World premiere: a live 3D broadcast of Swan Lake at cinemas around the world

On 6 June at 21:30 as part of the Stars of the White Nights festival the Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting the world’s first ever 3D performance of a ballet at cinemas throughout the world. Audiences will have the opportunity to see Swan Lake in over one thousand two hundred cinemas in fifty countries across the globe.

The “super-task” of this project, of which Valery Gergiev has spoken on numerous occasions, is for even those who for whatever reason have never had the chance to visit St Petersburg or see the company perform on tour to be able to see the Mariinsky Ballet, which has a fan base of millions.

On 6 June at 21:30 the ballet will be broadcast in real time from the historic Mariinsky Theatre in 3D format to one thousand two hundred cinemas in fifty countries. A normal broadcast will also be made in parallel. The ballet will be shown onscreen at the Mariinsky-II.

The project’s production company is the UK’s Glass Slipper Live Events, directed by Ann McGuire, a dedicated professional in 2D and 3D online broadcasts. The director of the broadcast is Ross MacGibbon, a former dancer at Covent Garden. He is a highly experienced director of dance broadcasts and was engaged as such for the concert marking the tercentenary of St Petersburg followed by a recording of Swan Lake with Ulyana Lopatkina in 2006. MacGibbon says that for him broadcasting this legendary production in 3D is a “thrilling adventure, a great honour and even a challenge,” because it is he who “will have to put the magic of the ballet on film, bringing one of the most magnificent pieces of world art to new audiences.”

3D technology support is being provided by James Cameron and Vince Pace (Avatar and Titanic) to ensure the best possible quality, as the 3D company Cameron Pace Group is the world’s absolute leader in the field – not by chance have the company’s achievements in this sphere won it Oscar awards. Cameron Pace technology is the best as well as the most up-to-date of its kind. In particular, this allows the size of the equipment to be as small as possible. This is very important as to create 3D effects the cameras must be as close as possible to the dancers. There will be four directly in front of the stage, one in the gallery, another one on a boom and a further two in other positions (a total of eight). For 3D broadcasting purposes these cameras have not one but two lenses and are, in themselves, quite large. Cameron Pace is constantly perfecting this equipment (the cameras used on Avatar were four times larger), though it will be some time before it comes down to the size of 2D equipment.

On the Russian side, technical support for the live broadcast to Russian cinemas will be provided by Nevafilm, a pioneer in digital broadcasting in Russia. In the Russian Federation rental of the film is being organised by CinemaEmotion.

The lead roles will be performed by Yekaterina Kondaurova, Timur Askerov and Andrei Yermakov.
Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

In Russia, the Mariinsky Theatre is the undisputed leader in assimilating digital technology. The theatre produced its first 3D internet broadcast as far back as 1999 and its first ballet in 3D in April 2010 when the Mariinsky Theatre broadcast a ballet gala from the Concert Hall to London, Paris, Moscow and St Petersburg with the technical support of GS Group Holding (then known as the General Satellite Corporation). The same year saw a complete recording of Giselle, followed by The Nutcracker in December 2011; both performances were shown to great acclaim at some one and a half thousand cinemas in countries throughout the world.

Official website of the project:

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