St Petersburg Male Ballet
Valery Mikhailovsky, the famous St Petersburg ballet dancer, Honoured Artist of Russia and one of Russia's classic and modern dance symbols, founded a new original ballet group in 1992, the State St Petersburg Male Ballet. For the first time in the history of Russian ballet, the dance group was formed exclusively of male dancers.
The men train extensively to develop proper pointe technique, for which they've earned rave reviews from critics both in Russia and abroad.
The State St Petersburg Male Ballet adds to the history of Russian Ballet with its unique genre in the dance world. They have danced on the best stages in Russia as well as world-renowned theatres: New York Lincoln Centre, Tokyo, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Amsterdam, Seoul, etc.
Seven men in black suits and top hats vamping to a jazzed-up version of "The Nutcracker." A trio swathed in, and bound to one another by shiny silver fabric, emoting to a melodramatic ballad. A quartet in transparent clingy shirts dancing with matadorial flourishes to the familiar strains of "Carmen."
This troupe's performance is a daring departure from the classical art world, where the all-male cast take on - and take a gentle dig at - some of ballet's most famous female roles. Imagine Swan Lake without a female swan in sight.
Every season they draw in the audiences with their mix of skill and gentle humour.
Valery Mikhaylovsky believes some of his dancers can perform the female parts even better than ballerinas. But the men have found that stepping out in point shoes is not easy.
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