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Vaganova Academy’s graduation concerts


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On 14 and 15 June I have seen two Vaganova Academy’s 3-act graduation concerts at the Mariinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg but only now found time to write about it.

In Act 1 they danced “The Conservatoire” by Bournonville. Considering the specific technique and refinement of this choreographer’s style it was a brave choice but this challenge was met successfully.

 

In Act 2 they showed Divertissment starting with the old ballet “The Awakening of Flora” and here I noted Anastasia Lukina, light, virtuosic and artistic, a discovery of this concert for me. She will graduate in 2015.

Large groups of students did the Spanish dance from “Laurencia” and the Sabre dance from “Gayane”. Then there was a lovely “Children's Pas de deux” danced by two 13-y-o pupils: the girl with a doll and the boy with a rifle. Nikolai Tsiskaridze reworked this piece from his memory of what he danced as a child. It was very popular with the audience.

 

Then there was an extract (not just a pas de deux) from “Esmeralda” - “Diane & Acteon”. Diane was beautifully danced, with confidence and appealing charisma, by Renata Shakirova. Altough she will graduate only next year the Mariinsky Ballet already started using her in its performances and brought her to London last August to dance solo parts in “Apollo” and “Concerto DSCH”.

 

In Act 3 they showed Grand Pas from “Paquita” with the starlet of the graduation class Xenia Zhiganshina. The Bolshoi has already enrolled her and she got her debut role as Neapolitain Bride in “Swan Lake”.

 

What was good in this concert it is a careful and respectful treatment of classical style, and the children’s enthusiasm was overwhelming. The girls were more impressive this year than the boys and the next year's graduates were especially sharming. Mariinsky Theatre displayed on its webside a video about the final Graduation Concert:

http://mariinsky.tv/n/143-en

http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2014/6/16/1_1930/

Lukina, Shakirova and Zhiganshina’s performances are also quite easily traceable on internet.

 

RIA-News showed many photos of the Graduation Day and Ball of the Vaganova Academy, which for the first time took place in the Golden Hall at Catherine Palace in Pushkin:

http://ria.ru/photolents/20140625/1013428604_1013426064.html

Edited by Amelia
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Thank you for the report. Anastasia Lukina was a real discovery for me too. My friend, a professor at the Vaganova Academy, remarked to me after the rehearsal that took place on June 10 that Lukina was turning everybody's head, she was so artistic. I saw it later myself.

 

The Pas de Quatre on the music from “The Awakening of Flora” is not even a reconstruction, it is more of a pastiche, but Yuri Burlaka doesn't want to say how much was his pure invention. In any case, it is so fresh, so delicate, the music is light but tasteful, I watched it with two casts and I felt I could watch it for eternity.

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The graduates have left in June and 60 aspiring recruits have arrived at the Vaganova Academy in September. The ceremony of ‘matriculation’ took place this year at the Hermitage Theatre, which has been built over the foundations of Peter the Great’s Winter Palace where the Academy was ‘conceived’ in 1738.


The St.Petersburg TV showed in its News report the 10-year-olds appearing on this historic stage to the strains of a polonaise. Then they were given student cards and presents. Afterwards they joined the audience and watched the concert by the senior pupils, which showed them what they might achieve in the future. 


http://topspb.tv/news/news54837/

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Here is Anastasia Lukina from the Maryinski school

 

Thanks for the info on this anyway.

 

Have also posted in Adult Ballet section to show you don't always need pointe shoes(for amateurs) to make beautiful ballet!!

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