UNION — Kean Stage presents Moscow Festival Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet and Chopiniana on Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Kean University’s Wilkins Theatre. William Shakespeare’s classic tale combined with Tchaivovsky’s haunting music and the amazing dancers of the Moscow Festival Ballet make this an experience that the whole family will enjoy. The company will also present a ballet, Chopiniana set to Frederic Chopin’s music.
Alexander Daev, the company’s ballet master, said his company is very familiar with Romeo and Juliet because it has performed it many times.
“Our version is not the full-length version set to the music of Prokofiev, but it is a shorter version set to Tchaikovsky’s music. We use a combination of several Tchaikovsky pieces, including Symphony No. 6 and the Fantasia Symphony overture. While the story remains the classic Shakespeare tragedy, our version was staged by our artistic director Elena Radchenko, and while it is classical ballet, it is slightly more modern in its style and shorter in length than the traditional version set to Prokofiev.”
“Chopiniana doesn’t have a traditional plot,” said Daev. “The ballet is a poetic picture of stylization in the strictest sense of classical ballet. It is not a development of characters, but rather themes, moods and feelings, like a series of pictures.”
Daev said the creator of Chopiniana, Mikhail Fokine, loved the music of Chopin, and developed the piece from Chopin’s Seventh Waltz.
Moscow Festival Ballet was founded in 1989 when legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Radchenko, sought to realize his vision of a company that would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company. The company is comprised of 34 dancers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and Japan.
Since its inception, the Moscow Festival Ballet has completed two tours of Europe, with extraordinary receptions in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Two tours of the United Kingdom, including capacity audiences at London’s famed Coliseum, have resulted in re-engagements during the 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
The company has also performed with great success in Turkey at the Istanbul Festival and in Greece at the Athens Festival, and recently completed a two-month tour of Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Moscow Festival Ballet continues to expand its repertoire. In addition to commissioning new works from within Russia and abroad, the company specializes in 20th century full-length ballets such as “Cinderella,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Legend of Love,” “Stone Flower” and “The Golden Age.”
The Moscow Festival Ballet has toured extensively throughout the United States, beginning with a coast-to-coast tour in the winter/spring 1997 and returning in 2001, 2004 and 2006. The company returns to the United States in the 2011-2012 season for a four-month tour.
“We find the American audiences to be very warm and passionate about ballet, as well as knowledgeable,” Daev said. “American audiences show us their appreciation in a big way, and it makes us feel great. There is much enthusiasm for ballet in the USA.”
Tickets to Moscow Festival Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet and Chopiniana are $30 standard, $20 senior, student or child and can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 1-908-737-7469, online at www.keanstage.com , or in person at Kean University’s Wilkins Theater Box Office, located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union.
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