RiverStreet Productions presents The Royal Moscow Ballet Don Quixote Canada 2017

Royal Moscow Ballet Past Performances

The Royal Moscow Ballet Past Performances: Swan Lake

In the past, the Royal Moscow Ballet has put on countless performances of classic stories. Below is a full description of the Royal Moscow Ballet past performances of Swan Lake including the play, a description of the individuals involved and the history of the theater it was performed in.

royal moscow ballet playbill

Synopsis of Swan Lake

Act I

The garden of the Sovereign Princess’s castle. Young people make merry in a forest glade. The cavorting’s of the jester give way to dances by the girls and their companions.

The Sovereign Princess tells her son, Prince Siegfried, that at tomorrow’s ball he must choose a bride from among the girls invited. Her words find no response in Siegfried’s heart: he knows no girl who could win his heart.

Twilight falls and the young people depart. Siegfried is sad: he does not want to leave his free and easy life. At the same time he dreams of a pure, ideal love.

His friends’ talk fails to distract Siegfried. Only a flock of swans attracts his attention. Siegfried follows them.

Act II

The swans lead Siegfried into a dense forest thicket, to the shores of a lake.

Emerging onto the shore, the swans dance in a circle. Siegfried’s attention is attracted by a beautiful white swan, which suddenly turns into a girl. It is Odette, the Swan Queen. The Evil Genius has placed her and her friends under a spell: only at night the swan maidens can now revert to the human form. But the selfless love of a young man who has never declared his love before can free her from this curse.

Siegfried, overcome with love for Odette, vows to be true to her forever.

Odette’s conversation with Siegfried is overheard by the Evil Genius. As dawn breaks, the girls must again turn into swans. Siegfried is sure of the power and steadfastness of his feelings. He will free Odette from the spell.

royal moscow ballet performance


The ceremonial ball in the castle of the Sovereign Princess. Siegfried must choose his bride. The guests assemble, but Siegfried himself is absent. The jester starts the merry dancing, all the guests dance too.

At last Siegfried appears. But he treats coldly the prospective fiancees. Siegfried’s thoughts are filled with the beautiful Odette.

Suddenly a stranger appears. It is the Evil Genius in disguise. He has brought his daughter Octile to the ball. She closely resembles Odette. The Evil Genius orders her to charm Siegfried and wrest a confession of eternal love from him.

The Prince, not recognizing the Evil Genius, takes Octile for Odette. He declares Octile to be his chosen bride The Evil Genius is triumphant: Siegfried’s vow has been broken, now Odette and her friends will perish. The Evil Genius points to Odette, who has appeared in the distance, then he departs together with Octile.

Siegfried realizes he has been deceived and hurries in despair to Swan Lake.

Act IV

An ominous night at the lake. Grief-stricken, Odette tells her friends of Siegfried’s betrayal. The swan girls’ hope for freedom is lost.

Siegfried runs in. He has not broken his vow. There at the castle he had taken Octile for Odette. It was to her that he swore his undying love.

In a fury, the Evil Genius summons up the forces of nature against the lovers. Lightning flashes and a storm begins. But nothing can break the pure young love and separate Odette and Siegfried. The Evil Genius then engages the prince in combat himself. He dies, his powers destroyed.

Odette and Siegfried, surrounded by Odette’s friends, joyously greet the first rays of the rising sun.


Swan Lake Contributors

MIKHAIL MESSERER (Principal Guest Choreographer)

Mikhail Messerer was born into a great dancing family, in 1948, in Moscow, where he had his training, first as a dancer (Bolshoi Ballet School, 1969) and then as a ballet teacher (State College of Performing Arts, 1978). From 1980 he has lived and worked in the West, and his method of classical ballet teaching amalgamates the best pedagogical traditions of both Russian and Western ballet.

As an international Guest Teacher Mr Messerer is invited by ballet companies around the world, and he has given master classes to American Ballet Theater, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet, Ballet of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Australian Ballet, Monte Carlo Ballet, to name but a few. For over twenty-five years Mr Messerer worked as the Company Guest Teacher with The Royal Ballet of London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In May 2009, Mr. Messerer was appointed Ballet Master in Chief of the Mikhailovsky Theater. In December 2011 he became Principal Guest Ballet Master of the Theater.

In September 2009 he revived Swan Lake for the company with choreography by Alexander Gorsky and Asaf Messerer.

