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    St. PETERSBURG, February 26 (RIA Novosti - Northwest correspondent Anna Novak) - The 4th international Mariinsky ballet festival will open in St. Petersburg on March 5.

    "This is Russia's only classic dance festival involving the world's leading ballet dancers," said the press service of the Mariinsky Theater.

    Each time this festival gathers new stars. Ballet artists from Russia, the USA, Canada and Italy will dance on the Mariinsky Theater's stage this year.

    Among them are premier dancers Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina and Andrian Fadeyev (the Mariinsky Theater), Paloma Herrera (the American Ballet Theater), Massimo Murru and Roberto Bolle (La Scala), and Greta Hodgkinson (The National Ballet of Canada). Foreign stars will appear on the Mariinsky stage for the first time.

    The premiere of three ballets by William Forsythe "Steptext", "In the Middle" and "Somewhat Elevated, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude" performed by the Mariinsky Theater's dancers.

    This innovation performances will be presented together with classical ballets "The Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty", "Bayadera", "Don Quixote" and "Manon". Foreign guests will be traditionally involved in these performances together with Russian dancers.

    The festival will close on March 14 with a gala-concert. One of its parts will be dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of the famous Russian choreographer Leonid Yakobson. All the ballet stars participating in the festival will appear on the stage on this day.

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