The Bolshoi Ballet Received Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2020 

On December 1, 2020, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy received Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2020 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan for the promotion of cultural exchange between Japan and Russia through ballet arts. “The Foreign Minister of Japan commends individuals and organizations active in a variety of spheres of international relations and making especially meaningful contributions to the development of friendly relations between Japan and Foreign countries”.

The Academy has a long history of artistic collaboration with dance education institutions from Japan. Members of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s faculty frequently conduct master classes in choreography and dance-related disciplines, contributing to further improvement of dance education. Students from Japan come to the Academy to pursue full-time studies; they successfully participate in dance festivals and win international ballet competitions.

The Bolshoi Ballet Academy is proud of its strong artistic connections with Japan. We appreciate the courtesy of the Ministry, as well as high estimate of our activities.

The website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: https://www.ru.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ru/20201201.html

Social networks of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmbassyOfJapanInRussia/posts/2842617569307732

VKontakte: https://vk.com/embassy_japan_rus

Odnoklassniki: https://ok.ru/embjapan

 

DANCEMOSCOW 2021 

In February 2021, Moscow hosted the 7th International Contest of Young Performers of Classical, Modern and Folk Dance – DANCEMOSCOW. The contest targeted students and graduates of state-owned dance academies, schools, colleges and lyceums, as well as performers of professional and amateur companies, ensembles and dance theaters. 

Students of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy competed in many nominations of the ProfessionalsCategory. Arina Denisova and Eva Sergeenkova, who are in their graduation year at the Academy, were awarded 1st Grade Diplomas in the Classical Solo nomination for 16-25 y.o. performers. The company of 3rd year students was awarded 1st Grade Diploma in the Classical Ensembles and Short Pieces nomination for 12-15 y.o. performers. Juniors, 3rd and 4th year students were awarded 1st Grade Diploma in the Classical Ensembles and Short Pieces nomination for 12-15 y.o. performers. Artemy Titarenko (2nd year, secondary education) and Bogdan Pleshakov (3rd year, secondary education) were both awarded 3rd Grade Diplomas in the Classical Solo nomination for 16-25 y.o. performers. Angelina Akatova and Alexandra Dolya (5th year) were both awarded 3rd Grade Diplomas in the Classical Duet nomination for 12-15 y.o. performers. 

The Faculty Council also nominated students from Japan – Mayuko Fujii (3rd year student) and Rio NakataYumi KanedaOji Fujino, who are about to graduate from the Academy, to participate in the Contest. The Japanese students did quite well – Rio Nakata was awarded 2nd Grade Diploma, Oji Fujino – 3rd Grade Diploma in the in the Classical Solo nomination for 16-25 y.o. performers. Mayuko Fujii was awarded 3rd Grade Diploma in the Classical Duet Nomination, and Yumi Kaneda was awarded a Compliments Diploma. 

Every student presented two classical heritage pieces. Rio Nakata danced the Princess Aurora variation from The Sleeping Beauty and the Esmeralda variation from La Esmeralda. Yumi Kaneda danced the Gamzatti variation from and La Bayadère and the Esmeralda variation from La Esmeralda. Oji Fujino presented the Albert variation from Giselle and the Philippe variation from The Flames of Paris. Mayuko Fujii and Margarita Tyusheva presented variations from La Naïade et le Pêcheur and from Le Pavillon d'Armide.

We would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the students and commend their accomplishments! 

Here are some pictures we took at DANCEMOSCOW. Enjoy the atmosphere of the picturesque ballet festivities.

Photos by Alisa Aslanova

The final Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Sneak Peak

Take our third final BBASI Sneak Peek class with BBASI NY Alumni and RAF Training & Performing Scholarship 1st Place Winner, Isaac Mueller and Mikhail Sharkov.

Isaac said: "Thank you to you and everyone at BBASI and RAF. Some of my best memories and breakthroughs in ballet are connected to BBASI and the opportunities that came after. For me, it was a first-hand experience where I got to witness and learn from the method in which some of the best dancers of our time have been created. I've carried their teachings with me into my professional career and I imagine till the end of it too. Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with Mr. Sharkov again. It was very special for me."

You can watch the video on RAF’s YouTube channel:

Online Auditions February 2021

During the month of February 2021, Russian Ballet International had presented worldwide Bolshoi Ballet Academy online auditions for the Academy’s summer programs 2021.

The dancers joined the live broadcast from Academy’s studio 14 in Moscow from Mexico, Italy, Spain, Chile, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Brazil.

Irina Pyatkina and Ekaterina Trunina, the Academy’s teachers, had conducted the auditions.

Marina Goryacheva provided a live piano accompaniment.

http://www.russianballetinternational.com

Online auditions february-04b_sq_1350px_v2.jpg

Russian Ballet International continues with the earlier success of the Teacher Training Seminar with Bolshoi Ballet Academy leading methodologist Lyudmila Kovalenko.

The first part of the seminar was broadcast in December 2020. The second part of the seminar titled, “Teaching Classical Ballet for beginner classes” is scheduled for dance professionals in Japan from April 07 to 11, 2021.

