ABOUT THE PROJECT
July 1 – August 28, MOSCOW – Russian Academic Youth Theater has hosted the 18th annual fixture of Summer Ballet Seasons 2018. When repertory theaters go off-season, a unique ballet marathon starts on Moscow's cultural map. Every day over two months, the RAMT stage was home to masterpieces of global ballet art.

This includes three ballets by Pyotr Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake (traditionally opening and completing the Seasons), The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, as well as Giselle by Adolphe Adan, Don Quixote and La Bayadere by Ludwig Minkus, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella by Sergei Prokofiev, etc.

These ballets were shown in classical versions by Russia's top choreographers – Marius Petipa, Vasili Vainonen, Leonid Lavrovsky, as well as in modern choreography reserving the classical basis. This concentration of world's best masterpieces is the crown jewel of this city's summer cultural life! Summer Ballet Seasons feature leading choreographic troupes with repertory based on ballet classics.
"In 2001, when we suggested for the first time that the viewers don't go away for summer vacations and go to the ballet instead, we were mainly counting on foreign tourists. Now it is definitely no exaggeration to say that our international project has become a crucial part of the capital's cultural life in the summer", says Alla Nemodruk, the founder and artistic director of the project.

Indeed, over the years the idea won quite a few avid followers among Moscow's theater-goers and guests of the capital from Russian provinces. More than half a million viewers attended the Summer Ballet Seasons in the last fifteen years! It is safe to say that these ballet performances have grown to be Moscow's event and a popular summertime tradition. A great opportunity for mass viewers to discover the art of ballet (partly thanks to a very democratic ticket pricing), the Seasons offer a chance for ballet connoisseurs to compare different choreographers' interpretations: most ballets will be shown several times, performed by different troupes.
Over eighteen years of their history, Summer Ballet Seasons involved numerous Russian and foreign ballet companies, including Elik Melikov's Moscow Ballet "La Classique"; Russian National Ballet Theater directed now by Vladimir Moiseev and Evgeny Amosov; Smirnov-Golovanov's Moscow City Ballet directed by Ludmila Nerubaschenko, Balletto di Milano run by Carlo Pesta, Kiev Modern Ballet run by Radu Poklitaru, and other companies. Young promising soloists from Opéra Garnier attend the Seasons annually since 2014.

All performances are accompanied by the Summer Ballet Seasons orchestra, founded at the start of the project's history in 2002, which has extensive experience of working at ballet repertory.
Russian Academic Youth Theater (RAMT) is the traditional home of the Summer Ballet Seasons. It is located in a grand historical building at the heart of Moscow – Teatralnaya Square, right next to the Bolshoi and Maly Theaters. The stage remembers performances of Zimin Private Opera (where Fyodor Shalyapin appeared regularly in 1907), Moscow Art Theatre the Second run by Mikhail Chekhov, and many other famous theater companies.
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In 1871, on the Theater Square, to the left of the Bolshoi Theater and opposite the building of the Malyi Theater, architects F. Shestakov and O.Bove built the house of Major General K.M. Poltoratsky. This house quickly became one of the centers of Moscow's cultural life: it was a place where the balls drew the creme de la creme of Moscow's high society, and it was frequented by the owner's niece Anna Kern.

In 1840 the house was bought by the merchant P.A. Bronnikov. Between 1869 and 1882 the merchant rented the second floor to the theater of Moscow's "Artistic circle". This group of prominent literary men and artists was established by playwright Alexander Ostrovsky. The "Artistic Circle" theater was one of Russia's first private theaters.

In 1882 the building was rented out by the famous actor, director and entrepreneur M.V. Leontovsky. He hired architect B.Freidenberg to reconstruct the house, changing it significantly. The building has been preserved pretty much unchanged to this day. Leontovsky, who was a student of M.S. Tschepkin, strove to create an exemplary drama theater with a diverse repertoire that would combine operetta, extravaganza and the art of drama. Such theater was opened on December 29, 1882, but it did not last long.

In September 1898 the building became a home to the Imperial New Theater, which lent its stage to the youth troupes of Bolshoi and Malyi theaters. The young actors' troupe of the Malyi Theater was headed by the actor, director and pedagogue A.N. Lensky.

In the beginning of the 20th century the stage housed performances by the private opera of S.I. Zimin. In 1909 the building was rented out by a well-known entrepreneur, director and actor K.N. Nezlobin.

In 1920s the opera and ballet performances of Bolshoi Theater took place in this building. In the fall of 1924 the First Studio of the Art Theater was given the name of MKhAT (Moscow Art Academic Theater). The new theater was given the building on Theater Square. It lasted until 1936.

