The Russian Ballet Tradition is alive at Lincoln Center Festival 2011 + Dd Ticket Giveaway!

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Ulyana Lopatkina in Carmen-Suite © Natasha Razina
Ulyana Lopatkina in Carmen-Suite © Natasha Razina


To most dancers, “Russian Ballet” has a strong connotation that may be tricky to define in words. For instance, all of my early training was from Russian teachers which instilled in me many qualities such as discipline, focus, strength, diligence, and persistence. With this training came, naturally, enormous respect for these teachers. Therefore, this largely influenced the image of Russian Ballet to me.

Others may have heard of or even seen performances, videos, or photos of Russian Ballet companies like Moscow Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, or The Mariinsky Theater (which was known as Kirov Ballet during the Soviet years). These dancers are infamously beautiful and technically outstanding.

Dancers such as Maya Plisetskaya (wife of composer Rodion Schehedrin) have become National icons in their country, while others like George Balanchine and Mikhail Baryshnikov are widely celebrated in ours. With music by Schehedrin and choreography by Balanchine and Alexei Ratmansky, The Lincoln Center Festival is bringing together many big names in one place. It is the age old tradition with a contemporary spin, making it relevant to today’s, specifically, New York audiences.

What we consider the Russian Ballet tradition dates back to the late Imperial Era (think Marius Petipa), and has affected everyone in the dance world from Balanchine, to Ratmansky, to me. It seems to be the perfect storm to present this festival in New York, and perhaps reach an even wider audience than those already familiar with Russian Ballet. Is this a clever way to “make it new?” Is it still the same age old tradition of “Russian Ballet” with these contemporary artists? As we know, art is continuously evolving, and in order to make new traditions we need to continue to appeal to the modern audiences.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, DIYdancer has teamed up with some folks at Lincoln Center to do a Ticket Giveaway to The Little Humpbacked Horse! All you have to do is like Dd on Facebook and comment here to be entered. I’m curious to hear what you think!

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Showing 5 comments
  • sara

    would love a pair, i do not know this company and have never seen it —

  • Jennifer

    Looking forward to seeing the Mariinsky in NYC!

  • Edward

    I wish I was in NYC to see this. I’m interested to see where “Russian” ballet is now.

    From where I stand, ballet in the United States has really come together around a postmodern aesthetic that blends the traditional codified syllabi (Vaganova, RAD, Cecchetti etc) and informs the blended technique with elements from other movement genres (borrowing the importance of breath from modern techniques).

    I remember as a student watching this piece to Barber’s String Adagio with Eldar Aliev ( We’ve moved way beyond this and clearly “the Russians” have too. I would love to see if or how the dedication to a single syllabus comes out in their work in a perceivable way.

  • DS

    Historical and Passionate!!!!!!!!!!

  • candice

    Strength, lots of strength.

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