Professor Kovalenko will once again teach the course online from Academy’s studio 14 in Moscow.

http://www.russianballetinternational.com/teacher-training-tokyo/

Tokyo teacher traning poster_revised-ed.jpg

In August, 2021, Russian Ballet International and Bolshoi Ballet Academy plan to introduce the first Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in Tokyo.

We keep our fingers crossed to be able to travel to Japan in August! Russian Ballet International salutes Japanese ballet students at the Bolshoi Academy for their dedication and discipline during pandemic. All the students were able to travel back to Moscow to continue their training at the Bolshoi Academy.

 

The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Youth America Grand Prix second ballet barre.

We are proud to share the second exclusive footage of the graduating class of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for YAGP.

You can watch it on YAGP’s YouTube channel:

On February 11, Eva Sergeenkova, a student of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Made Her First Appearance on the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theater

More than once, students of the Academy have performed sole at the Bolshoi. In 2018, Denis Zakharov, who was about to graduate from the Academy, successfully danced the Blue Bird role in the Sleeping Beauty.

This time, Makhar Vaziev, head of the Bolshoi ballet company, trusted Eva Sergeenkova, a student of the graduate class, an important variation – Queen of Dryads in the Don Quijote.

Eva is a student of the graduates’ class taught by Professor of the Classical dance Department Marina K. Leonova. She has won Grand Prix (juniors) World Ballet GRAND PRIX, First Prize (juniors) at the 8th International Contest Young Ballet of the World sponsored by Yuri Grigorovich, and First Prize (medium age group) at the 2nd International Contest of Young Performers of Classical, Modern and Folk Dance DANCEMOSCOW. She has received scholarships of the Svetlana Zakharova Ballet Promotion Foundation, The New Names Ivetta Voronova Foundation and the Galina Ulanova Foundation.

In the Don Quijote, Eva danced an eye-catching airy yet complex variation requiring topmost concentration. Eva and her Teacher have spent many hours perfecting the complex choreography and artistic presentation techniques. The warm response of the audience at the Bolshoi is a testament of thorough preparation and the ability to cope with excitements and anxiety all young performers experience.

We have taken some pictures of Eva performing in the Don Quijote.

 

Photos by Damir Yusupov, Batyr Annadurdyev, Pavel Rychkov, Alisa Aslanova.

The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Russian American Foundation second Virtual Audition.

You are invited to a class with acclaimed Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Anna Antonicheva and BBASI CT & NY Alumni, Aviva Gelfer-Mundl!

The young dancer said: "BBASI gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with remarkable teachers amongst talented dancers from across the globe. I will always be grateful to the teachers who shared wisdom with me, the many opportunities I was afforded, and the cherished memories I made during my summer there”.

You can watch it on RAF’s YouTube channel:


The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Russian American Foundation Virtual Audition.

Just imagine: You're studying under the Bolshoi Ballet Academy's master teachers to achieve your goals!

Keep watching to see a special virtual class with the Academy’s teacher Olga Popova and pianist Parkhomenko Yunna from Moscow and BBASI CT alumni William Gyves.

You can watch it on RAF’s YouTube channel:


The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Youth America Grand Prix.

We are pleased to announce that the Bolshoi Ballet Academy is a partner school of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP).

YAGP – is the world’s largest global network of dance, which fulfills its mission of dance education through scholarship audition, master classes, alumni services, educational and outreach activities, performances, and films.

The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and YAGP present: ballet Barre with Professor Marina Leonova.

You can watch it on YAGP’s YouTube channel:

Russian Ballet and Japan – from First Ballet School to Close Friendship with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy

These days, dance companies from Japan - The Tokyo Ballet, the New National Theater company, etc. are world-famous. Russia’s leading ballet companies tour Japan every year.

It is hard to imagine that in the middle of the 20th century people of Japan knew next to nothing about the Russian school of ballet, which was destined to become the foundation of ballet education in Japan – education kept in high regard and high estimate through the recent decades.

For many years, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow has been training and educating students from Japan and sending the most prominent members of its faculty to the Land of Rising Sun to conduct ballet master classes.

We thought it would be a good idea to tell you about the first introduction of the Japanese student to classical ballet, about the foundation of the first ever ballet school in Tokyo and share the history of long-standing creative collaboration between the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and Japan.

Japanese students were introduced to the Russian classical ballet in the begging of latter half of the 20th century. In 1959, with the cooperation from the Soviet Ministry of Culture, a decision was made to establish a P.I. Tchaikovsky

Opening of the P.I. Tchaikovsky Ballet School in 1960. (Photo – courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

Ballet School in Tokyo. Sulamith M. Messerer and Alexei A. Varlamov, icons of the Soviet ballet, were sent to Japan on a long-term teaching mission. In the morning, they conducted lessons, and in the afternoon – rehearsals. Sulamith Messerer was in charge of classes for children and for ladies, whereas Alexei Varlamov was in charge of classes for men and pas-de-deux classes.

