Abay Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre at London Coliseum

Kazakhstan's oldest theatre, the Abay Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, makes its UK debut at the London Coliseum on Sunday, 17 November, with performances of the classic one-act ballets Chopiniana and Scheherazade.

The tour is supported by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK Great Britain and the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the auspices of the programme ‘Year of Youth’.

Michel Fokine, the celebrated 19th century dancer turned choreographer, created Chopiniana in a search for new balletic forms of expression; he poured his ideas into the narrative of Frederic Chopin’s relatively short life and gigantic portfolio of work which Fokine set to the rousing music of Frederic Chopin.  When the piece debuted in 1893, it was considered revolutionary for its cross-cutting action, unity of music, choreography and linear narrative.  The piece was later renamed Les Sylphides.  

Fokine went on to transmit his unlimited sense of form to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade which embraces erotic and non-classical balletic movement in the legendary tale of the titular storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, the ancient Persian book of folk tales. 

Scheherazade will be presented to Coliseum audiences with some new choreography by the Italian choreographer Tony Candeloro, former soloist with, among others, Zurich Opera, and the National Ballet of Cuba.  Candeloro has also created work for Alvin Ailey, Mats Ek, and many others and became guest choreographer with Theater du Chatelet in Paris in 2012.

Abay Kazakh State Ballet’s Artistic Director Gulzhan Tutkibaeva says: 
“We have recently performed in France for the first time and we are very excited about presenting our ballet to London audiences for the first time this November. Chopiniana and Scheherazade are, of course, iconic ballets that are known internationally and which continue to delight and entertain audiences everywhere.  We are very proud to have these wonderful pieces in our repertoire and I hope Coliseum audiences will enjoy our continuing aim to preserve and convey the traditions of classical ballet, which are reflected in these performances.

The principal roles in Chopiniana and Scheherazade will be performed by our leading ballet soloists: Zhanel Tukeyeva, Malika Elchibaeva, Arisa Hashimoto, Rakhim Dairov, Dinara Yesentaeva and Azamat Askarov.  These dancers are mostly graduates of the Almaty Choreographic School although we do have wonderful dancers from other countries such as one of our soloists, Arisa Hashimoto, who is from Japan.   We can’t wait to come to London and perform on the stage at the Coliseum – and, if we have time, we’ll take a stroll in one of the city’s many lovely parks!”

Abay Kazakh State Ballet Theatre was built in 1934 – and extensively refurbished in 2000 - in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital and the country’s biggest city.  The theatre was named after Abai Kunanbaev (1845-1904), the Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher.  Kazakhstan’s very first opera was premiered at the theatre and in the ensuing 85 years the company has been associated with many Russian icons including Galina Ulanova, composer Sergey Prokofiev and opera star Larisa Aleksandrovskaya.  It has promoted its cultural heritage and has staged masterpieces of Russian and Western European repertoire.  

The Coliseum programme will be performed to a pre-recorded soundtrack – the dancers are:

Scheherazade                                                                                   Chopiniana

Zobeyda - Dinara Yessentaeva                                                   Young Man – Rahim Dairov

Shahriar, Sultan - Nurlan Baibusinov                                         Seventh Waltz – Zhanel Tukeeva

Zeman, brother of Shahriar - Dauren Zhenis                              Prelude – Zhanel Tukeeva

Golden Slave, Zobeida’s favorite - Azamat Askarov                    Mazurka – Malika Elchibayeva

The Chief Eunuch - Ulan Badenov                                              Eleventh Waltz – Arisa Hashimoto

Tickets: https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/scheherazade-chopiniana/ 

Created at : 3.10.2019, 15:10, Updated at : 3.10.2019, 15:10