At the “Astana Ballet” Theatre, the seventh theater season ended, which became the shortest in the history of the capital's collective. But, despite the fact that the usual way of theatrical life was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in March of this year, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the team managed to present high-profile premieres, visit the cities of Kazakhstan, as well as near and far abroad - and all this for incomplete five months.
The season began with a tour in Tashkent at the Bolshoi Theater of Uzbekistan. The three-act ballet “The Legend of Love” by Yuri Grigorovich, as well as the traditional program of the theater - “Heritage of the Great Steppe” and the one-act ballet “A Fuego Lento” received tremendous success among the Uzbek public. The performance of the theater was highly appreciated not only by the audience, but also by foreign colleagues. “Astana Ballet is an experience that needs to be adopted,” said People's Artist of Russia, Andris Liepa.
Later, the theater began preparations for its first trip to the UK. “Astana Ballet” was the first collective in the history of independent Kazakhstan to present its work on the stage of the legendary Covent Garden Theater. Tickets for all three days were sold out several months before the start of the tour, and the British press and local critics praised the performance of the Kazakh troupe. Thus, the British “Times” noted the charm and determination of the artists, as well as the beauty of the national program “Heritage of the Great Steppe”. Broadway World compared the one-act ballet “Salome” with a large-scale opera in terms of clarity of narration, praising the choreographer’s plastic language Mukaram Avakhri.
The first premiere of the season is "Concerto Barocco" by choreographer George Balanchine staged by the student of the maestro - Nanette Glushak. A short one-act ballet, however, needed a lot of preparation and skill of the artists - the choreography of the American neoclassic demanded crystal accuracy and purity of performance.
At the same time, in honor of International Ballet Day, an Open Day was held when everyone could visit the theater for free, see how the backstage is arranged, get acquainted with the exhibition “Seven Veils of Eurasia”, and also listen to a fascinating lecture on ballet and its history.
Also, the team visited Pavlodar with tours and made the first tour in four cities of the USA: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Escondido. In addition, theater artists took part in a solo concert by Dimash Kudaibergenov at the Barclays Center arena in New York (USA) and the Moscow Kremlin, as well as at the festival as part of the days of the culture of Kazakhstan in Moscow.
A total of about 30,000 people visited the foreign tour of the “Astana Ballet”’ Theater.
The participants of the theater’s creative team were awarded state awards: leading soloist Tatyana Ten received the title of Honored Worker of Culture, and Valentina Yakovenko, head of the make-up workshop, received the medal “For Labor Distinction”.
In December, the premiere of the ballet “Cinderella” to the music of Sergei Prokofiev took place – for the first time in the history of Kazakhstani ballet. Tickets for all premieres were sold out a month before the performance.
At the beginning of this year, the team visited Almaty on a large-scale tour, and then Atyrau, but because of the introduced emergency mode, there was only one performance. The total number of spectators attending theater performances in the cities of Almaty and Atyrau is about 4000 people.
During this season, 10 programs were shown at the theater, including two premieres, which were attended by about 12,000 people. The project of educational excursions “Secrets of the backstage” for this season was visited by more than 250 people.
With the introduction of the quarantine regime, the Theater switched to a remote mode of operation, launching 6 unique online projects with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic.
The team presented 3 performances held in the framework of the Eurasian Dance Festival, as well as the online concert “Heritage of the Great Steppe” in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War.
The unique special project “Theater Online” was launched, within the framework of which five live broadcasts were held with the leading stars of world ballet: Aliya Tanykpaeva, Yana Salenko, Aydos Zakan, Tatyana Ten. Reaching users amounted to more than 163,000 people.
A series of online tours of the theater and its history, “On Stage / Online,” was presented. The project tells viewers about the development of high art, its etiquette, viewers and creators. The coverage of the two released issues was about 98,000 users. Filming of the next series was postponed due to the worsening epidemiological situation in the country.
Also, the team took part in the “Star on Quarantine” online project developed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan jointly with Kazakhtelecom JSC. The release with the artists of the Astana Ballet Theater received a great response and gained more than 30,000 views.
More than 2000 medical masks were manufactured and handed over to the children's clinic No. 4 by the workers of the sewing workshop.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic affected many theater plans. The tour in Semey was canceled, the date of the premiere of the ballet “Sultan Beibars” was postponed, the preparation for the premiere of George Balanchine's ballet “Rubies” was postponed.
According to the direction of the “Astana Ballet” Theater, all the planned premieres and performances will nevertheless take place, but already in the new eighth theater season, depending on the epidemiological situation in the country.