Arts News

Federov and Dumova dress the opulent Moscow Ballet, tour dates

By April MacIntyre Jul 25, 2010, 9:31 GMT

Federov and Dumova dress the opulent Moscow Ballet, tour dates

Members of Moscow Ballet EPA/MOHAMED OMAR

Moscow Ballet’s 2010 North American tour of the Great Russian Nutcracker and Swan Lake is a triumph of the behind-the-scene crafts as well as the dance on stage.

Not only are the 80 Russian trained dancers selected individually for their talent and expertise, but so are the behind-the-scene artists.

Award-winning set designer and puppet-maker Valentin Federov creates stunning backdrops with three dimensional details that are exclusive to the Great Russian Nutcracker and virtually unheard of in touring productions.

Costumer Olga Dumova is an award-winning and world renowned costumer who successfully combines her deep love and knowledge of Russian dress with theatrical design and contemporary haute couture.

The artistic vision, attention to the smallest detail and technical skill of Federov and Dumova make performances of the Great Russian Nutcracker and Swan Lake a joy to behold. With no detail left undone, the audience enjoys every opening of the curtain, every swish of a party dress and each trip through magical far-away lands to the fullest.

Exclusive to Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is fairy tale character Father Christmas (Ded Moroz), a Russian version of Santa Claus, and his daughter the Snow Maiden, whose costumes were created by Olga Dumova. 

These highly ornamental costumes display classic Russian opulence and grandeur, a costuming tradition of detailing that is rarely seen elsewhere and dates back hundreds of years in Russian theatrical history.

New this season are Act II’s Festival costumes created with an ethnic Russian look that compliments Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden. The life-size Kissy Doll, brought to the Christmas party by Drosselmeyer in Act I, wears a hand-sewn “ribbon candy”  costume using yards and yards of satin ribbon. The party costumes, ethnic outfits and even dancer’s tutus are of the highest quality in costuming anywhere and include hand-sewn beading, sparkling palettes and intricate trimming. (Click to see detailed costume images)

Olga Dumova costumes for the finest theatrical groups in the world including Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, the Strasburg Theatre in France and the Hermitage Youth Center in St Petersburg, Russia, to name a few. Prestigious awards and recognition include First Place at  "Eve's Rib" International Exhibition, Moscow, Russia; an award at the "Doll exhibition", Moscow, Russia and being ranked among the top in her class at St. Petersburg Theatre Academy, Russia.

She received a BA in Art History and Archaeology from Haifa University, Israel and a BA and MA in Theatre Design from the St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy, Russia.

When asked about the most important lesson learned in her career, Dumova remarks, “It is very important that you not only know how to draw the costume, but that you are also thinking about how you make it.  Everything can be on paper, but not everything can come to life. It is very important to imagine how it will be… which fabrics, which decorations.”

Exclusive to Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker are Federov’s backdrops and puppets increasing the usual Nutcracker backdrops by more than five; (1) the opening scene, performed to Tchaikovsky’s overture, displays the famous onion-domed skyline of Moscow placing the audience squarely in Russia; (2) Masha/Clara’s bedroom becomes the setting for the battle of the Mouse King and the Nutcracker featuring toys as well as historic Russian art on the wall; (3) in the opening of Act II, angels and doves transport Masha to a faraway land with hand-painted butterflies and three dimensional clouds in the background; (4) safely arriving in The Land of Peace and Harmony, one sees the backdrop that is an homage to Fauves artist Henri Rousseau with a jungle scene of wild-but-friendly beasts, this is the setting for the variation dances; and (5) the final Waltz Festival backdrop displays abundant garlands of roses with three dimensional details in Federov’s charming gazebo. Also exclusive to the Great Russian Nutcracker, Federov created Drosselmeyer’s puppet show, in Act I, and the uniquely Russian, 6 foot tall “walking” puppets that accompany the variation dancers, in Act II. The artistry and creativity of all of Federov’s creations allows audiences to fully enjoy the dream world of Masha/Clara’s imagination. (Click to see detailed backdrop and puppet  images)

Scenic Designer and Puppet Maker Valentin Fedorov creates the imaginative sets and puppetry of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and (based in Chuvash, central Russia) received the title “Honored Artist of Chuvashia.”

In 1991, his “Blackberry along the Fence” won at the Best Performances of Russia Festival. 

At Moscow Artistic Academic Theatre, Fedorov studied under legendary designer Valery Leventhal, of the Bolshoi Theatre. Federov has been art director at the Chuvashia State Theatre of Opera and Ballet since 1988 where he designed more than 40 productions for opera and ballet to critical acclaim.

Chuvash, a mostly rural province in the middle of the country has a centuries-old history of puppetry. 

