10 August 2012, 17:59

Edinburgh Arts Festival: a taste of Russia

Edinburgh Arts Festival: a taste of Russia

Actors, musicians and singers from Russia have long become regular guests at the world’s oldest Edinburgh Arts Festival. Running from August 9 through September 2 this year, the festival features the largest number of Russian participants ever.

In an interview with the Russian television the festival’s director Jonathan Mills said.

"This year the festival focuses on Russian artists. Conductor Valery Gergiyev has been a regular guest in Edinburgh for the past 22 years and this time he presents the ballet troupe of the Mariinsky Theater. He debuts as the festival’s honorary president. The program also features stage director Dmitry Krymov and his theatrical laboratory, various conductors, as well as pianists Nikolai Lugansky and the rising piano star Daniil Trifonov, the winner of last year’s Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow. I hope he will be a regular guest at the Edinburgh festival."

The audiences are anticipating the performances of the Mariinsky ballet. The company is presenting Prokofiev`s Cinderella staged by one of today’s most outstanding choreographers Alexei Ratmansky. (The production runs on 30 August and 1 September).

Ratmansky`s production of Cinderella has been on the Mariinsky`s playbill for 10 years. It`s been long since Ratmansky who joined the American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in 2009 rehearsed with the Mariinsky ballet. Although he is being a bit nervous now about the issue, he has no doubts that dancers at the Mariinsky are well-trained and will live up to his expectations. The fact that Valery Gergiyev conducts both performances himself will definitely add to the company’s success. “A great conductor, he follows his musical instincts, which is not always good for dancers but sometimes gives a great boost to the production”, Ratmansky says.

Dmitry Krymov`s company is arriving in Edinburgh after taking part in the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-on-Avon. Krymov presents his interpretation of Shakespeare`s A Midsummer Night's Dream (24-26 August). The festival’s director Jonathan Mills says that “Krymov`s productions rely on the background of the Russian theatrical tradition”. Krymov takes an episode from the play and centers the entire performance on it. The production is a blend of acrobatics, clownery and many more which makes the core of the Krymov method.

Among other entries to reveal the Russian art`s influence on global culture the Edinburgh festival offers Tatyana, a Brazilian dance production inspired by Alexander Pushkin`s novel in verse Eugene Onegin,and a series of concerts featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing the music by Rachmaninov and Myaskovsky, as well as by a living classic Rodion Schedrin. The program features musical compositions inspired by the Russian bell chiming.

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