Moscow welcomes ‘American Seasons’ ballet project
“We advise you to prepare for something extraordinary”, a spokesperson for the Alvin Ailey American dance theatre said as the company arrived in Moscow to open The American Seasons festival and the International Festival of Contemporary Dance.
The US Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, explained what the festival is all about: “This will be a one-year-long festival under the aegis of the Russian-American presidential commission. It will familiarize the Russian audience with what is new in contemporary American art of dance. The name of the ‘American Seasons’ project in itself pays homage to Sergei Diaghilev, who did so much in the early 20th century to promote Russian culture in Europe. Starting from 1906 Diaghilev would organize performances by Russian dancers and musicians in Europe as part of his ‘Russian Seasons’ brainchild. Picking up the baton from Diaghilev, The American Seasons project opens the Russian tour with what has become a symbol of the US art of dance - the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater”.
Director of the Moscow-based Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater, Vladimir Urin, believes that Russians see America and contemporary dance as two inseparable notions. After the renowned US ballet company completes its performances, the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater will host the International Festival of Contemporary Dance until July 28th .
“The festival was first held 17 years ago. It was marked by the performances of the famous Paul Taylor Dance Company. As far as the current project is concerned, I should say that I have long been thinking about inviting the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to perform in Russia. I first saw them in 1970 when I was a student in Saint Petersburg, and I was very much impressed because I had never thought anything like that before”, Vladimir Urin says.
Addressing the Russian audience at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater, the artistic director of the US ballet company, Robert Battle said: “We are going to offer you an eclectic program, a kind of a buffet with US dishes. It is tasty, and you may like it! This is a solid currency in cultural exchange between our two countries”.
Apart from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, The American Seasons will perform in many other cities of Russia, from the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to Vladivostok in the Russian Pacific coast.