Belle of the Ball

- February 1, 2012

“Santa Fe Concert Association brings Cinderella ballet to the Lensic…”

The Moscow Festival Ballet brings two evenings of full-length story ballet to the Lensic, with "Cinderella" on Thursday, February 2 and "Giselle" on Friday, February 3, both at 7:30 p.m. The ballets may be old but these are new productions of timeless classics.

Thursday’s offering of "Cinderella," the all-time favorite rags-to-riches story, still plays better than any made-for-TV reality show of recent memory. First performed in 1945 by Moscow’s famed Bolshoi, the ballet’s exquisite costumes, lush scenery, comical evil stepsisters and Prokofiev's exuberant score have made it one of the most beloved ballets of all time.

Jules Perrot’s timeless "Giselle" was first seen in Moscow in 1843, just two years after its creation in Paris and a year after it was staged in St. Petersburg. A continuous sequence of performances by Russian dancers and ballet masters, who preserved and honored this gem of the Romantic ballet, kept the work alive, even after it was forgotten everywhere else in Europe. Santa Fe audiences can enjoy this timeless classic on Friday, February 3.

The Moscow Festival Ballet was founded in 1989 when legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Radchenko sought to realize his vision of a company that would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet.

Mounting such classics as "Don Quixote," "Paquita," "Carmen," "Giselle" and "Cinderella," Radchenko and his company have completed two tours of Europe, with extraordinary receptions in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and two tours of the United Kingdom, including capacity audiences at London's famed Coliseum.

Beginning with Marius Petipa (the great Russian choreographer of the 19th century) and moving forward in time, Radchenko has researched the original choreography and stage productions of several of Petipa's classic ballets, including new productions of "Don Quixote" and "Paquita," and a recreation of Jules Perrot's and Jean Coralli's "Giselle" (Friday’s program).

Under Radchenko’s direction, the Moscow Festival Ballet continues to expand its repertoire. In addition to commissioning new works from within Russia and abroad, the company specializes in 20th-century full-length ballets such as "Cinderella," "Romeo and Juliet," "Legend of Love," "Stone Flower" and "The Golden Age."

Tickets are $20-$72 through the Santa Fe Concert Association at 984-8759 or The Lensic at 988-1234.