St Petersburg Ballet Theatre



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The Konstantin Tachkin Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre (SPBT) has pulled off its regular unprecedented success on an overseas stage. This time it is in Paris where the company has enjoyed a real triumph.

All 48 thousand tickets for 15 performances were sold out several weeks before the tour began.

The programme consists of Tchaikovsky’s ballets “Swan Lake” (in the Palais de Congrès on 1, 5, 6 & 12 November, 14 December 2011 & 5 February 2012), and “The Nutcracker”, (at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées on 29, 30 & 31 December- Irina Kolesnikova’s Paris season).

All the French national television companies have broadcast some wonderful footages of the success achieved by SPBT in their news bulletins, paying particular attention to the participation on tour of the unique ballerina Irina Kolesnikova with whose name many have quite rightly linked the phenomenal attainments made by The Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre in recent years.

Irina Kolesnikova is an extraordinary dancer to whose performances ballet fans flock from all parts of the world. She made her Paris debut in Paris in October 2007 on the stage of the legendary Théâtre des Champs Elysées where, every year since she has had her personal Paris seasons. These seasons have enabled the ballerina to perform Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadère Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty for the Parisian public.

Over a period extending from 1st November to 14th December the ballerina is dancing the role of Odette-Odile in the Palais de Congrès, which holds about 4 thousand people.

On 12th November 2011 in a piece on SPBT’s success, French national television remarked – “many Parisians were seeing Irina Kolesnikova’s Odette-Odile for the first time but after her first performance everyone was at her feet”.

The success that Irina Kolesnikova has throughout the world is huge.

As a result of her regular Paris season in February 2011 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, which, as tradition has it, was a complete sell out, the Paris press called Irina “the Diva of dance with whom few stars can compare”.

Eleonora Mitrofanova, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, came to see “Swan Lake” at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées with Irina performing on 16th February, and said in a television interview that in her opinion Kolesnikova is Russia’s best ballerina today.

From 21st to 25th April 2011 at Taipei’s National Theatre the sensational Taiwan debut of this brilliant ballerina took place.

All five performances were completely sold out and were given an unbelievably enthusiastic reception by the audience. At the end of every performance the grateful public gave Irina a standing ovation rewarding her and the whole ballet company with unceasing applause.

Every day outside the National Theatre huge crowds of people gathered in order to obtain the ballerina’s autograph. The organisers of the tour said they had never seen such pandemonium at the stage door, even though the best companies in the world regularly perform at the National Theatre. Moreover, the famous Ballet Stars Gala is performed there every year with performers who are invariably Prima Ballerinas and principals from The Paris Opera, Royal Ballet, The Bolshoi and Mariinsky theatres and also American Ballet Theatre (ABT).

During Irina’s Taipei tour the organisers were obliged to shorten the queues of people waiting for Irina in order to greet her and obtain her autograph.

The Press was unanimous in its opinions on Irina.

On 22nd April 2011 the influential United Daily News published an article under the eloquent headline, “The audience is reborn upon witnessing Irina’s Swan Lake”. It wrote:

“Bravo! Bravo!” – Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s Prima Ballerina Irina Kolesnikova conquered the audience with her lovely renditions of the Black and White Swans. The sorrowful grace and soft tenderness of the White Swan and the cruel indomitability and vital suppleness of the Black Swan touched the hearts of the audience. Many stood to applaud at the end of the performance; the mood in the auditorium is well expressed by the following words: “Just like the queen of the swans it is as if we have been resurrected from death unto life”.

“This is the best Black and White Swan that I have ever seen in my life”.

“The beauty of her dancing has reached such a level as to take the audience’s breath away!”

It is indisputably thanks to her outstanding rendition of the Odette-Odile role in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” where she combines brilliant technique with extraordinary acting skill in order to convey as never before two diametrically opposed characters, that Irina Kolesnikova has attained worldwide recognition.

Many ballet lovers throughout the world consider Kolesnikova’s Odette-Odile to be the best.

Kolesnikova’s artistic fortune is truly unique. Gifted with outstanding dancing expertise, an amazing technique and charismatic flamboyance, she has achieved worldwide fame without belonging either to the Mariinsky Ballet or to the constellation of stars at the Bolshoi Theatre.

Irina Kolesnikova truly is a phenomenon in her own right in the world of Russian ballet.

Perhaps the person who described this best is Svetlana Rukhlya on 26th November 2008 in the
Saint-Petersburg weekly journal “Chas Pik”:

“At different times in its history the Soviet Union has expressed its pride in the successes of ballerinas such as Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya, has applauded Malika Sabirova, known as the pearl of the east, and has lauded to the heavens Nadezhda Pavlova when her star had only just begun to shine in the ballet firmament. They were proud of them, they were enraptured by them, but behind everyone of our outstanding dancers shone the powerful trade mark brands of the best theatres in the country. The Soviet Union has not existed for some time; the illustrious ballet companies have been given “new” names, - in fact they are the old but no less illustrious names; but behind their dancers the same unsinkable brands still remain. And that, it seemed, is how it always would be. That is until ten years ago there appeared on stage a graduate of the Vaganova ballet school whose destiny it was to give the existing tradition a shake up – Irina Kolesnikova”.

This season Irina Kolesnikova is performing in ten of the fifteen performances to be given by SPBT in Paris.

Apart from Paris The Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre is giving approximately 75 performances in 45 French cities, and nearly all have been sold out. This season more than 150 thousand French people will see this fêted company’s performances.

It has been noted by French national television that:

“Swan Lake” is a complex ballet, which demands a good deal of subtlety, harmony and excellence from all the artists. The Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre has met all these demands and that is the exact reason why all their performances are played to full houses.

It is a fact that thanks to all the artists of the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre, its performances always maintain the highest artistic standards in sold-out theatres. Its soloists and principals, Alla Bocharova, Anna Samostrelova, Dmitriy Akulinin, Dmitriy Rudachenko, Ayami Oki and Mikhail Ovcharov have given their first performances in Paris and have satisfied the exigencies of a demanding Parisian public with their talent for dance and artistry.

Next autumn SPBT will be bringing a new production to France –“The Saint Petersburg Nutcracker”, whose world premier will take place on 3rd November 2012 in Paris on the stage of the superb Palais de Congrès.

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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