Review: Moscow Festival Ballet connects cultures through art

<p>The Moscow Festival Ballet performs at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on May 2, 2014.  |  Natalia Dagenhart/submitted</p>

The Moscow Festival Ballet performs at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on May 2, 2014.  |  Natalia Dagenhart/submitted

One of the most reputable colleges in the Chicago area, North Central College, performs not only an educational role in our community, but also helps citizens grow culturally. Fine and Performing Arts department keeps bringing more and more musicians, performers and dancers to Naperville from all over the world and provides high level arts and entertainment to its residents.

On May 2, the Moscow Festival Ballet pleased the audience with an excellent performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella at Pfeiffer Hall. I am familiar with the music of Sergei Prokofiev and particularly with some parts of Cinderella; however, I never saw this ballet performed live. Ironically, I had to come all the way from Russia to America to see a ballet produced by a Russian composer and performed by Russian dancers.

For many years Russian ballet was considered to be the best in the world and on Friday Moscow Festival Ballet proved it again on their first visit to Naperville. The auditorium was full and I could see and feel that the audience enjoyed and appreciated the performance. During the intermission I spoke with a few people who drove to Naperville for an hour or even longer to see famous Russian ballet dancers.

It was a testament to art’s power to the unifying power. Art in any form doesn’t have borders and unites people in spite of anything. The most interesting thing about ballet is that the ballet dancers don’t talk and express their emotions and feelings nonverbally using the elegant language of dance. The Moscow Festival Ballet performers demonstrated their skills with a high level of professionalism and mastership. They are adaptable to any stage and give perfect performances independent from conditions and the size of the stage.

The audience at Pfeiffer Hall likely didn’t realize that the venue’s stage a difficult one because of it small space. However, the performance was still excellent and the dancers did their job really well. It was the embodiment of professionalism.  

Moscow Festival Ballet company was founded in 1989 by legendary ballet dancer Sergei Radchenko. Radchenko was a leading ballet dancer of Bolshoi Ballet and danced with another world-known ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya. They performed together in “Carmen Suite”, Rodion Shchedrin’s ballet based on George Bizet’s operatic music.

By creating Moscow Festival Ballet, Radchenko combined “the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet”. He put all his knowledge, soul and experience in this company and hired the most brilliant ballet dancers.

Since then, Moscow Festival Ballet has shared the rich traditions of the Russian classical ballet school with ballet lovers across the world, including Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Turkey, Greece, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The company’s first U.S. tour took place in 1997 and since then it has become a tradition. Since 1997, the talented dancers have performed in many American cities and have always been greeted with great respect and appreciation. The most recent four-month tour started in January and is nearly finished.

The performance of the Moscow Festival Ballet in Naperville again showed the power of ballet to merge the language of music and the language of dance into a beautiful and unique combination. It doesn’t need words. Ballet is expressed through elegance, spirit, skill and passion.  

The Moscow Festival Ballet’s international language of dance and music unites cultures with art that knows no borders. I left this performance with peace and appeasement in my heart and will keep the sounds of music and the sights of dance in my soul forever.

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