The news about the arrival of ballet teachers form the USSR ran around Tokyo like wildfire. Sulamith Messerer recalled: “It was a race of students – from little children hiding behind their mothers’ kimonos, to people of such advanced an age that they could not possibly study ballet!”. The two teachers decided to enroll students who were six or older, but, as an experiment, they also enrolled several four-year-old children. Soon, the Tchaikovsky Ballet School had 350 students!

With Natalia Dudinskaya and Konstantin Sergeyev at the Tchaikovsky Ballet School. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

This is what Sulamith Messerer said about the features of teaching ballet to Japanese children: “Teaching dance, or whatever else, for that matter, to the Japanese is a true delight. It looks like they keep teachers in a regard higher than that of their parents. The Japanese traditions prescribe to regard teachers as life-long patrons”.

Tokyo. Teaching in progress. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

In the beginning, Sulamith Messerer had to use the services of an interpreter to communicate with her students, but the interpreter did not have a good command of the ballet vocabulary, hindering and complicating the communication between the teacher and her students. The Soviet Prima began to learn Japanese, and in a couple of months she was capable of conducting lessons without the interpreter. “I drew up a person and wrote pop-ups with Japanese words, such as “hand”, “leg’, “shoulders”, ‘head”, etc. on it. In the beginning, the pop-ups were very useful during my classes”.

Токио, 1960 год. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

The first show staged at the Tchaikovsky Ballet School was the Nutcracker with Vasili Vainonen’s choreography. It was also the first Nutcracker show ever staged in Japan! The show premiered in the Ueno Bunka Kaikan, with the participation of students from each class, The Tchaikovsky Ballet School Company toured Japan with the show. Some dancers from the Bolshoi ballet company participated in the performances. “In essence, our students took first steps of Japan’s ascension toward the pinnacles of ballet», said S. Messerer.

After the opening night of the Nutcracker. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

In 1962, S. Messerer staged a three-act show inspired by stories about the life on Ainu – an indigenous ethnic group from the North of Japan. The show, titled “Marimo”, is said to be the first ever national Japanese ballet.

The Tchaikovsky Ballet School ceased to exist in 1964, but its best students joined a group, which was named the Tokyo Ballet and led by Tadatsugu Sasaki. S. Messerer worked with the Tokyo Ballet Company as a choreographer. Nowadays, the Tokyo Ballet company is famous worldwide.

Sulamith Messerer and Tadatsugu Sasaki. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

In 1964, Sulamith Messerer received an invitation to stage the Don Quixote with Alexander Gorsky’s choreography in Japan. The performers only had eight days to learn the four-act ballet! Not only did they manage to learn the choreography, but performed at a decent level! “The show took place because of unprecedented discipline and effort of the Japanese ballerinas and performers”, recalled S. Messerer.

That was also the time the Japanese public had the first chance to see La Fille mal gardée, La Bayadère, Cinderella and some scenes from Paquita and Raymonda.

La Bayadère. Tokyo, 1980. (Photo - courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0)

In 1966, the Emperor of Japan awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Zuihosho) to Sulamith Messerer, for her services to Japan and her contribution to the cultural and social life of the Land of Rising Sun.

Many decades have passed since the first trip of the two teachers to Japan. “Since the time of that first modest Nutcracker show we toughed out together with the students of the Tchaikovsky Ballet School in beginning of 1960’s, the Land of the Rising Sun has taken great strides toward the pinnacles of classical dance”, said S. Messerer in her memoires.

Now let us travel through time to 1985, the year of first tour of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Company over Japan. Japanese dancers and choreographers attended performances by the Company, as well as demonstration lessons of classical dance, and became keen to get better acquainted with the ballet training methodology in use at the Academy.

Such interest toward the Russian ballet resulted in the establishment of the Soviet Ballet Institute under the aegis of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. The Institute was established in 1988 in Tokyo. Its finding father and leader was Kenji Usui, a good friend and Professor Emeritus of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. “Until then, it was impossible to get a professional ballet education in Japanese ballet schools, based upon the system in use at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy”, said Kenji Usui. Children from all over Japan applied for enrollment at the Institute. Applicants who passed the entrance testing successfully, became students of one of three classes: Juniors, Seniors or Professionals. Irina Y. Syrova was the first member of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy faculty to travel to Japan to teach students of the Institute. Systemic training, work ethic and motivation of the students combined with thorough tuition by the Academy’s teachers yielded splendid results in just a year. “All students tied their best to follow instructions and directions of their teachers. Their motions became better coordinated, their techniques improved and their dancing became more spirited”.

At the Bolshoi Ballet Academy theater. Marina Leonova, Principal of the Academy, and Kenji Usui. 2008. (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

On stage of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy theater. Marina Leonova, Principal of the Academy, and Kenji Usui. 2008. (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

The first gala concert show of the Soviet Ballet Institute (from March 1992 onward – the Russian Ballet Institute) students was staged three years after its establishment. The show included the “Concert Class” performance staged by Lyudmila A. Kolenchenko, Professor of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. “The performance is a stage depiction of a classical dance lesson based upon the Russian system, starting with bar exercises, etc. In later years, it was the tradition of the Institute to open its gala shows with the “Concert Class’ performance, because it was the most complete demonstration of the direction of the Institute’s activities and a demonstration of the meaning of classical dance basics”.

