One-act ballets “Class Concert”, “Rubies”, and “Theme and Variations” will premiere on the main stage of NOVAT on June 12, 13 and 14. The evening will unite three productions of the XX century - “Class Concert”, created by Asaf Messerer, the classic of Soviet choreography, and “Rubies” and “Theme and Variations” by the greatest choreographer of that century George Balanchine, the founder of American classical ballet school.
The performance on June 14, which will close the ballet season, will involve Russian ballet stars from NOVAT, the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia and the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St.-Petersburg.
“Class Concert” will be staged for NOVAT by Mikhail Messerer, the world renowned expert on Soviet ballet. Mr Messerer is reviving the production made by his uncle, Asaf Messerer, in 1960, in Moscow, for the Bolshoi Ballet school and company. The piece is a staged ballet lesson and reveals dancers’ inner workings: daily workout in ballet studio - from basic elements to the most intricate combinations of steps. The one-act ballet shows the entire arsenal of classical dance technique. “Class Concert” is a great opportunity for the NOVAT performers to showcase their technical skill and to reveal individual qualities.
The staging of one-act ballets “Rubies” and “Theme and Variations” from artistic heritage of the Balanchine in NOVAT is supervised by the repetiteurs from the George Balanchine Trust – Nilas Martins and Diana White.
Born in St Petersburg, George Balanchine received a classical ballet education at the Mariinsky ballet school; he described himself as follows: “My blood is Georgian, my culture is Russian, and my nationality is Petersburgian”. Balanchine performed with the Mariinsky ballet company, then with Sergei Diaghilev’s “Ballets russes”. In the 1930s he moved to the USA after accepting the invitation of an American patron and ballet admirer Lincoln Kirstein, and he basically became the founder of the American classical ballet, first opening the School of American Ballet in New York, and then New York City Ballet. Balanchine respected classical traditions, infusing them with contemporary spirit. The choreographer worked in different ballet genres, but the abstract ballets were the ones gaining traction most of all; for them he used music that is not normally associated with dancing: suites, concerts, symphonies. This is also the case for “Rubies” and “Theme and Variations”. “Rubies” is the second part of “Jewels”, a three-act abstract ballet, for which Balanchine was inspired by the artistry of the jewelry designer Claude Arpels. “Rubies”, which is set to the music of Stravinsky’s “Capriccio”, became the embodiment of jazz with its abandon and blazing energy. A one-act “Theme and Variation”, with the music from Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3, might be called the most academic of all ballets Balanchine has ever created. It consists of twelve variations and clearly demonstrates the choreographer's deep reverence for the classical ballet tradition.
“Rubies” and “Theme and Variations” are staged by agreement with The George Balanchine Trust® and in accordance with the standards of Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique®, established and provided by The Trust.