Oksana Bondareva (Dancer)

Born in 1987 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, she graduated from the Ballet School of the Dnepropetrovsk Opera and Ballet Theater in 2002. The same year Oksana joined the Theater. In 2005-2009 she was a Principal Dancer with the Radchenko Russian National Ballet Company. In 2008-2009 Oksana trained at the Moscow State Ballet Academy. Her professional awards include medals at the Yury Grigorovich Competition The World’s Young Ballet (2008) and the XI Moscow Ballet International Competition (2009). Since joining the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company in 2009, she has danced principal roles in La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Laurencia, and the productions by Nacho Duato Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness, and Prelude.

Irina Kosheleva (Dancer)

Born in Barnaul in 1978, she graduated from the Novosibirsk School of Choreography in 1996. The same year Irina joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. She has been recognized for her artistic excellence at the international ballet competitions in Kiev (2006), Rieti (2001), Perm (2000), and St Petersburg (1995). Her repertoire includes the principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Cipollino, and La Bayadere.

Leonid Sarafanov (Dancer)

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he graduated from the Kiev State School of Choreography in 2000 and the same year he became a soloist with the National Ballet of Ukraine. Since joining the Company, he has danced the principal roles in La Sylphide, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Petrouchka, and Carmen Suite. In 2002 he joined the Mariinsky Ballet Company, where his repertory included principal roles in La Sylphide, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Theme and Variations, The Four Temperaments, Jewels, Lander’s Etudes, Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, and Ratmansky’s The Little Humpbacked Horse.

In January 2011 he joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company, where his repertoire includes principal roles in Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, Giselle, au Les Wilis, Don Quixote, Cipollino and the productions by Nacho Duato The Sleeping Beauty, Without Words, Prelude, Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness. His professional awards include medals at the International Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Seoul (2004), the IX International Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Moscow (1st place and Gold Medal, 2001), the International Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Paris (1st place and Gold Medal, 2000), and the International Rudolf Nureyev Ballet Dancers’ Competition in Budapest (2nd place and Silver Medal, 2000). In 2006 he was awarded the International Beno is de la Danse Prize, as well as Ballet magazine’s Spirit of Dance prize in the Star category. In 2010 he received the National Theater Golden Mask Award for Best Male Role in Ballet.

Victor Lebedev (Dancer)

Born in St Petersburg in 1991, he graduated from the St Petersburg Vaganova Ballet Academy in 2010 and the same year joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. As a student of the Vaganova Academy he was awarded with the Farukh Ruzimatov premium. He also was recognized for his artistic excellence at the First All-Russian Alternative Dance Competition. Since joining the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company, Victor has danced principal roles in full-length ballets such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Giselle, ou Les Wilis and the productions by Nacho Duato Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness, Duende, and Prelude.

Vladimir Tsai (Dancer)

Born in Leningrad in 1978, he graduated from the St Petersburg Vaganova Ballet Academy in 1997. The same year Vladimir joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. His repertoire includes roles in Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, Giselle, Raymonda, La Bayadere, Cipollino, La Sylphide, and Romeo and Juliet.

Mikhail Venshchikov (Dancer)

Born in Leningrad in 1982, he graduated from the St Petersburg Vaganova Ballet Academy in 2001. The same year he joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. His repertoire includes roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Cipol/ino, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire, Laurencia and the productions by Nacho Duato Nunc Dimittis and Without Words.


History of Mikhailovsky Theater

Alexander Brullov was commissioned to design the new theater building. It had to match the existing ensemble of Mikhailovsky Square, now Arts Square. On 8 November 1833, on the name day of the Grand duke Mikhail, brother of Emperor Nicholas l, the curtain rose for the first time in the new theater. The same year the French troupe, which had previously shared the stage with Russian actors in another recently completed theater, the Alexandrinsky, moved into the new building. Thus began the eighty-five year-long life of the French Theater in St Petersburg. It was run by the Imperial Theaters Company, which was under the direct control of the Ministry of the Imperial Court. Representatives from those two bodies frequented Paris where they found new actors and actresses for employment in Russia. French plays alternated with Russian and German works interspersed with musical parties and concerts. The theater was the House of French Culture. Here people perfected their French «refined, high vogue, elevated to the utmost beauty and elegance» and became acquainted with the history, literature and art of France. Parisian gossip and jokes abounded.

In 1833, a small group of German artists was invited to perform operas and singspiels. The success was staggering. In 1843 however Italian singers arrived in St. Petersburg, they outsang the Germans, most of whom then moved to Moscow, the rest switching to drama.