The Russian ballet Institute rendered educational services for ten consecutive years. Irina Y. Syrova, Galina K. Kuznetsova, Lyudmila A. Kolenchenko, Natalia I. Revich and many other prominent members of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy faculty taught there.

For many years, activities of the Institute were a powerful contribution to the development of a ballet school in Japan. Ballet teachers from Russia were the first ones to introduce eight year-long training programs for special disciplines they used at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. They also created training courses introducing methodologies and techniques of teaching classical dance and other choreography-related disciplines.

In 1990, senior students of the Institute had their first internship at the Academy. Some students were selected for full-time studies at the Academy. “Upon the completion of a three year-long training course at the Academy, students from Japan received state-recognized diplomas opening pathways to any professional ballet theater across the world”.

Within the framework of cultural exchange and collaboration, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy sends its teachers and students to tour Japan. Every time, the tour is very fruitful. The Academy Students perform at a variety of theater stages, whereas teachers conduct lessons in choreography-related disciplines. Marina Leonova, Principal of the Academy, has conducted numerous master classes in classical dance for Japanese performers. Alongside with that, Ms. Leonova has been a frequent member of judge panels at a variety of prestigious international ballet competitions in Japan. Such collaboration contributes to reinforcement of artistic connections between Russia and Japan in the field of ballet.

Asami Maki, Artistic Director of Japan’s New national Theater ballet company and the NNT Ballet School, emphasizes the impact of the Russian ballet methodology upon the development and evolution of the Japanese ballet school. The famous Japanese ballerina was first introduced to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 2011, at the 3rd International Ballet Academy Festival — Proteges at the Kennedy Center in the USA. Two years later, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy invited the NNT Ballet School company to participate in the “Three Centuries of World Ballet” Festival, where it presented the Triptych show. “We are endlessly thankful for the invitation to the Festival commemorating the jubilee of the Academy. Our school and our performers have been under tremendous impact of the Russian ballet, and the Festival will become an unforgettable experience for our students”, said Asami Maki before the Festival”.

“Three Centuries of World Ballet” Festival, 2013. L to R: Gigi Hyatt (Director of Studies, the Hamburg Ballet School), Frédéric Olivieri, (Director of Dance, La Scala Theatre Ballet School) , Asami Maki (Artistic Director, Ballet Company of New national Theater of Japan), Marina Leonova (Principal, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy), Laura Comi (Director of Rome Opera House Dance School), Angela Mendoza Cano (Director, Conservatory of Dance Carmen Amaya). (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

These days, students from Japan also have an opportunity to pursue studies at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Every year, the Academy hosts internships for foreign students, including young dancers form Japan, and selects the most talented interns for full-time studies. In fact, students from 22 countries study at the Academy, but the majority of them are from Japan. Some students from Japan become laureates and finalists of Russian and international ballet competitions and festivals. Upon the graduation from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, some graduates join ballet companies in Russia or abroad, whereas some young performers return to their home country and pursue acting careers reinforcing the Moscow Ballet School tradition in Japanese theaters. The Bolshoi Ballet Academy is proud of every student and graduate from Japan.

Outstanding students and graduates from Japan:

Haruka Toyoda, Bolshoi Ballet Academy student. (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

Dance. Moscow Contest, Moscow, 2020 1st prize.

World Ballet GRAND PRIX, Moscow, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, 2019 1st prize (Seniors group) and Golden Medal.

Mark Chino, Bolshoi Ballet Academy graduate. (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

13th International Competition of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers, Moscow, the Bolshoi Theater, 2017 1st prize, Golden Medal and International Competition Laureate title

3rd All-Russia Competition of Young Performers – The Russian Ballet, Moscow, the Bolshoi Theater, 2017 3rd prize, Bronze Medal and Laureate title

ARABESQUE-2016 14th Open Competition of Ballet Performers dedicated to E. Maximova, Perm, Russia 2016 1st prize, Golden Medal (Juniors group) and International Competition Laureate title

Young Ballet of the World - 6th International Y. Grigorovich Competition, Sochi, Russia, 2016 1st prize, Golden Medal (Juniors group) and International Competition Laureate title

Vaganova-PRIX - 7th International Ballet Competition, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2016 2nd prize, Silver Medal and International Competition Laureate title

ARABESQUE-2016 14th Open Competition of Ballet Performers dedicated to E. Maximova, Perm, Russia 2016 Journalists Choice Award “For Successful Mastering of Classical Choreography”

All-Russia Ballet Competition “Young Talents of Russia” under the aegis of the Russian Ministry of Culture, Moscow, 2016 Laureate diploma

Shintaro Aboshi, Bolshoi Ballet Academy student. (Photo – courtesy of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy archive)

World Ballet GRAND PRIX, Moscow, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, 2019 1st prize (Juniors group) and Golden Medal

All Japan Ballet Competition 2019, Tokyo, Japan, 2019 Grand Prix (Juniors group, 13-15 y.o.)

