Moscow Classical Ballet
The troupe formally named the State Academic Classical Ballet Theatre is known world-wide as the “Moscow Classical Ballet”. The ballet company came into existence in 1966. It was established by the USSR Ministry of culture. Renowned Igor Moiseyev became its artistic director.
Its repertoire consisted then of excerpts from classical ballets and choreographic miniatures produced by such choreographers as Goleizovsky, Messerer and Moiseyev himself. In 1977 Vladimir Vasilyov, Asaf Messerer’s pupil, assumed the role of Artistic Director from Igor Moiseyev and Natalia Kasatkina, Marina Semyonova’s student, assumed the role of Principal Choreographer. Their arrival on the scene transformed the ballet company into the troupe it is today. The troupe has emerged from its earlier role as a concert company into that of a touring ballet theater.
In 2006 the Classical Ballet Theatre led by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov marked its 40th anniversary. 2007 marked the 30th anniversary since Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov assumed the roles of the Theatre’s artistic directors. They staged modern ballets and restored classical performances and were creators of one and only concept ballet theatre in Moscow.
Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov, awarded the Title of the People Actor of the Russian Federation and winners of the State prize, created 3 ballets and 1 opera at the Bolshoi Theatre, 2 ballets and 2 operas at the Mariinsky Theatre and 23 ballets at their State Academic Theatre, not to mention other productions for Russian and foreign stages. “Creation of the World”, the ballet originally written for the Mariinsky Theatre was staged in over 60 theatres around the world. The most recent debuts took part in the USA in 2003 and 2004. Auctorial ballets staged by choreographers Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov contributed to the popular “Classic today” world theatre trend, a modern interpretation of classical performances. Many theatres today successfully stage ballets based on their choreography, librettos and stage direction.
“All genres except tideous!” is the motto of the Classical Ballet Theatre, thus any performance is striving to tell a coherent and fascinating story equally interesting for people of all ages, nationalities and beliefs.
The Theatre’s wide ranging repertoire includes all P. I. Tchaikovsky ballets, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet by S. Prokofiev, Don Quixote by L. Minkus, Giselle by A. Adan, The Rite of Spring, The Fairy’s Kiss, The Firebird by I. Stravinsky, The Miraculous Mandarin by B. Bartok, The Spartacus by A. Khachaturian, Creation of the World and Pushkin by A. Petrov, etc, in total over 20 classical and modern ballets of various styles and trends. The Theatre plans include Lisistrata ballet by Andrey and Olga Petrovykh based on the original Aristotle play and The Storm by Yan Sibelius based on the original play by W. Shakespeare. In 2008 the Theatre premiered the Mowgli ballet composed by a 14-year old London conductor-composer Alexander Prior.
The Theatre’s original repertoire any company would be proud of is known to theatre lovers in over 200 cities in the Russian Federation and the near abroad. It performed in over 30 countries across 5 continents. 75 ballet dancers, 30 tons worth of stage sets and over 4000 theatre costumes tour the world all year round.
The Classical Ballet Company is often nick-named as the “Ballet Star Factory”. It was here that many world renowned ballet dancers formed and established themselves, including Irek Mukhamedov, soloist at Covent Garden, Galina Sepanenko, prima at the Bolshoi Theatre, Vladimir Malakhov, artistic director and soloist at the German State Opera in Berlin, soloist at the American Ballet Theatre and a guest dancer at Vienna State Opera. Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov have a rare gift of spotting talented artists and they have trained a whole galaxy of world level ballet dancers. Among leading dancers brought up in the Theatre there are 2 Grand Prix winners and 19 gold medal winners at various international competitions, 5 awardees and 2 Grand Prix winners of the Paris Dance Academy, as well as winners of many other awards and nominations at prestigious ballet competitions.
Today Ekaterina Berezina, Ilgyz Galymullin, Vladimir Muravlyov, Marina Rzhannikova, Lyudmila Doksomova, Nikolay Chevichelov, Natalia Ognyova, Ion Koroshu, Alexey Pryadkin, Artem Khoroshilov, Alexey Orlov, Alena Podavalova, Artur Garparyan, Honored Artists of the Russian Federatins and winners of international competitions fly the flags of the Theatre.
One could call the Theatre run by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov a Paradox-Theatre. It survives the impossible. No stage for 40 years but world recognition! Inhuman dressing rooms at rehearsal grounds with less than one metre per person (even prisoners have more) and… world top ballet awards. In its 14-months long 40th season the Theatre was doing up over 300 performances. The Theatre dancers are on an equal footing with their colleagues from the world best ballet companies. World class stars came from its walls so to speak. There is no place to rehearse with proper stage sets and lights and yet the Theatre runs 30 “living” ballets. And more are born.
For thirty years Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov have directed one of the world’s most famous ballet troupes and they keep choreographing new performances and presenting new talent to the world.