St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it has also become one of the most gourmet places for Russian and international cuisine, with the most roof-top restaurants in a European city.
On July 20, 2016, the Mariinsky Theatrehosted Kazastan’s Astana Ballet as part of the Stars of White Nights summer festival. The company presented two ballets “Gaia” – a contemporary ballet about the Earth and its various elements, choreographed by Ricardo Amarante – and “Cleopatra” set to Maurice Ravel’s music (including his timeless Boléro – originally composed as a ballet commissioned by the Russian actress and dancer Ida Rubinstein in 1928) and choreographed by Nikolai Markelov.
Boris Eifman’s ballet company is at the fore of contemporary St. Petersburg ballet. On July 6, 2016 the company performed “Tchaikovsky Pro et Contra” (which premiered in May 2016 in its current version, but goes back to its origins in 1993) at the Alexandrinsky Theatre. Since the early 1990s Eifman focused on the creation of large-scale psycho-dramatic ballets, and established this aesthetic form as the main direction for his company.
On July 3, 2016 the Ermolova Theatre in Moscow presented an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s philosophical and Gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), directed by the 33-year-old Alexander Sozonov. The play originally premiered in March 2013, and is described as a contemporary story of success and failure, money and risk, beauty and moral ugliness. In Sozonov’s version of the play, the story unfolds as the memoirs of a successful producer Lord Henry (played by Oleg Menshikov), whose main project is the mass-media and technology-driven myth of a new Übermensch: Dorian Gray (played by Sergey Kempo).
On July 2, 2016, St. Pete’s Music Hall hosted Moscow’s Ermolova Theatre musical performance of Dream Orchestra: Brass (which originally premiered in December 2011) created by its artistic director Oleg Menshikov. This performance alternated between Menshikov’s sweetly-nostalgic and optimistically light-hearted stories, memories, and favourite songs, as well as performances of thirty multi-talented musicians, who brought the many melodies that inspired and influenced the narrator’s work since childhood to a sold-out theatre.
On Saturday, June 25, 2016, the newMariinsky Theatre presented a sold-out performance of Balanchine’s Jewels. Having just seen the ballet performed by the Berliner Staatsballettat the Deutsche Oper earlier this month, I wanted to compare the two performances.