Namue Ballet Performers Contest, Kyoto, Japan, 2019 1st prize (15-18 y.o. group)

All Japan Ballet Competition - Grand Championships 2018, Kobe, Japan, 2018 1st prize (classical dance, Seniors group)

Sudzu Yamamoto, Bolshoi Ballet Academy student

World Ballet GRAND PRIX, Moscow, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, 2019 1st prize (Seniors group) and Golden Medal

Sana Claire Suzuki, Bolshoi Ballet Academy graduate

World Ballet GRAND PRIX, Moscow, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, 2019 Encouragement prize, Diploma (Seniors group)

Hayato Nishijima, Bolshoi Ballet Academy Graduate

ARABESQUE-2016 14th Open Competition of Ballet Performers dedicated to E. Maximova, Perm, Russia 2016Diploma (Seniors group)

All-Russia Competition of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers, Moscow, 2015

Miho Okamura, Bolshoi Ballet Academy Graduate

Young Ballet of the World - 6th International Y. Grigorovich Competition, Sochi, Russia, 20161st prize, Golden Medal (Juniors group) and International Competition Laureate title. The Ballet Magazine Award “For Best Performance of Folk Dance Arranged for Stage Presentation”

References

  1. Institute of Arts Education of the Russian Education Academy.
  2. Arts Education Scientific magazine, #2, 2009. History of Arts Education. Activities of Russian teachers and choreographers in Japan. Olga A. Iwata. URL: http://old.art-education.ru/AE-magazine/archive/nomer-2-2009/ivata_07_06_2009.htm
  3. Sulamith. Fragments of Recollections. М.: Olympia Press, 2005. – 344 pages, pictures
  4. RIA Novosti online media. Moscow to host “Three Centuries of World Ballet” Festival. URL: https://ria.ru/20131105/974781214.html
  5. Photo materials – courtesy of https://biography.wikireading.ru/hUsB8ZLgW0

The Bolshoi Ballet Received Commendations from Japanese Foreign Minister

       On December 1, 2020, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy received Commendations from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan for the promotion of cultural exchange between Japan and Russia through ballet arts. “The Foreign Minister of Japan commends individuals and organizations active in a variety of spheres of international relations and making especially meaningful contributions to the development of friendly relations between Japan and Foreign countries”

      The Academy has a long history of artistic collaboration with dance education institutions from Japan. Members of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s faculty frequently conduct master classes in choreography and dance-related disciplines, contributing to further improvement of dance education. Students from Japan come to the Academy to pursue full-time studies; they successfully participate in dance festivals and win international ballet competitions.

       The Bolshoi Ballet Academy is proud of its strong artistic connections with Japan. We appreciate the courtesy of the Ministry, as well as high estimate of our activities.



      The website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan:  https://www.ru.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ru/20201201.html

Social networks of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmbassyOfJapanInRussia/posts/2842617569307732

VKontakte: https://vk.com/embassy_japan_rus

Odnoklassniki: https://ok.ru/embjapan


From July 6 through August 7, members of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy faculty conducted lessons in Russian and master classes in dance disciplines for American students within the framework of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth – Russian Language and Culture Moscow Intensive – a project the Academy has been pursuing together with the Russian American Foundation.

       The project has been underway for a number of years, but this year, the teachers had to change the format because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They used a teleconferencing / online education platform to conduct their classes.

      Earlier this year, 29 students from the USA were interviewed and selected to participate in a five week-long program.

       Alexander Pshenicin was in charge of master classes in dance-related disciplines. In his classes, he focuses on perfection of individual performance, development of advanced ballet techniques, stamina and musical sense of the participants.

      Elena Strizhenok, Natalia Plutalovskaya, Sofia Ryabova, Ivanna Prokopova and Lyudmila Shatilina conducted Russian lessons, in order to develop communicational skills of the students, to support both day-to-day and socio-cultural communications of the students.

The joint Summer Online Masterclasses organized by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Russian Ballet International have come to an end.

Participants spent two weeks perfecting their class exercise and ballet variation skills. As well as stretching techniques. Upon the completion of the program, we interviewed the Academy faculty and staff members – Ekaterina Trunina and Liudmila Ermakova (classical dance teachers), Marina Goryacheva (accompanist) and Alexander Kabanov (director of broadcast).

Our broadcast provides a firsthand account on the progress of masterclasses and technical innovations used to support the program, along with an insight about the need for live accompaniment during online masterclasses.

 

 

Translated by Dmitry Linyaev

Interviewer: Elizaveta Emel’kina

 

Please find the full text of the interview at the link below:  The Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Online Summer Masterclasses

 

The first week of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Russian Ballet International summer Online Masterclasses comes to an end.

