News about State Ballet of Georgia, March 19, 2005

In a recent conversation with Nina, she was happy to report that SBG is developing in great strides and she is particularly proud of the progress made by the corps de ballet. (See extract from an article on the performing arts in Georgia published by The Financial Times.) Morale in the company is very high, and the Georgian government is being very generous in compensating the dancers for their hard work.

The company has already presented premieres of contemporary works, as well as a full-scaled staging of Grigorovich’s The Nutcracker during the Christmas holidays. Currently SBG is showing off its corps in a new production of Swan Lake, staged by Alexei Fadeyechev---who has expanded his poetic vision of the classic masterpiece, presented in abbreviated form during Nina’s most recent tour of Japan. (See review --- “Nina’s Tour of Japan, February 2004.”)

In this four-act version, designed by Vyacheslav Okunev, Act I starts in a rehearsal studio, with the Dancer playing Prince Siegfried being criticized by the Artistic Director and being left alone to contemplate his role. The scene changes and the ballet proper---with all of Petipa’s original choreography intact, including the Polonaise and the pas de trois---commences.

Act II is pure Ivanov, as Act III is all Petipa once more. Act IV highlights the dancing of the corps de ballet, with Odette only appearing at the end---when the setting has reverted to the rehearsal studio---and the Prince/Dancer sees her reflected in the mirror of his imagination.

The first night honors (March 16) went to SBG’s Lali Kandelaki and Irakli Bakhtadze. Two other pairings included Bolshoi guest stars Nadezdha Gracheva and Andrei Uvarov plus SBG’s Anna Muradeli and David Khozashvili.

The company will present a new Don Quixote at the end of April, with Fadeyechev again working with Okunev on the staging.

In May, the company presents an all-Balanchine program consisting of Serenade, Apollo and Western Symphony. (N.B. for those who are concerned about Sergei Filin’s recent injury---he is expected to recover in time to dance Apollo.) NYCB veterans Maria Calegari and Bart Cook are staging these masterpieces by the Georgian choreographic giant.

The season will close with Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée.

Plans for the 2005-2006, starting in September include a premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, paired with Ratmansky’s Leah and possibly Rudi van Dantzig’s Four Last Songs. Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet will be staged in December.

Chronology of SBG Presentations by Opening Dates:

Nov. 7, 2004               Green/Second Before the Ground/Dreams About Japan

Jan. 8, 2005                Grigorovich’s The Nutcracker

March 16, 2005           New Swan Lake

April 25, 2005*            New Don Quixote

May 19, 2005              All-Balanchine program

June 30, 2005             Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée

September, 2005       New Midsummer Night’s Dream/Leah/Four Last Songs**

December, 2005        Lavrovsky’s Romeo and Juliet


*tentative date                        **tentative repertory