Nuriev Festival starts with tragedy

Ballet forum is held to a full house

Nuriev Festival starts with tragedy Photo: Maksim Platonov

Nuriev Сlassic Ballet Festival started on the stage of the Jalil Tatarstan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre on 13 May. It will last until the end of May. And no tickets to any festival evening left. This is the 30 th jubilee festival.

In search of extra ticket

A crowd of people near the main entrance to the opera theatre on 13 May indicated that big part ticket hunters left without sacred tickets. This is why any person who approached the theatre was stopped and asked a traditional question on the threshold: ''Don't you have an extra ticket?'' Of course, unfortunately, few people got extra tickets.

Ten plays and two gala concerts of this year's festival will traditionally be performed to a full house, however, as well as all the plays of the current repertoire. Every spectator is orientated to a quality classic, and the art concept of the Jalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre meets this need.

Festivals in the opera theatre traditionally opened without bombast, all the attention is focused on plays. As it was on 13 May. An exhibition in the foyer told about Rudolf Nuriev and his theatrical works. Spectators observed it with quite noticeable curiosity. Several TV cameras worked in the foyer and hall. A big pool of the federal media came to the festival as usual.

This year the festival celebrates its 30 th anniversary. This is why it is curious to analyse the statistics. For instance, about 300,000 spectators have visited it during the festival's existence. In other words, one in third Kazan citizen visited plays of the festival. In case of performing all its plays during the 30 years, the show would last for nine months every evening.

Romeo and Juliet start

The first classic ballet festival held in 1987 started with Giselle as if it had been fired by the light of Perestroika and big hopes. Later the festivals opened with premieres. The evening on 13 May was not an exception – Romeo and Juliet by Sergey Prokofiev was the first premiere play.

The play was traditionally preceded by welcome speech delivered by one of the best critics of Russia, GITIS professor Sergey Korobkov who briefly told about the festival history and at the same time quickly analysed Sergey Prokofiev's ballet.

The classic ballet festival founded by director of the Jalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre Raufal Mukhametzyanov and his team of like-minded people in 1987 did not bear any name. In May 1992, Rudolf Nuriev who came to Kazan at the invitation of Raufal Mukhametzyanov was standing behind the conductor's desk during The Nutcracker. After the play, having made sure the art level of the festival was quite high, the great dancer allowed to give it his name.

Nuriev was going to cooperate with the Jalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. At that moment, the dancer had finished his career and he found himself in conducting but continued staging plays. Then in Kazan he told about two names — La Bayadère and Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately, the plans could not come true. Nuriev passed away on the Christmas Eve in 1993. But the May classic ballet festival in 1993 already opened with his name.

On 13 May, the spectators saw Sergey Prokofiev's masterpiece Romeo and Juliet, a tragic story of enmity, hatred and eternal love. Boris Myagkov and Vladimir Yakovlev served as choreographers. There were ovations, ''bravo''s and many flowers.

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By Tatiana Mamaeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov. Video: Kamil Ismailov