       By that moment, the students from Europe, Japan, Australia, China, Mexico and other countries have learned a lot from Russian ballet technique.

Inability to practice «live» ballet classes in the studios of the Academy didn’t make lessons less productive or interesting.

      Teachers Ekaterina Trunina and Liudmila Ermakova did their best to help every student with movement and pose, they paid special attention to poses and accents, assured that every nuances of variations are noticed and worked out.

       Online classes are held in real time, the studios of the Academy are equipped with large screens and professional cameras.

Every ballet class is held with live music.

       In the video, we have opened the doors of the Academy’s ballet studio and are ready to present the process of studying from the inside.

 

 

Text: Elizaveta Emel’kina

Music: Marina Goryacheva

The first Bolshoi Ballet Academy Online Masterclasses.

On July 27, online masterclasses began as a part of the summer program of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Russian Ballet International. The students from all over the world will study ballet class, variations, pointe technique and stretching online with the Academy’s teachers for two weeks.

We are pleased to announce the first backstage video from the preparation for the masterclasses.

The link of the project: http://www.russianballetinternational.com/moscow-2/

Music: Marina Goryacheva
Text: Elizaveta Emel’kina

Self-Isolation Ballet

 

It has been almost two months since the beginning of self-isolation regime at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. During that time, lives and daily routines of the students have changed dramatically, in line with the circumstances. We have interviewed four students – girls from Macedonia, Japan and Bulgaria. We talked about things they do at their “home theatres” in order to stay fit, things they do in order to maintain mental fitness and things they have missed most of all through the self-isolation time. 

 

Stefanija Gashtarska, student of III A grade (teacher – Irina M. Pyatkina), starts her training routine at 9 o’clock in the morning. In an hour after the start, she does gymnastics under Boris Knyazev’s method. After that she does a full-fledged lesson (“I do bar exercises, exercises in he middle, jumps and pointe work. In the end I work on my pirouettes and wrap everything up with fouette exercises. Exercises in confined space help an awful lot, and I certainly recommend them to everyone!”. That’s the routine she does every day, except Sunday. “After the class, I usually have online classes in teaching techniques, psychology, Russian language, etc. After that, I dine with my family, Sometimes, Mom and I cook tasty and healthy desserts”. After supper and her homework, Stefanija is sure to do a round of stretching before she goes to bed. In response to the question about things she does to keep her spirit up, she said “I am a naturally merry and cheerful person.  Now I am with my family, and I am very happy about that. So, I see no reason to be blue!”. 

 

 

 

Kana Semba, our next heroine, is a student of III IN grade (class of Irina M. Pyatkina). In order to stay fit, Kana makes sure to do class routine: bar exercises, mid-room exercises, small jumps, etc. In addition, she builds her muscles and goes for light jogging outdoors. “I try to jog late at night, in order to avoid people. Because of insufficient physical load, I try to cut back on my meals”. There is a special room in Kana’s house, with ballet floor-cloth, a ballet bar and a big mirror. 

“I cannot afford to stay in bed in the morning – I set my alarm-clock, in order to make most of my day. When the lockdown had just started, I took the liberty of over-sleeping in the morning, but it took me no time to come to realization that I must not waste my time, and I switched over to a tight daily schedule”. Kana told us about things she does to keep her spirit up during this challenging time – “We live in a difficult world, but I try to look for something positive. For instance, there was a time, when I spared next to no time for reading, but these days I use my leisure time to read Russian literature”. Kana intends to fly to Moscow as soon as the lockdown is lifted, in order to attend auditions at ballet theatres.

Ivana Harizanova, student of 4 A grade (class of Ekaterina Trunina) pays attention not just to classical dance, but to perfection of folk dance as well. “Every evening, I spend an hour and a half on classical dance lessons. I also do stretching and try to invent a variety of combinations for my practice sessions”. Ivana’s daily routine is quite close to that of the Academy, only she gets up thirty minutes later. Ivana shared her secret of mental fitness and cheerful disposition – “In order to keep my chin up, I try to full up all my time – read books, listen to music and watch ballet performance videos”. She says she misses the unique environment she was exposed to during her stay and studies at the Academy. 

Haruka Toyoda (III A grade) converted her room at home into a ballet rehearsal studio. She constructed her own makeshift bar, to use for training. “My room isn’t very spacious, no argument about that, but in order to maintain physical fitness, I do class exercises every day”. Haruka is Irina Pyatkina’s student, and she is very sad, because she and her classmates weren’t allowed to perform at an exam – they had put so much effort in preparation. “

I would like to keep learning from my teachers at the Academy and spend more time with my dear friends”, says she. Once the lockdown is lifted, Haruka intends to return to Russia as soon as possible and practice in a large and spacious rehearsal studio.

 

The girls miss their routine practice and studies at the Academy – their rehearsals, teachers, friends and the city of Moscow. They wish all the students a lot of patience and a lot of hope for a reunion. They urge their classmates to be optimistic, because “the hard time we are all going through now, will end, good old days will return!”. Their advice to their mates is to use the time to work on themselves and pursue self-development. 