In 1859, a new epoch began with the complete refurbishing of the interiors by Albert Cavos. The purpose was to increase the seating capacity of the theater. The reopening on 26 November 1859 was described by Theophile Gautier, the renowned French novelist, who had come to Russia seeking new impressions. He liked everything, the auditorium, the troupe and felt proud of the fact that a theater where the performance is entirely in French can be filled to capacity. The German troupe competed though.

Beginning in the 1870s, the Mikhailovsky Theater opened its doors to anyone wishing to perform on its stage – out-of-house performances by other St. Petersburg theaters, touring companies and various celebrations and charity shows. In 1894, several performances of the Mariinsky Theater were transferred to the Mikhailovsky Theater. Some jokers began referring to the latter as the Russo-French Theater of Opera-Ballet. This was the period when Mathilde Kschessinska was dancing, and Fyodor Chaliapin and Medea and Nicholas Figner sang on this stage.

On 6 March 1918, a performance of ll barbiere di Siviglia, based on Gioacchino Rossini’s comic opera, was given in the premises of the former Mikhailovsky Theater, which had been abandoned by the French company and its pre-revolutionary public. This event marks the starting point of the modern period of the theater’s history. Transferred from the Mariinsky stage, the performance of the opera signified the birth of yet another opera house in the city. The first fifteen years in the history of the theater, from 1918 to the 1932-33 season, was the period of its establishment and quest for its own creative face. Over these years, a company of opera soloists formed. The development of an individual program aimed at creating a laborato1y of Soviet opera thus coincided with the administrative changes and the acquisition of independent status.

The concentration on entertaining and comic material was reflected in a new title that was gained by the theater in 1920: The State Academic Theater of Comic Opera. In 1921 the theater got the name of the Maly Petrograd State Academic Theater, in 1926 the Leningrad State Academic Maly Opera Theater (MALEGOT for short). In the winter 1930-3 1, Fyodor Lopukhov was appointed director of the Maly Ballet. The official birthday of the Maly Ballet was June, 13 1933, when the company premiered Fyodor Lopukhov’s production of Riccardo Drigo’s ballet L’Harlequinade. This first performance also introduced the public to the unique talent of Nikolay Zubkovsky. 1934 saw the premiere of the famous ballet The Bright Stream choreographed by Fyodor Lopukhov to the music by Dmitry Shostakovich. Leonid Lavrovsky was Artistic Director from 1935 to 1938, Vladimir Ponomaryov headed the Maly Ballet until 1941.

Ballets by Leonid Jacobson and Pyotr Gusev, Yury Grigorovich and Boris Eifman, Nikita Dolgushin and Konstantin Boyarsky were staged in the Maly Theater. In 1963, the theater received the official status of not only an opera but also a ballet theater – the Leningrad State Order of Lenin Academic Maly Opera and Ballet Theater. During 1989, the Maly was again renamed, this time, after the famous Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

In 2001, the Mikhailovsky Theater got its original name back. Year 2007 witnessed the revival of the Mikhailovsky Theater; its magnificence came back to Arts Square. Nowadays, the Theater both keeps traditions and introduces innovations.

General Director of the Theater Vladimir Kekhman initiated and sponsored the repair works in the building. Under Vladimir Kekhman a constellation of famous artists appeared in the theater: Elena Obraztsova became the head of the Mikhailovsky Opera, Farukh Ruzimatov took the lead of the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company.

During May 2009, Mikhail Messerer, the outstanding ballet repetiteur, took up the position of Ballet Mater in Chief. On December 1, 2011 he became the Principal Guest Ballet Master position.

In June 2009, the Mikhailovsky Theater started its cooperation with Peter Feranec who in 2009-2011 was holding the position of Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Theater.

On  January 1 2011, the new Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet, the famous Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato took the lead of the company.

Nowadays Farukh Ruzimatov and Elena Obraztsova continue their cooperation with the Mikhailovsky Theater as Artistic Advisors to General Director of the Mikhailovsky Theater. Famous ballet repetiteurs such as Nikita Dolgushin, Alla Osipenko, Evgeny Popov, and Svetlana Efremova among many others are responsible for the quality of the current repertoire. Leading ballet masters of Europe and America such as Natalia Makarova, Jennifer Goube, Gilbert Mayer, and Cyril Atanasoff hold master classes at the theater.

The priorities of the repertoire policy of the Mikhailovsky Theater are classical masterpieces of Russian and European musical theater. The Mikhailovsky Theater maintains the policy of introducing the public to the major opera and ballet works of the 19th and 20th century. We pay special attention to expanding children repertoire.