Igor Moiseyev Bal­let vows to wow Kuwait

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Kuwait’s Na­tional Coun­cil for Cul­tural Arts and Let­ters and the Min­istry of Cul­ture of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion Em­bassy of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion in Kuwait present the Igor Moiseyev Bal­let by artis­tic di­rec­tor Elena Shcherbakova. The event will take place at the Ab­dul­hu­sain Ab­d­duridha The­atre in Salmiya on Novem­ber 24th and 25th at 7 pm. Kuwait Times in­ter­viewed Shcherbakov to learn more about the event. Ex­cerpts from the in­ter­view.

Kuwait Times: You are a leg­endary and an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed dance com­pany that was es­tab­lished in 1943. Could you please ex­plain the se­cret of your suc­cess and the role you played in the de­vel­op­ment of the com­pany?

Elena Scherbakova: The State Aca­demic Ensem­ble of Pop­u­lar Dance was founded by the great Rus­sian chore­og­ra­pher Igor Moiseyev back in 1937. At that time it was the first and the only ensem­ble of pop­u­lar dance in the en­tire world.

Given the suc­cess of the first five years of its ex­is­tence, Moiseyev came up with the ini­tia­tive of open­ing a spe­cial bal­let school for train­ing tal­ented youth. This ini­tia­tive turned out to be a smart strate­gic move as 95 per­cent of the Igor Moiseyev bal­let team has al­ways been made up of its school grad­u­ates, in­clud­ing my­self by the way.

In our days, the Igor Moiseyev Bal­let has be­come a house­hold name in Rus­sia. Be­ing an artis­tic di­rec­tor of the ensem­ble, my goal is to trea­sure and pre­serve the tra­di­tions of Moiseyev and en­sure that the bar set by the mae­stro is held up high.

KT: This is your first time in Kuwait. Why Kuwait and what are your expectations from the up­com­ing event?

Scherbakova: The word “Kuwait” it­self sounds mys­te­ri­ous and at­trac­tive to Rus­sians. So when we re­ceived a phone call from the Rus­sian em­bassy in Kuwait with the pro­posal to or­ga­nize a per­for­mance here un­der the aus­pices of the Na­tional Coun­cil for Cul­ture, Arts and Let­ters, it did not take us long to make up our minds and ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion.

We have al­ways pro­ceeded from the be­lief that the more coun­tries we cover, the more ex­pe­ri­ence we get and the more na­tions we make fa­mil­iar with the Rus­sian unique cul­ture.

We really hail the sup­port pro­vided by the Na­tional Coun­cil for Cul­ture, Arts and Let­ters along with the Rus­sian Min­istry of Cul­ture in co­op­er­a­tion with the Rus­sian Em­bassy in Kuwait that helped to ful­fill our plans.

In light of the re­cent visit of His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Rus­sia and his meet­ing with Vladimir Putin, we con­sider the up­com­ing show in Kuwait as a next step for­ward in de­vel­op­ing friendly ties be­tween our two coun­tries.

KT: What pro­gram the Igor Moiseyev Bal­let will show in Kuwait?

Scherbakova: We will be hold­ing two shows in Kuwait - Nov 24 and Nov 25. both at the Salmiya The­atre, which is also known as the Ab­dul­hu­sain Ab­dul­ridha The­atre.

We have pre­pared a spe­cial pro­gram for the oc­ca­sion, which is ti­tled “The Clas­sics of Igor Moiseyev”. The pro­gram is made up of a bunch of ter­rific dances. I am not go­ing to dis­close the whole of it, but for sure the Kuwaiti au­di­ence will be much im­pressed by the tra­di­tional Rus­sian dance “Sum­mer”, the dance of Bes­sara­bian gyp­sies, the Greek “Sir­taki”, the dance of Ar­gen­tinian cow­boys “Gau­cho” and the fas­ci­nat­ing Rus­sian marine dance “Yablochko”.

I do not want to go fur­ther into de­tails as I would rather sug­gest peo­ple come and see it.

KT: How many na­tional dances do you cur­rently have in your reper­toire? And how do you get your in­spi­ra­tion for chore­og­ra­phy of tra­di­tional dances from var­i­ous coun­tries?

Scherbakova: Our reper­toire is the per­sonal chore­o­graphic works of Moiseyev. He was a real ge­nius. He used to travel a lot around the world with his bal­let. Which­ever coun­try he went to, he would spot the specifics of its peo­ple, dress and tra­di­tions, in par­tic­u­lar the specifics of its ba­sic dance moves. On his re­turn back home, he would de­velop th­ese ba­sic moves into a com­pre­hen­sive chore­o­graphic work.

As a mat­ter of fact, Moiseyev would only stage a dance of the na­tion that would really im­press him by its en­ergy and pas­sion. For in­stance, the French or the Bri­tish folk dance would have never drawn his at­ten­tion be­cause of its slow­ness in com­par­i­son to the Mex­i­can, Ar­gen­tinean or even Ara­bian ones.

For his great suc­cess and the achieve­ments in world chore­og­ra­phy, Moiseyev was awarded with more than thirty or­ders and medals of dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

KT: How many hours do your dance com­pany mem­bers train daily?

Scherbakova: We start at ten in the morn­ing with the so-called one-hour “clas­si­cal chore­og­ra­phy” warm-up. Then we pro­ceed to the stu­dio and carry on for an­other four hours. Af­ter that we have a break and meet again in the stu­dio at seven in the evening for an­other two-hour prac­tice. I really make our dancers push hard as it is the only way to be a pro­fes­sional and to achieve some­thing valu­able in one’s ca­reer.

The same sys­tem ex­isted at the time when Moiseyev was the di­rec­tor of the bal­let. Noth­ing has changed since he passed away in 2007.

KT: Where have you toured with the dance com­pany this year? And where are you go­ing af­ter Kuwait?

Scherbakova: We try to tour a lot. Ac­tu­ally the in­ter­na­tional tour records of our ensem­ble boasts 65 coun­tries in­clud­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in Great Bri­tain, France and USA in the late 1950s when the “Cold War” was in full swing.

This year we have toured a lot around Rus­sia. We also had a great suc­cess at Expo Mi­lano in Septem­ber, had five full-houses in Poland and en­joyed a hearty wel­come in Jor­dan in Oc­to­ber. Af­ter Kuwait, we will be head­ing to Latvia and will end this year with per­for­mances in Saint Peters­burg and Moscow.

KT: What is your per­sonal goal as the di­rec­tor of such a leg­endary ensem­ble?

Scherbakova: It is to do my best for this leg­end to live for­ever. To en­sure that the new gen­er­a­tions of our dancers well re­al­ize the im­por­tance and the unique­ness of the Igor Moiseyev Bal­let and main­tain the high level of its pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

And in a short term - it is to come back to Kuwait with a new pro­gram. I really hope to see Kuwait Times read­ers on Nov 24-25 at the Salmiya The­atre. No one will re­gret.

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