«A soulful flight», said Alexander Pushkin about Russian ballet. It has made a name for itself over the world, and its success is usually, and not surprisingly associated with the Bolshoi. But no single, even the most famous theatre could keep up world fame.
Alongside with the Bolshoi, the country has several other brilliant ballet companies, among which one of the most prominent places justly belongs to the ballet group of the Moscow Musical Theatre named after Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. This theatre happily blends the traditions of the Russian classical ballet school with a search for the advancement of novel forms. The theatre itself stands in the very heart of Moscow, in Bolshaya Dmitrovka street. Its attractive old-fashioned auditorium seats 1,500, and is packed every night.
The man whose name it bears were great figures in the Russian theatre who have gone down in its history as reformers of both the drama theatre and opera and ballet. Stanislavskys and Nemirovich-Danchenkos productions rose to the summits of the art, marked as they were by harmony of all expressive means. This original ballet company has always remained faithful to the principles of its founders.
The history of the theaters ballet group (there is also an opera group) goes back to the late 1920s, when Moscow acquired a dance company that called itself Art Ballet. Its production caught the ballet lovers attention right away. The audiences were captivated by the performers excellence as ballet dancers and drama actors. Credit for this goes to the founder of the new company, former Bolshoi ballet star Victorina Krieger, who used Stanislavskys and Nemirovich-Danchenkos system in her ballet productions.
The new company was also obviously determined to abandon the hackneyed cliches of the art the traditional themes. Its members earned the name of dancing drama actors. When Nemirovich-Danchenko saw an Art Ballet production he was struck by its proximity to what he was doing at his Musical Theatre. In 1939, the latter incorporated the Art Ballet.
Nemirovich-Danchenko himself undertook the first ballet productions, and his pupil Vladimir Burmeister later headed the company for nearly 30 years acting both as producer and choreographer to generations of dancers. His works were invariably original and highly professional as concerns both the dancing and the acting. For over ten years, from 1971 to 1984, the company was headed by Alexei Chichinadze, who had used to be its star dancer. In 1985, he was replaced in his job by young gifted man, Dmitri Bryantsev.
The ballet group of the Musical Theatre consists of high-class professionals, winners of national and international contests. The Musical Theatre has long made an international name for itself. It was enthusiastically applauded in Japan, France, Hungary, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Latin America, Greece, Italy, Finland.
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