Ballet Olavinlinna

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A celebration of ballet at Olavinlinna in August 2017

This summer, the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre will perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet Swan Lake at Olavinlinna in Savonlinna on 11 and 12 August. The ballet company will bring 60 dancers and its own symphony orchestra to Savonlinna. The ballet’s leading role will be danced by prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova.

We would like to invite you to celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary with a captivating ballet at the historical Olavinlinna, in the heart of the Saimaa region. The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre (SPBT) will bring their production of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet Swan Lake to Olavinlinna in mid-August, the weekend following the renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Founded by Konstantin Tachkin, the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre is one of the leading classical ballet companies in the world.

Swan Lake – an all-time favourite

Swan Lake is one of the world’s best-known and most acclaimed ballets. The original Swan Lake premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on 20 February 1877. Modern-day productions are usually based on the choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov from 1885, and the performance to be staged at Olavinlinna will be no exception. SPTB’s interpretation of this iconic ballet has enchanted audiences the world over.

The story opens with a scene of festivities arranged to mark Prince Siegfried’s birthday. The prince is given a crossbow as a birthday present by his mother, the queen. She also reminds the prince that he must select a bride at the royal ball the following evening. The prince is troubled by the idea. As evening falls, he is left on his own to wonder what the future will hold for him.

In the evening dusk, a flock of swans flies overhead towards a lake, and the prince sets off in pursuit. At the lakeside, the prince is met with magical powers, when a swan transforms into a beautiful maiden. The tale develops into a love story, directed by forces of light and darkness.

Principal dancer Irina Kolesnikova

Principal dancer Irina Kolesnikova, who dances the leading role in Swan Lake, was born in St Petersburg in 1980.  At the age of nine, she began studying ballet at the illustrious Vaganova Ballet Academy in her home city, graduating eight years later.

The same year, she was accepted into the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre as a soloist, becoming the company’s prima ballerina in 2001. Kolesnikova’s main roles encompass an extensive range of classical ballets, but her rich repertoire also includes numerous works of modern and contemporary dance. In 2008, she appeared in a dance show at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End.

Kolesnikova has made an indelible impression on international audiences the world over. A reviewer for the Paris-based Danse Magazine described Kolesnikova’s performance:

‘…the interpretation by prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova fused drama and virtuosity. Her black swan was magnificent and confident. She electrified the audience of Champs Elysées with her pirouettes.’

The Japanese Shinshokan Dance Magazine also showered Kolesnikova with praise:

‘Irina Kolesnikova is exquisite. She is a dancer of magnetic power – so much so that any ballet company in the world would welcome her with open arms.’ Shinshokan Dance Magazine, Tokyo, Japan.

Performances and tickets:

Friday 11 August 2017, at 7pm. Order tickets now!
Saturday 12 August 2017, at 6pm. Order tickets now!

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