Kazan Ballet Theatre
A whole century of public performances preceded the establishment of the first permanent Russian Opera Company in the Volga Region. The year of 1791 is considered to be the year of Kazan theatre foundation, which became acceptable for wide audience. The ballet company started its activity at the same time with opera.
Choreographer Gai Taghirov was the pioneer of the art, new for Tatar stage. The leading dancers of the company, who made a great contribution to the development of national ballet, were A. Gatsulina, V. Aleyeva, B. Akhtyamov, Z. Gaifullina, A. Filinov, A. Gatsulin, N. Leontyeva, S. Glinskaya, V. Romanyuk and others.
The first national Tatar ballet “Shurale” (“Wood-Goblin”) by F. Yarullin (libretto by A. Faizi) was shown in the theatre on March 12, 1945. The production was one of the most considerable events of the Tatar musical life of that time. The contemporary building of the theatre, designed by Skvortsov and Gainutdnov) was opened on September 28, 1956 with the “Altynchech” (“Golden-haired”) performance. The construction began in 1936. Now it is a monument of architecture, protected by the State. The beauty and good quality of the building are unique. The ceiling of the auditorium is decorated with rock crystal chandelier of more than one ton weight, specially cast in Mytishchi. The same year the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR passed a resolution to name the theatre after hero-poet Musa Jalil.
In the 1960-70th one generation of artists followed another. Among the artistic directors of the theatre were F. Mansurov, Ya. Voshchak, Yu. Kochnev, I. Lapinsh, V. Kutsenko, N. Yultyeva and D. Aripova. In 1988 the Tatar Theatre of Opera and Ballet got the title of Academic theatre.
During the period from 1978 to 1987 the opera and ballet companies of the theatre successfully performed in many cities of Russia. They occasionally toured overseas until 1988. The artists from the theatre, as a rule, were included to the delegations, formed in Moscow. The theatre companies began world-wide touring in 1994. Since that time they show 100 opera and ballet performances annually in European countries, such as Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Ausrtria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Ireland, including the biggest theatres of Europe: Carre in Amsterdam (2500 seats), Coliseum in Lisbon (3000 seats), and Strasburg Theatre in France (2500 seats).
The first festival of classical ballet dancing was held in 1987. It has been a prestigious event since then and attracts more and more audience from year to year. It is not surprising as V. Vasilyev, Ye. Maksimova, G. Komleva, N. Dolgushin, N. Grachyova, K. Kyrb, L. Kunakova, N. Pavlova, T. Chernobrovkina, V. Grigoryev, A. Dorosh, L. Shipulina, Ye. Knyazkova, I. Shapchits (Zavyalova), U. Lopatkina and Yu. Makhalina were among the guests of the festival. We can hardly mention all “stars”, taking part in the festival performances. The leading ballet dancers of the Tatar theatre are worth being compared with the guest artists.
The event got the status of international festival in 1992. The “Nutcracker” ballet, performed on May 21, 1992 was not only the highlight of the program, but also a sensation, as legendary Rudolf Nuriyev conducted the orchestra. After the performance, which was a great success, outstanding ballet dancer agreed to give his name to the festival.