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Russian stars in Diaghilev Festival at London Coliseum

Posted on October 5, 2010


Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes first danced in London in 1911. A hundred years on, the Diaghilev Festival at the London Coliseum presents three programmes of revivals and restagings of works from the Ballets Russes repertory. The season will be danced by Kremlin Ballet Theatre, with guest stars Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Ilze Liepa, Maria Alexandrova, Mikhail Lobukhin, Irma Nioradze and Ilya Kuznetsov.


The stagings of these ballets use versions of the original designs, some with new choreography. The Blue God, originally choreographed by Mikhail Fokine, will be presented in a new version by Wayne Eagling, with the original designs by Bakst. It will be paired with Fokine’s Firebird. The second programme presents Jurius Smoriginas’ new version of Thamar and Fokine’s Scheherazade, with designs by Anna and Anatoly Nezhny based on those by Bakst. Smoriginas has choreographed a new version of Fokine’s Le Pavillon d’Armide, which forms a triple bill with Nijinsky’s L’Après-midi d’un faune and a production of Bolero – actually created for Ida Rubinstein’s company by Ravel and Nijinska, who had already done celebrated work for the Ballets Russes. The three programmes are at the London Coliseum from April 12–17, 2011.


Picture: Nikolai Tsiskaridze as the Blue God. Photograph by Mikhail Logvinov.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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