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Monday, October 20, 2008

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The world famous Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet of St. Petersburg—the eternal bastion of classical dance—brought to Cal Performances a constellation of Russian stars in its program of Petipa’s mixed repertory and a full-length Don Quixote last week. A third act from Glazunov’s Raymonda, "The Kingdom of the Shades" from La Bayadère and Grand Pas from Paquita (both by Minkus), were shown in the mixed program. This biased toward regality repertoire featured some amazing principal dancers like Alina Somova and Leonid Sarafanov on the opening night, and the most synchronized corps de ballet, shimmering in the dance of the shades like a seagull’s feather in sea foam… For the closing matinee, Zellerbach Hall was bursting at the seams when Diana Vishneva starred in Don Quixote—gracious, weightless, angelic-looking, with an ardent smile on her Kitri’s face. Elena Yushkovskaya as Amur, and Yulia Slivkina in oriental dance also showed miracles of agility and anti-gravity. All the programs were accompanied by the Kirov Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Bubelnikov. In its 225-season (and counting) history, Mariinsky Theatre brought to the world stage the most celebrated dancers of the 20th century—Nijinsky, Pavlova, Nureyev, and Makarova among others. For the season programs, tickets and information, visit


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