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Dance festival makes a dramatic debut

Top Russian ballet star Irina Kolesnikova is one of the many attractions at the inaugural Henley Ballet and Modern Dance Festival.

Prima ballerina Irina – who many critics have hailed as the next Margot Fonteyn - will perform in an open-air production of Swan Lake with the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.

The event also offers performances by other top dance troupes such as the Rambert Dance Company, Tavaziva Dance, Tiempo de Tango, ZooNation and the fiery Latin Extravanganza.

More than 20,000 families and dance enthusiasts are expected to flock to watch the performances and take part in workshops in the breathtaking surroundings of the Hambleden Estate in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
The venue has been used as the set for films such as 101 Dalmatians and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Festival organiser John Carpenter said: “Henley is a wonderful location. Ballet and modern dance under the stars: what more could dance lovers want to round off the summer?”

The three-day event, which takes place on Friday August 31 and Saturday and Sunday September 1 and 2, is the first ever open air festival dedicated to dance.
Evening performances include Friday’s world dance extravaganza and Saturday’s Swan Lake under the stars, performed by the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. There will be music to match the passion of the performance thanks to The City of Oxford Orchestra, who will be joined by Russian Conductor Vadim Nikitin and First Violinist; Mikhail Chausovsky for the night. The orchestra has performed across Europe to a vast range of audiences since 1965 providing the highest standard of live classical music.

After seeing one of Irina’s previous performances, Richard Edmonds of The Stage was so bowled over he wrote: “Irina Kolesnikova has that marvellous Russian soul which makes her Odette a creature of tragic proportions. Is there any other ballerina dancing the role of Odette-Odile who can equal her?”

During the day all ages and abilities can take part in a whole range of workshops, from ballet to Bollywood and salsa to ceroc.
There will also be stalls and retail exhibitions. On Saturday night there will be a VIP tent for corporate entertaining.

The Henley Ballet and Modern Dance Festival promises to be a magical weekend in a heavenly setting …
Background information on the festival can be obtained at

Friday 31 August – Sunday 2 September

Children's Educational Day: Friday 31st August 2007, Daytime
Gates open at 9.30am and close at 5pm.
“Giving something back to the Kids!”
Youngsters from both state and dance schools will be taught by some of the world’s finest choreographers and dancers.
Students will get the chance to work with The Royal Ballet Company, the Rambert Dance Company and ZooNation.
They can take their pick of ballet, contemporary, Latin and urban styles on one of nine stages. The workshops start at 10am and run until 4pm.
Each class will last for approximately one hour.
All students will receive a certificate of achievement to remind them of their amazing experience.

Variety Performance: Friday 31st August 2007, Evening
Gates Open at 5:30pm and close at 11:30pm.
“World Dance Extravaganza”
Soak up the sensational performances of some of the world’s top dance companies.
The star-studded list includes The Rambert Dance Company, Tiempre de Tango, Latin Extravaganza, Tavaziva and ZooNation.
Imagine watching your favourite dancers perform as you relax in the superb woodland setting of The Hambleden Estate.
8.00 Tavaziva
8.30 Tiempo de Tango
9.00 Latin Extravaganza
9.30 Zoo Nation
10.00 Rambert Dance Company

Family Dance Fiesta: Saturday 1st September 2007, Daytime
Gates open at 9:30am and close at 5pm.
“Fun for all the family”
Let the children wear themselves out dancing then it’s time to embarrass them as you show them how to jive or have a go at some sexy salsa moves.
Half hour workshops run throughout the day.
There will also be two exhibition marquees, food and drink and lots of fun.

Gala Night: Swan Lake
St Petersburg Ballet Theatre: Saturday 1st September 2007, Evening
Gates open at 5:30pm for 7.30pm performance. Finishes at 10.30pm and gates close at 11pm.
One of the many highlights of this fantastic weekend will no doubt be the magical performance of The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. The company’s prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova will be performing Odette-Odile.
A tale of love and the classic battle between good and evil is guaranteed to capture the hearts of all who see it.
And there will be music to match the passion of the performance thanks to The City of Oxford Orchestra. The orchestra has performed across Europe to a vast range of audiences since 1965 providing the highest standard of live classical music.

Family Dance Fiesta and Taster Workshops
Sunday 2nd September 2007, Daytime
Gates open at 9:30am and close at 6:30pm.
It will be fun for all the family with open-air performances with performances by Darron Panton from the Royal Ballet Company, Urban Strides (familiar to many from ‘Britain’s Got Talent’) and Ceroc Champions Simon Rich & Nicole Beckey. Get ready to be swept off your feet in a show-stopping performance.
11 stages offering workshops from Line Dance to disco and tango to funk!
Ballroom classes will be run in the Theatre Room by Strictly Come Dancing stars, Matthew & Nicole Cutler - sure to set the floor on fire.
Don’t forget that there will still be two exhibition marquees available all day, so you can shop til you bop.

Dear friends! We are pleased to announce our Swan Lake performance on 26.11.2022! Its will take place in St Petersburg at the CSC Arena accompanied by the orchestra. ⠀ We are waiting for the performance, tickets are already on sale.

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