Mari­in­sky Theater to per­form at CSIAF

China Daily (USA) - - SHANGHAI FOCUS - ByZHANGKUN in Shang­hai zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

With a crew of 400 peo­ple, the Mari­in­sky Theater is without doubt the big­gest for­eign per­for­mance out­fit at this year’s China Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Art Fes­ti­val (CSIAF).

The troupe will from Oct 18 to 25 put up two per­for­mances of Tchaikovsky’s opera Queen of Spades, two sym­phony con­certs fea­tur­ing Rus­sian com­po­si­tions, as well as two bal­let per­for­mances of Romeo and Juliet at the Shang­hai Grand Theater (SGT).

This is the first time in the theater’s 18-year history that a per­for­mance troupe as large as the Mari­in­sky Theater will be per­form­ing in its premises, said Zhang Xiaod­ing, gen­eral man­ager of SGT.

Valery Gergiev, the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Mari­in­sky Theater, will be con­duct­ing all of th­ese per­for­mances dur­ing the CSIAF. The Rus­sian first vis­ited Shang­hai in 1999 and has since been to the SGT on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions with dif­fer­ent sym­phonies.

The Mari­in­sky Theater’s per­for­mance sched­ule in Shang­hai was jointly de­signed by Gergiev and SGT and it aims to present some of Rus­sia’s most rep­re­sen­ta­tive mu­si­cal works. The first per­for­mance that au­di­ences will get to en­joy is the new opera The Queen of Spades, which is based on a novel of the same ti­tle by Alexan­der Pushkin.

Zhang said that the two sym­phony con­certs will al­low au­di­ences to ex­pe­ri­ence the com­bi­na­tion of West­ern clas­si­cal mu­sic and Rus­sian folk mu­sic.

“You will get to dis­cover how Ro­man­ti­cism in clas­si­cal mu­sic pro­vides the per­fect in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the na­tional spirit of Rus­sian peo­ple,” said Zhang of the con­certs.

As the SGT is cur­rently pre­sent­ing a year-long cel­e­bra­tion of the 400th an­niver­sary for the birth of Wil­liam Shake­speare, the Mari­in­sky Theater had de­cided to in­clude the first bal­let adap­ta­tion of Romeo and Juliet as part of its reper­toire at the CSIAF.

Bei­jing-based dance critic Ou Jian­ping called the Mari­in­sky Theater “a mu­seum of clas­si­cal bal­let” and said that their bal­let ren­di­tion of the Shake­spearean clas­sic, with com­po­si­tion by Sergei Prokofiev and chore­og­ra­phy by Leonid Lavrovsky, is a mas­ter­piece that au­di­ences are bound to en­joy. Tick­ets to this bal­let per­for­mance, ac­cord­ing to Zhang, had record time.

The St. Peters­burg-based Mari­in­sky Theater had early this year taken over a new theater com­plex in Vladivostok and started the In­ter­na­tional Mari­in­sky Far East Fes­ti­val. Gergiev said that he hopes to col­lab­o­rate with the SGT to at­tract Chi­nese artists to the fes­ti­val in the fu­ture.

In or­der to make Rus­sian art more ac­ces­si­ble to the wider pub­lic, the SGT has also in­cluded in the CSIAF an in­ter­ac­tive, non­profit con­cert ti­tled Peter and Wolf. The con­cert, which has low-priced tick­ets, is tar­geted specif­i­cally at young au­di­ences.

“It is a won­der­ful project com­posed by Prokofiev es­pe­cially for chil­dren and I re­ally hope that they will en­joy it,” said Gergiev. sold out in

Fes­ti­val in Rus­sia.

DAILY PHOTO PRO­VIDED TO CHINA

The num­ber of Chi­nese per­for­mances reached an all time high at this year's CSIAF.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Mari­in­sky Theater will be work­ing with SGT to at­tract more Chi­nese artists to its Mari­in­sky Far East

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