 

Under the lockdown restrictions, heroines of our interviews have arranged their daily routines in a variety of ways, but there is a thing they have in common – love and devotion to ballet, perseverance and integrity. We are sure that these features will help future performers to cope with any problems. 

The Dance Europe Magazine has presented a Dancing Under Lockdown documentary highlighting daily lives and training of ballet school students under COVID-19 quarantine conditions. Ten students from all over the world told the reporters about their daily routine, at-home classes and rehearsals with remote tuition and guidance, as well as their thoughts and plans for the future. Among others, the documentary highlighted Elizaveta Kiriakova, Eva Sergeenkova and Elizaveta Chertikhina from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. In recent months, the girls have completely restructured their studies and training routine.

The international students of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy are at the distance Russian language lessons.

The Moscow Ballet School during evacuation years

The 75th anniversary of the Glorious Victory in the Great Patriotic War draws nearer, and we have prepared some information on activities of the Academy faculty and students during a part of WWII turmoil – 1941-1943.

When the War began, most of the students of the Bolshoi Theater Dance School (the present Bolshoi Ballet Academy) were vacationing at Polenovo summer camp. A decision was made to evacuate the School.  Led by Nikolai Tarasov, Merited Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic, Artistic Director and Dean of the School, 94 students and 15 teachers and staff members were sent to Vasilsursk, a tiny town along the Volga. In 1941/42 winter, the School was accommodated in a timber building of water transport workers’ club, together with a general store. The building had no electric lighting, and at first, both students and teachers had to put their bedding right on the floor.  That winter, the temperature in Vasilsursk dropped to 50 degrees Celsius below zero.

Step by step, students took care of their dwelling and training arrangements – they used rows of chairs as makeshift ballet bars. They made their costumes and stage property. They took charge of stocking up firewood and heating the rehearsal room. That winter, they wore body warmer jackets and sometimes even valenki (Russian felt boots) to attend classical dance classes.

Nikolai Tarasov in a lesson. Second right — Yuriy Zhdanov
N. M. Popko and K. A. Potapov with students. Left to right: I. Voronkov, S. Golubin, V. Levashev, Y. Budnyak, V. Kudryavtsev, K. Richter, V. Buldakov and A. Pavlinov. 1941

 

In due course, both students and teachers were duly accommodated in private apartments and in the local hotel; classes in general subjects began. Weekly schedule of the students included drill exercises, briefings on political circumstances and front-line situation, classes in local neighborhood history, along with herborization of medical herbs and some leisure activities – games and music.

Students took part in public and social activities – talked to soldiers and officers convalescing in the neighborhood, organized exhibitions on drawings and toys, staged literary soirees. In summer, students helped local farmers with their activities, gathered berries and worked at tree-felling sites. The School donated provision to the workers of Leningrad. The School even started its own farming business – students built a pigsty, brought some pigs and a cow, made hotbeds for farming.

Nikolai Tarasov cuts fire-wood with students. Students of Bolshoi Ballet School in Vasilsursk. 1941

In parallel, students trained to take part in a concert show, practicing classical variations, Belorussian, Moldavian and Dutch dances, as well as Chopin’s Mazourka. First concerts took place at the local hospital occupied by soldiers and officers recovering from front injuries. Students handwrote invitations to their concert shows.

 

A new chapter in the story of evacuation site activities of the School began when the famous Soviet performer and choreographer Kasyan Goleizovsky came to Vasilsursk. Within days upon his arrival, Goleizovsky began rehearsals to stage a 1942 New Year ballet performance for children, with Konstantin Potapov’s music and his own libretto. Fedor Fedorovsky was the production designer. The show was staged in eight days. It was titled “Father Frost’s NY Party”. The show was a particular success during the evacuation time. The plot was based upon Russian fairy tales. The first scene includes a dance by Masha, the main character of the show, with her doll, Masha’s dream, a meeting with Father Frost who shows her a “fabulous Christmas tree with clockwork toys”. During the nest scene, the toys come to life, and a Merry-Andrew, Little Dolls, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, along with Tom-Thumb, a Cat, a Pussy Cat and other characters perform a divertissement. The finale was a coda performed by all young dancers participating in the show.  The show was a real New Year  miracle for those who saw it.  K. Goleizovsky, the director, said “The show was a tremendous triumph. I feel a bit awkward praising myself, but I have to admit – the performance was a success in every sense”. For the Red Army Day , Goleizovsky staged a concert with numerous folk dances, including a Mazourka and a Russian Dance. Front-line soldiers and officers convalescing in Vasilsursk, praised the selection of dances. Folk dance numbers reminded them of their home places. Raisa Struchkova, famous Russian ballerina, People’s Artist of the USSR, was a senior when the School was evacuated. She recalled: “Soldiers and officers saw not just performers – they saw their children they had left behind, in us”. In 1941 and 1942, students of the School gave more than 100 performances.

