Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Ballet School Brings Russian Influence to Stage

October 15, 2004

ONE of Costa Rica’s finest ballet companies,the Pro-Classical Russian BalletFoundation, is scheduled to perform at theMelico Salazar Theater Oct. 22-24.The troupe will perform “Allegro Clásico”to the music of Bizet from his Symphony in C,and “Noche en los Jardines de Córdoba” (Nightin the Cordoba Gardens).The Tico Times took a sneak peek at theexcerpts from the artists’ new repertoire.“Classical allegro” is, as its name indicates,a homage to the classical language of academicdance. “Night in the Cordoba Gardens” maysurprise the audience with its combination offormal patterns and an extra emotional edge tothe evocative score of Manuel de Falla, butwithout any false “exotic” moves by the choreographer.“This is my vision, my interpretation of themusic, what its spirit told me, according to mypersonality as a creator. Perhaps I have alwaysfelt Falla’s score as something I would work outone day for a ballet,” said choreographer MariaMonakhova, who is also a Russian ballet masterand former Bolshoi Ballet soloist.THE program will also exhibit two popularprevious-season ballets: “Pulsations,” done tothe music of Tcherepnin, and “Music…thePowerful Magic,” performed to the music ofMassenet (from his ballet “Espada”).“To present ballets again that were previouslyperformed is part of our esthetical policy.We’re trying not only to form a public, our public,but also better define the style of ourdancers. To do this, it is important to have abasic repertory, which the artists can recognizeas their own,” said Patricia Carreras, ballet masterof the company.And it does appear the troupe has achieved auniform style, one of the signs of a quality standardin the world of ballet.Monakhova has designed the costumes forthe production. While in “Pulsations” they areclearly reminiscent of a certain “Russian imperialballet” fashion, in “Nights of the CordobaGardens” they are abstract and concrete at thesame time, establishing a contrast between thereference to the Spanish culture provided byFalla’s music and the universal and timelesssoul of the composition.THE Pro-Classical Russian BalletFoundation is one of the finest – if not the finest– ballet ensembles of Costa Rica. The intenseschool, which molds itself off the famousRussian school of ballet, has produced sevenballerinas, whose physical lines and technicalabilities are comparable with the pupils of anyprestigious ballet school in the world.In addition to the seven who have alreadygraduated, five more are scheduled to finishtheir studies. Anticipating a total of 12 ballerinas,talks have started of forming a troupe toperform abroad.“With such a quantity and quality ofdancers, we can think about a company able tofrequently tour to the neighboring countries,”Carreras said.BUT as with many countries lacking a solidballet tradition, there is a fundamental absenceof male dancers. Soloist and guest artist AndreiBuldakov, the lead at the Tcheliabinsk Ballet inRussia, will fill in male gaps temporarily.Dancers from Danza Universitaria at theUniversity of Costa Rica will also participate.“Thanks to Danza Universitaria’s dancers,we have the problem solved, but for performingabroad more consistently maybe we would haveto invite male dancers from ballet companies inLatin America,” Carreras said.The Pro-Classical Russian BalletFoundation will perform Oct. 22-23 at 8 p.m.and Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. at the Melico SalazarTheater in San José, two blocks south of theCentral Post Office (Av.1/3, Ca.2).For more information, call 291-4846 or 290-2886.

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