Federov’s fanciful sets and unique 6 foot tall “stick” puppets add to the whimsical and imaginative storytelling that sets this Nutcracker apart from others. Producer Akiva Talmi says, “Valentin brings his love of life into his puppets and even into his backdrops by adding treats for the eye such as angels with three dimensional trumpets and paying homage to great Russian artists in the interior backdrop with the “painting” ofthe Russian Troika, the famous sleigh pulled by three horses abreast which is practically a symbol of Russia.”

The Moscow Ballet 2010 Tour travels to 70 cities in North America and Canada with two simultaneously performing troupes of 40 professional dancers each.

For tickets and more go to www.nutcracker.com.

For a truly special holiday experience Moscow Ballet introduces its Platinum Seating and Gift promotion. Platinum ticket buyers receive a limited-edition, giclee print created by contemporary Russian artists from the St. Petersburg Academy of Art (Repin). 

Platinum Seating includes the best seats, Meet and Greet with a Moscow Ballet soloist, preferred parking and a Platinum Member’s Benefit Card for purchases at www.nutcracker.com. Only seven pairs of platinum tickets per performance are available.

East Tour – Great Russian Nutcracker

West Point          NY         11/13

Wilkes Barre         PA           11/14

Paducah                KY           11/16

Birmingham          AL           11/17

*Meridian           MS         11/18

Dallas                    TX           11/19-21           

*Stephenville        TX           11/22

*Alma                     AR          11/23

Little Rock             AR          11/24

Muskegon             MI            11/26

Indianapolis          IN            11/27

Knoxville               TN          11/28

Memphis               TN          11/29

*Blacksburg          VA           12/1

Charleston            WV         12/2

Youngstown         OH          12/3

*Easton                  PA           12/4

*Verona NY          12/5

Rochester             NY          12/7

Bethesda               MD          12/8-9

*Somerville           NJ           12/10

Baltimore               MD          12/11-12

Charlottesville      VA           12/13-14

Virginia Beach     VA           12/15-16

Cleveland             OH          12/17

Rosemont             IL             12/18

Detroit                    MI            12/19

*Ashland               KY           12/20

Asheville               NC          12/21

Durham NC          12/22

N Charleston        SC          12/23

Sarasota                FL           12/26

Lakeland               FL           12/27

St  Petersburg      FL           12/28-29

*denotes produced by Moscow Ballet, not presented by MB

                              

West Tour – Swan Lake and Great Russian Nutcracker

Lethbridge            CAN       11/5

^Medicine Hat      CAN       11/6

^*Saskatoon         CAN       11/9-10

^*Regina               CAN       11/11-12

^*Edmonton          CAN       11/15-16

Surrey, BC            CAN       11/19

Yakima                  WA         11/20

^Missoula              MT          11/21

^*Calgary              CAN       11/22-23

*Lake of Torches WI          11/26-27

Fargo                     ND          11/28

^*Winnipeg           CAN       11/29

^Thunder Bay      CAN       11/30

Grand Forks         ND          12/1

Rochester             MN          12/2

Minneapolis          MN          12/3-4

Cedar Rapids       IA            12/5

Sioux City            IA           12/7

Cheyenne             WY         12/8

Casper                   WY         12/9

Denver                   CO          12/10-11

Grand Junction    CO          12/12

Farmington           NM          12/13-14

*Albuquerque       NM          12/15

Bakersfield CA     CA          12/16

Cupertino              CA          12/17

Santa Rosa           CA          12/18

*La Mirada            CA          12/19

San Diego             CA          12/20

Tucson                  AZ           12/21

*Phoenix               AR          12/22

El Paso                  TX           12/23

San Antonio          TX           12/26

Lake Charles        LA           12/27

New Orleans        LA           12/28

Panama City         FL           12/29

*denotes produced by Moscow Ballet, not presented by MB

^denotes Swan Lake performance
History

Moscow Ballet is known for its annual, touring Great Russian Nutcracker and full-length productions of the classic story-ballets; Swan Lake, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others. Created by award-winning Juilliard alumnus, composer/conductor and theatrical producer, Akiva Talmi, the organization evolved out of Talmi’s all-star Russian "Glasnost Festival Tour" (1986-92).

Moscow Ballet made its debut in 1993 with the Great Russian Nutcracker which was directed and choreographed by soloist Stanislav Vlasov of the famous Russian Bolshoi Theatre. In 1994, Moscow Ballet invited the Moscow State Theatre of Natalia Sats, and the theatre's full orchestra, to expand the company to an 88-artist tour which was billed as the "19th Century Classical Nutcracker."

In 2003, Vladimir Troshchenko, director of Odessa State Ballet and a pivotal figure in the ballet world, was named artistic director and in 2010 Andrei Litvinov will be the co-artistic director. Moscow Ballet continues to feature top graduates of Perm, Vaganova, Moscow State Academic Choreographic and Kiev schools in its productions. 



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