St Petersburg State Ballet on Ice
The Saint-Petersburg State Ballet on ice (former the Leningrad State Ballet on ice) founded in 1967 by the outstanding choreographer Konstantin Boyarsky, is the successor of the remarkable traditions of the St.Petersburg school of the classical ballet.
Konstantin Boyarski founded the state ice ballet and established it with a rendition based on Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" combining figure skating with classic Russian ballet for the first time. Even back then it was possible to immediately celebrate an overwhelming success despite Russia having such a critical home audience with regards to Ballet!
The time consuming task of adapting classical figures, lifts and jumps to ice had paid off. A new, fantastic genre had been born in the form of ice ballet.
The Ballet is headed by its Artistic Director, former soloist of the world-famous Mariinsky Ballet, Merited Artist of Russia Konstantin Rassadin, a school-mate of Rudolf Nuriev. He participated in the performances jointly with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova. Mr. Rassadin was a leading soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg (formerly the Kirov Theatre) for 23 years and was a pupil of Leonid Yakabson at the Academy of Russian Ballet.
Mr. Rassadin's contemporaries include classmates Rudolf Nuriyev and Natalia Makorova as well as fellow performers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Dudinskaya. After having choreographed classical ballets on companies throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union, Mr. Rassadin joined the St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet in 1980.
Musical Director and one of the co-founders of the Ballet is Leo Korkhin, prominent Russian conductor who conducts quite a number of orchestras including the renowned Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Society named after D.Shostakovich.
Figure skating and ice dancing have a long tradition in Russia, not least because of the favourable climatic condition for these sports. Thus it was no coincidence that the first world championships in figure skating took place in St. Petersburg in 1896. In international and Olympic competitions the pair skating and ice-dancing disciplines have been the preserve of the Russians for a long time. Since 1976 only Russian pairs have won the gold medals in both disciplines at the Winter Olympics, and have often also won the silver medals. This is also true in the case of the world championships, in which Russia figure skaters have always been the leaders of the pack since the start of the 80s. The reigning figure skating world champion Evgeni Plushenko, the pair skating world championship silver medalists Elena Bereshnaya and Anton Sikharulidze and the world championship bronze medalists Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbokh are, of course, favourite once again for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The dancers of the St. Petersburg state ballet on ice also stem from the "forge" of the most famous Russian figure skating dynasties. After their successful sports careers the dancers of "Swanlake on ice" decided to devote their sporting talents and their performing capabilities to the artistically demanding St Petersburg State Ice ballet that remains unique throughout the world to date.
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