Starting in 1936 the building houses the Central Children's Theater that was established in 1921 by Natalia Satz. It has started the professional careers of Anatoly Efros, Georgy Tovstonogov, Oleg Efremov, Viktor Rozov, Valentina Sperantova and many others.
In 1992 the theater was given a new name – Russian Academic Youth Theater.
The project's mission is to keep Russian ballet's rich traditions, an important part of Russia's cultural heritage. Another, equally important, goal is to attract the mass audience to the art of ballet. The Seasons organizers are in constant search of new professional troupes and brightest performers, preserving continuity of generations in the Art of Dance.
CONSARTA Аgency

The idea to organize SUMMER BALLET SEASONS belongs to the CONSARTA agency, which for many years has been organizing the tours of various theaters, orchestras, choral and folklore groups as well as exhibitions both in Russia and abroad – in Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Poland, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Cyprus and Baltic states.

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Among CONSARTA agency's projects are guest tours of Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters and the Eifman Ballet theater from St. Petersburg. The agency initiated organization of the International Festival of Classical Music, which was held on the eve of Moscow's 850th anniversary. The festival drew such famous musicians as Isaak Stern, Jiří Bělohlávek, Kurt Masur, Sarah Chan, John Lill, Christian Blackshow, Maksim Fedotov as well as Tchaikovsky Orchestra headed by Vladimir Fedoseev and many others. The agency's executive director Alla Nemodruk was awarded a medal "In Honor of Moscow's 850th Anniversary" for organization of this festival.

In 2010 the agency organized the International Children's Forum in the French town of Avignon, and in 2011 it was one of the co-organizers of the International Children's Forums in Spain and Italy.

CONSARTA has established relations with a number of Russian capital's social organizations: orphanage pupils, children from low-income families, handicapped persons and WWII veterans attend the performances of Summer Ballet Seasons on preferential terms.

The head of Summer Ballet Seasons is a permanent member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) and teaches a special course on "Guest tour organization" at the "Cultural entrepreneurship" department of the International University in Moscow. In 2007 Alla Nemodruk was awarded Order of Dyagilev "For benefitting the Russian culture".
HISTORY OF BALLET
Ballet has always been and will remain one of the most amazing and wonderful spectacles for audiences of all ages and fortunes. Between appearing in the 16th century and its present-day form the art of ballet has undergone a colossal transformation of its canons, which are now called classical.

In 1730s the French ballet dancer Marie de Camargo shortened the skirt and decided against wearing heels. This allowed her to introduce a new ballet move – striking one foot against the other in the air.

At the end of the 18th century, attempting to make their dancing more airy, the performers tried to dance on the tips of the toes. This led to the invention of pointe shoes: the dancing slippers acquired a hard toe cap. Design of pointe shoes that were fastened to the dancer's leg with the help of pink satin and ribbons allowed the ballet dancers to remain steady on their pivot foot. The first dancer to wear pointe shoes was Marie Taglioni.
The ballet made its way to Russia during the reign of Peter the Great, in the beginning of 18th century. In 1738, thanks to the petition by the French dance master Jean-Batiste Lande, the first Russian ballet school – now world-famous as the St. Petersburg Dance Academy named after Agrippina Vaganova – was established. Noble youth was obligated to study dancing: in St. Petersburg ballet dancing became a mandatory discipline even Noble Cadet Corps.
Almost from the very beginning Russian ballet tradition acquired fans all over the world. Russian dancers were famous for their grace, fluidity and expression of hand movements and amazing intuitive understanding of their characters. Russian composers, such as Petr Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev, are considered the real maestros of ballet music. Productions by legendary choreographers Marius Petipa, Mikhail Fokin, Vaclav Nizhinsky and George Balanchine are still considered the etalons of world art of choreography.
Popularization of Russian ballet was in no small measure helped by Sergei Dyagilev's famous Russian Ballet Seasons. Dyagilev's Russian ballet – Ballet Russes – was established in 1911. The company that grew out of Russian Ballet Seasons of 1909 had functioned for twenty seasons until Dyagilev's death in 1929 and was wildly successful abroad, especially in France and Great Britain.


Dyagilev's Seasons not only had a great influence on the development of Russian ballet, but also made everything Russian very fashionable. For example, English dancers Patrick Heely-Key, Alice Marx and Hilda Mannings took Russian pseudonyms Anton Dolin, Alicia Markova and Lydia Sokolova respectively. The wife of the British king George VI was married wearing a "dress that paraphrased Russian folklore traditions".

A well-known librettist of those years Jean Cocteau recorded his impressions of the first Dyagilev productions: "Red curtain rises over the celebration that upended France and drew the crowd in ecstasy after the cart of Bacchus".

More than two centuries later Ballet Seasons are back to conquer the audience!
Summer Ballet Seasons first took place in July-August of 2001 in Moscow and right away drew the attention of the audiences.

The Seasons' idea — to preserve Russia's cultural heritage — became the foundation of the program, which consists of the best classical ballets performed by well-known Moscow troupes. The performances reconstruct the staging by legendary choreographers — Marius Petipa, Vasily Vyonen, Asaf Messerer and others. It was thanks to these stage plays that the Russian ballet earned its fame as the world's most masterful and professional. The pearls of classical ballet are presented on one stage for two summer months and are accessible to any fan and connosier of the classical ballet.
«Ballet is the inspired plastique, embodiment of thought in movement, spiritual in physical»
— Ilya Shevelev, writer