runs Dec. 8-10. Tickets are 4,000-22,000 yen, yen tel. [03]-5237-7711). On Nov. 26, the company performs at Biwako Hall in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture (11,000-15,000 yen, yen tel. [077] 526-0005). In Osaka, "Swan Lake" will be performed on Dec. 2 and the Diana Vishneva Gala Performance on Dec 3 at the Festival Hall (7,000-22,000 yen, yen tel. [06-6231-2221]).

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