It’s not often that Columbus has the chance to see two ballets in one evening, but that’s exactly what the Russian National Ballet’s tour of “Romeo & Juliet + Carmen” will offer.
The Russian National Ballet has a longstanding place among the world’s most respected ballet companies. Founded by Russian ballet star Sergei Radchenko almost 30 years ago, The Russian National Ballet boasts a cast of over 50 dancers and lists a total of 12 productions in their repertory. Radchenko co-directs the company with his wife, Elena, an accomplished Russian ballet dancer herself.
Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky join forces in the majestic ballet “Romeo and Juliet” which has been a longstanding staple of the classical ballet repertoire. The ballet boasts famous scenes accompanied by some of the most memorable music in the genre. An especially popular excerpt is the ballet’s romantic Balcony Scene pas des deux, which audience members will likely recognize and enjoy.
Rodion Shchedrin’s “Carmen” offers a stark contrast to the romantic tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet.” Schchedrin based the music for the ballet off of Bizet’s original opera score. With melodies derived from the gypsy culture of Spain, “Carmen” will undoubtedly bring a different flare to the stage in the second half of the evening’s performance.
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This is a new production from Artistic Director Elena Radchenko, but past productions have received praise for Radchenko’s interpretations of classic choreography by Marius Petipa. In a review for DC Metro Theater Arts, Yvonne French raved about Radchenko and the Russian National Ballet’s technical and artistic abilities.
“The traveling company preserves and presents classical ballet in its purest form, and if the ‘Cinderella’... was any indication, these artists can almost make you weep at its beauty. The hallmark of this company is that they do not just dance technically, they act the parts.”
Alexandera Tomalonis, a reporter for the Washington Post, also raved about the company’s level of performance in a recent review of another Russian National Ballet production.
“The Russian National Ballet Theatre, Directed by Elena Radchenko, is a cut above many of its rivals.” Tomalonis went on to describe the performance she saw as “the real thing.”
In an effort to encourage patrons to celebrate with their valentine at the ballet, the RiverCenter is offering a pre-show dinner in addition to Friday evening’s performance. Reservations are required and limited seating is available.
Norm Easterbrook, RiverCenter’s Executive Director, is very familiar with the work of the Russian National Ballet and is looking forward to patrons of the RiverCenter being able to enjoy this season’s Valentine’s Day themed show.
“The Russian National Ballet always delivers solid classic performances of the world’s most beautiful ballets. Everyone loves a good love story and what better way to experience storytelling than with beautiful dance?”
If You Go:
What: “Romeo & Juliet + Carmen”
When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17
Where: Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts