The Perm Opera Ballet Theatre toured in Canada for the first time from February 22 to 26, 2017 on the stage of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts, the most prestigious performing arts center of Montreal. The tour was organized by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and RUS ART Productions and was the result of a year of preparation.
Three tons of costumes and scenery were shipped from Oural of Russia across the Atlantic Ocean to Montreal for the rich and high quality performances. The 80 participants of the tour, including 68 dancers, presented six shows of the ballet Swan Lake in a version of the Great Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova. The famous music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky was performed by the 60 musicians of Les Grands Ballets Orchestra conducted by the Principal conductor of the Perm Opera Ballet Theatre, Honored artist of Russia, People's artist of Bashkortostan, winner of the National theatre award "Golden Mask", Valery Platonov. The average occupancy rate during the tour of the Perm ballet was 97%, while hall capacity is almost 3,000 seats. Over 17,000 spectators saw Perm ballet’s Swan Lake! Outstanding gests saw the performances, among them several directors of the leading theatres and concert halls of America and Europe, the most reputable journalists, the famous Canadian choreographer Edouard Lock, The Consul of the Russian Federation in Montreal, artists of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and students of Quebec high school of dance.
The tour of The Perm Opera Ballet Theatre presented not only the true traditions of Russian classical ballet, but also allowed to reveal the secrets of the Russian ballet school — the principalballet masters of the Perm Ballet Theatre gave master-classes.
The Perm Opera Ballet Theatre showed in Canada the famous school of Russian classical ballet, a new generation of the talented young dancers, fine technique of classical dance and musicality. The performances gave a unique opportunity to the
spectators of Montreal to see the great masterpiece of the Russian classical repertoire andchoreography of the great Russian choreographers — Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa.
The tour had a stunning success:
«The Perm Ballet Theatre does not disregard the tradition of offering an extremely faithful and precise version: the dancers all come from the Perm Ballet School.
The precision of the movements is impressive. The Lake is also known for the difficulty for the corps de ballet to dance together (the swans are numerous and must be very coordinated) but again, this does not seem to be a problem for the Perm Ballet.
But one thing is certain, great attention is paid to the quality by dancers and ballet masters. Among the most striking aspects are the figures in positioning, the simultaneity of the dancers who learned to look at and listen to each other, and the great qualities of each one: we see unity in bodies and technique. There is something indefinable that belongs to Russia and can be transcribed with such an accuracy only by a Russian company.
The scenery and costumes are a tribute to the cultural richness of Russia, which preserves its artistic heritage: always magnificent, but never vulgar, brilliant and doing justice to the greatness of Russian knowledge.
The main soloist of the evening was extremely vivid in the roles of Odette and Odile [Inna BILASH], bringing a seductive touch to the role of the black swan and a lot of gentleness to the white swan.
What are fascinating above all in this ballet are the alternating contrasts from the beginning to the end and the extreme purity of the choreography».
Jeanne Hourez, SORS-TU, February 22, 2017
«The Montreal was presented with a unique opportunity to host the most iconic classical ballet swan lake, produced by Russia’s The Perm Ballet company
The Russian ballet school produces dancers that surprise with their excellence of technique, physical performance and stamina, and most of all, with the overall artistic effect they deliver.
The choreography of this ballet is superb, the stage design enchanting, the rhythms and the flow of the dance and of the story line are precisely timed, and the gamut of color combinations very expressive».
Nadia Slejskova, Art Frame, February 24, 2017
«Swan Lake: a technical and breathtaking ballet that stops in Montreal
Perm Ballet Theatre, this year's guest of the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, offers until February 26 an interpretation in the pure Russian tradition of the classic and unmissable Swan Lake.
Everything begins at a ball in which the Queen Mother seeks to marry her son to make him a king. The scenery and the costumes are colored, everything is gorgeous, gilded, orangey, blue.
At this moment, the mind of the spectator is not yet caught up by the story: we are actually impressed by the mastery of these classical dancers and by their impeccable synchronism.
The entrance in the forest, marked by a striking contrast between the joyful variety of the ball and the flight of poetry of the white swans, this is the key moment of the ballet. The swans are absolutely magnificent in their simplicity, perfection and lightness. The dancers are extremely numerous and danse the scenes, each more
beautiful than the next, with a rigor appearing disconcertingly simple. The very favorite is of course THE swan, the one with whom the prince falls in love. The dancer, Inna Bilash, delivered an absolutely magnificent performance, marked with animal fragility and sublime flight. Her arms, her hands, her back, her legs, seemed to be only the continuation of the swan that she embodied with all her soul.
Then comes act 2, telling the subterfuge imaginated by the sorcerer of the ballet, a magnificent black bird, very charismatic, who deceives the prince by making him marry the dark, seductive and demonic version of the desired swan. The technique of the dancer changes at all: the choreography is brutal and jerky and the prince, certainly blinded by love, is the only dupe of the deception. This deception condemns the protagonists of the story in a pure distress, linked to the revealed impossibility to be able to love one day.
The last act and its dreadful light effects represent their answer to the unbearable betrayal: only death will allow them to end up together, a last time. We then admire with relish one last time the imperious white swans: solos, duets and figures are impeccably danced, mastered, dominated. It is simply, purely and artistically beautiful».
Rosine Sicignano, Feberurary 23, 2017, NIGHTLIFE
«Swan Lake : the flight of a powerful lightweight
«Prince Siegfried [Nikita Chetverikov] is fairly theatrical in his expressions and his jumps are generally recise and leaping. Odette [Inna Bilash], graceful and timid with her eyes lowered, resembles a scared little bird. His body sweats fear. Thanks to its long trunk and long arms, it deploys majestically "its wings".
Frankly, turned frequently to Prince Siegfried and the public, contrasted with the white swan. The famous Swan Dance is charming, precise, light. This dance in unison seems to be the best protection against predators.
The conductor of the Swan Lake, Valery Platanov, harmoniously combines the sound of instruments with that of the movements of dancers. The jumps and the flights are well marked musically. The sets and costumes are faithful to the classic version of the 19th century, without being too kitsch».
February 26, 2017, MAZROU
«Russia's Perm Ballet offers a sumptuous Swan Lake
Romantic ballet protagonists seem to carry the seeds of their own destruction. Perm Ballet’s touring Swan Lake is indeed a big production. For the company’s first appearance in Canada, 63 dancers plus a crew of 15 — including orchestra conductor Valeri Platonov — will be coming to Montreal along with boxes of decor and costumes.
“It’s the most in-demand ballet on tour, but if you consider how long a tour lasts — packing, shipping, travelling — then Perm would not see Swan Lake for half a year. This way, while we take Makarova’s version on tour, we have my version at home.” – Alexey Miroshnichenko»
Victor Swoboda, February 9, 2017, SPECIAL TO MONTREAL GAZETTE