Irina Perren, Ekaterina Borchenko and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere

Irina Perren, Ekaterina Borchenko and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere. Music by Ludwig Minkus, original choreography Marius Petipa, revised by Vladimir Ponomaryov and Vakhtang Chabukiani. Conductor Pavel Klinichev. Shot on May 28th 2015 in Mikhailovsky Theatre.

Irina Perren and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere

Irina Perren and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere

Irina Perren, Ekaterina Borchenko and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere

Ekaterina Borchenko and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere

Ivan Vasiliev as Solor in La Bayadere

Anna Naumenko as Odalisque in La Bayadere

Irina Perren and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere bow

Irina Perren and Ivan Vasiliev in La Bayadere bow Conductor Pavel Klinichev

Irina Perren (Rus. Ирина Перрен) is principal ballerina with Mikhailovsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia. She has born in 1980 in Leningrad (St Petersburg), in 1998 she graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy. The same year joined the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

Ivan Vasiliev (Rus Иван Васильев) is a Principal with  with the American Ballet Theatre and Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. He was born in Vladivostok, Russia. He studied at the Dnepropetrovsk Ballet School in Ukraine and later at the Belorussian State Choreographic College in Minsk, graduating in 2006 (class of Alexander Kolyadenko). Vasiliev danced Basil in Don Quixote and Ali in Le Corsaire with the Belorus National Ballet while still a student at the College. In 2006, he was invited to join Bolshoi Ballet as a soloist, making his debut with the company, at the age of 17, as Basil in Don Quixote. He was promoted to the rank of principal dancer in May 2010. In December 2011, he joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company.

Ekaterina Borchenko is prima ballerina with Mikhailovsky Ballet. She was born in Leningrad in 1982. Graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. In 2000-2003, was principal dancer of the Moscow Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre. In 2003-2007, was principal dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre of Belorussia, Minsk. Borchenko is also honored Artist of Russia. She joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet in 2008.

La Bayadère (en. The Temple Dancer, Ru. Баядерка) is a ballet, originally staged in four acts and seven tableaux by French choreographer Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. La Bayadère was first performed by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1877. Today, La Bayadère is presented primarily in two different versions—those productions derived from Vakhtang Chabukiani and Vladimir Ponomaryov’s 1941 revival for the Kirov Ballet, and those productions derived from Natalia Makarova’s 1980 version for American Ballet Theatre, which is itself derived from Chabukiani and Ponomaryov’s version.

In 1940 the Kirov Ballet once again made plans to revive La Bayadère, this time in a staging by the Balletmaster Vladimir Ponomarev and the Premier danseur Vakhtang Chabukiani. This version would be the definitive staging of La Bayadère from which nearly every subsequent production would be based. The Ponomarev/Chabukiani revival of La Bayadère premiered in 1941 to a resounding success, with Natalia Dudinskaya as Nikiya and Vakhtang Chabukiani as Solor.

The choreography for the character of Nikiya went through a renaissance in when performed by the virtuoso ballerina Dudinskaya, whose revisions to the choreography remain the standard. Although her interpretation of the tragic Nikiya was looked on as unsuitable for the stellar ballerina, she nevertheless excelled in The Kingdom of the Shades, where Petipa’s strict academic patterns prevailed. In the Variation de Nikiya (a.k.a. the Scarf Duet) she studded the choreography with multiple tours en arabesque, and included, for the first time, airy splits in her Grand jetés during the Entrée de Nikiya, as well as adding fast piqué turns in the Grand coda. The choreography for Solor went through a renaissance as well with the great Premier danseur Chabukiani in the role. Although the dances for the role of Solor had become far more prominent since La Bayadère had been performed in Imperial Russia, Chabukiani’s revisions to the choreography would become the standard for all proceeding male dancers.

Photo by Jack Devant ballet photography © with kind permission of the Mikhailovsky Theatre and mr Mikhail Messerer, special thanks Valeria Derkach and Darina Timofeeva. 

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