 

 

“Father Frost’s NY Party”. Little Dolls and Clown E. Talitskaya, Y. Vyrenkov, L. Gurbolikova

Students and teachers created most of decoration and stage properties – they borrowed curtains form the local hospital to use as the stage veil, made toys for the Tree in the show, made tutus from cotton gauze and dyed them with makeshift dye-ware.

 

The School company performed on tiny makeshift stages, and most often the audience was seated right on the floor around little dancers. During the evacuation years, the School took the local military hospital under patronage. The School company performed for   patients of local medical institutions, youth about to be sent to the front, collective farm workers, for children evacuated from other parts of the country, local residents of Vasilsursk and for soldiers digging trenches in the neighborhood. Doctors, officers, school students, etc. sent letters of gratitude praising the School for its support and performances. They are carefully stored in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’ s archive. The School company toured the vicinity of Vasilsursk. For their performances, young dancers received jam, bread, etc.

Students of Bolshoi Ballet School in Vasilsursk. 1941 Raisa Struchkova Students of Bolshoi Ballet School in Vasilsursk. 1941 Aleksandr Lapauri (stands) on far left.

The School spent two years in evacuation in Vasilsursk. Two years of constant hardships, hard labor and daily creative activities.

During the years of evacuation, many students of the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet School realized that ballet is not just stories of beauty and perfection. Ballet can give hope and heal souls that have grown rude because of horrors of wars. A brief time ago, they were scared half-frozen children hardly realizing the way to help their country and their people, but during the war years, they quickly became adults with clear understanding and conscious assumption of the mission of a ballet performer under wartime conditions. Raisa Struchkova gave an extremely precise account of their feelings: “As seniors of the School, we felt that what we did back then was unbearably insignificant – we had a permanent burning desire to do something meaningful to help the country and the front-line. Of course, everybody’s dream was to do something really heroic, to accomplish something meaningful, but harsh reality of everyday life required real labor – shifts and concerts at local hospitals, felling trees to stock fire-wood some of which we gave to the hospitals, helping local farms, mentoring younger students at the School…”.

 

Then the front-line began mowing westward, and in 1943, the School returned to Moscow.

 

 

 

 

*Excerpts from “The Moscow Ballet School in Vasilsursk (1941-1943)” by V. Teyder (Moscow, 2010) were used to prepare this material.

We bring to your attention a photo report from a concert dedicated to International Women's Day. Photographer Alexey Brazhnikov

Spring came to Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Our international students participated in the first concert of March.

How does spring begin? From the sun shining in the morning, from snowdrops popping and birdsongs awaking. At the Bolshoi Ballet Academy spring began with a concert dedicated to the first spring holiday, International Women’s Day. The concert was attended by a delegation from U.S. Embassy in Moscow and The Russian American Foundation: Deputy Legal Attache Mr. Daniel Sacchini with his spouse, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Mr. Damian Wampler, Founding Vice President of the RAF Ms. Rina Kirshner. We visited the backstage and talked with RAF trainees, who came to the Academy to be part of the spring performance, about the event, difficulties during the rehearsal process and impressions of the show.

Our first respondent from the USA, Gyves William Henry, danced at the beginning of the concert and turned out to be the youngest. His Bolshoi Ballet Academy teacher Olga Popova tells: «William brought variation from «Awakening of Flora», for such a short time nothing from scratch, of course, we could not prepare. We corrected something from the variation, marked the stage and made small amendments. William fell ill upon arrival from the USA and was not engaged into the training process for a week. And when he recovered, there were only three days left before concert audition. Doctors forbade him to jump, so I was worried very much how everything would go. But William is a person who can get better on a stage than in a studio».

William comments that in three or four rehearsals his teacher and he had time to work out a lot. «We worked on details like fingers and making sure I take right certain positions». He narrates about the repetition process, that it was very fun and the teacher he was working with, was very nice. «And conveniently Olga Igorevna spoke a lot of English. I think, I managed», — he added.

«I love this role. It is a very good training: there are a lot of fixing and turnings», — tells our next RAF dancer Wagner Remi Eoin about his variation from the ballet «Flames of Paris». We also talked about the problems that students had during rehearsals. Remi shares: «In America we got flat stages and here in Academy we dance on tilted stage, it was difficult to get used to it. And we solved this problem with my teacher Sergei Orekhov».

Carrillo Narro Reyna del Carmen danced the variation from «Paquita». The public appreciated her expressive and accurate performance. «I did this role when I was in Bolshoi Summer Program. I like this Spanish and fiery dance, I feel how it shows my personality. I got a lot of help with my turns and stay up on my leg. I feel I did a really good job for right now but it was hard to believe in myself. But my teacher Irina Syrova believed in me and it was very helpful. We were rehearsing every day for two weeks I have been here and I got a good preparation. I am proud of myself». Reyna notes that she continues challenging herself even with the simple steps. And she thinks it was good but it always can be better.

The concert turned out to be really joyful and became a worthy gift to the audience which was in the Academy school theater that day.





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