•During the festival, lead roles are to be performed by Diana Vishneva, Vladimir Shklyarov, Yekaterina Kondaurova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Timur Askerov, Svetlana Zakharova, Ruslan Skvortsov, Oxana Skorik, Yekaterina Osmolkina, Vadim Muntagirov, Olga Yesina, Danila Korsuntsev and Chase Finlay
•The revival of ballets by William Forsythe and the Russian premiere of the ballet N.N.N.N. by the Forsythe Company
•A creative workshop by young choreographers: Vladimir Varnava, Nikita Dmitrievsky, Ilya Petrov, Anton Pimonov, Yuri Smekalov and Emil Faski will be showcasing their works (9 March, 15:00)
•Gala performances by Yekaterina Kondaurova and Vladimir Shklyarov
The festival opens with Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with choreography by Leonid Yakobson on 28 February and 1 March featuring Diana Vishneva and Vladimir Shklyarov in the lead roles; Valery Gergiev will be conducting. The performance on 1 March will be broadcast by the European TV station Mezzo.
One key event of the festival is the revival of William Forsythe’s ballets The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated (3 March). The revival of these ballets is being overseen by coaches Noah D. Gelber and Kathryn Bennetts. Now a new generation of Mariinsky Theatre dancers will be learning Forsythe’s virtuoso dance language. The same evening, the Forsythe Company – William Forsythe’s own company – will be presenting the maestro’s twelve-minute work N.N.N.N., featuring four dancers. Such a Forsythe as this has never before been seen in Russia. The choreographer himself will be coming to St Petersburg for a few days to supervise the final rehearsals of the ballets.
There will be two galas during the festival. On 5 March Yekaterina Kondaurova will be dancing the lead female roles in all three parts of Balanchine’s Jewels; normally, Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds are danced by different soloists. 8 March will be an evening of Vladimir Shklyarov, 2013 marking ten years of his performing career. Shklyarov will be dancing Rubies with Olesya Novikova, Le Jeune Homme et la mort with Yekaterina Kondaurova and The Shades, the final act of La Bayadère, with Dorothée Gilbert, a soloist with the Paris Opéra Ballet. For Vladimir Shklyarov’s gala, the foyer on the third-level balcony will be hosting a photo exhibition of works by Alexander Gulyaev recording the dancer in various roles in his repertoire.
Ulyana Lopatkina will be appearing as Tytania in Balanchine’s A Midsimmer Night’s Dream on 6 March. Other roles will be performed by Maria Shirinkina, Timur Askerov, Andrei Yermakov and Filipp Styopin.
Another festival highlight will be a creative workshop of young choreographers, at which Vladimir Varnava, Nikita Dmitrievsky, Ilya Petrov, Anton Pimonov, Yuri Smekalov and Emil Faski will be showcasing their works. After the performance there will be a discussion of the pieces. If these choreographers’ works prove successful then these miniatures may enter the theatre’s repertoire.
The theatre will be commemorating seventy-five years since the birth of Rudolf Nureyev with a performance of La Bayadère featuring Oxana Skorik, Yekaterina Osmolkina and English National Ballet Lead Principal Vadim Muntagirov as well as two intriguing exhibitions. Together with the Viktor Chernomyrdin Foundation, in the Dress Circle Foyer the theatre will be hosting the exhibition Nureyev – Dance, and from 28 February to 7 March the foyer on the third-level balcony will be hosting Valentin Baranovsky’s photo exhibition Nureyev – the Last Visit recording Nureyev’s well-remembered return to the Kirov Theatre as James in La Sylphide in 1989.
Festival guest performers include Svetlana Zakharova and Vladislav Lantratov (Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Giselle), Vadim Muntagirov (English National Ballet Lead Principal, La Bayadère), Olga Yesina (Wiener Staatsballett, Swan Lake) and Chase Finlay (New York City Ballet, Apollo).
The festival concludes on 10 March with a gala concert featuring all the stars.
During the festival lecturer Grigory Chicherin will be giving a class for the Mariinsky Ballet and the guest artists.