Gala de Paris Featuring Principal Dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet

For the first time in the capital! From July 27 to 30, a unique Gala Ballet evening featuring ballet stars of the Opéra National de Paris will take place at the Astana Opera Main Hall. The European ballet stars will present to the Kazakhstani audience a grand Gala de Paris program under the artistic direction of Sébastien Bertaud (Paris, France). The author of the idea of the Gala Evening and its general producer is Anton Levakhin (Rome, Italy). The Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra will perform under the baton of maestro Vladimir Lande (Russia – USA).

Gala de Paris will be held with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Astana. This bright cultural event also marks the 350th anniversary of the Opéra National de Paris.

Paris Opéra Ballet is the official national ballet company of the Opéra National de Paris, founded in 1661 by King Louis XIV as the Académie Royale de Danse. To date, the collective includes more than 150 dancers, Director of Dance of the Opéra National de Paris – Aurélie Dupont. The company gives more than 180 performances a year, each of which is a true celebration of high art.

It should be noted that throughout the years such great names as Maria Taglioni, George Balanchine, Serge Lifar, Maurice Béjart, Roland Petit, Rudolf Nureyev, Cyril Atanasoff, Sylvie Guillem, Angelin Preljocaj and many others were associated with the ballet company. In the 1990s, the Artistic Director of the Astana Opera Ballet Company, People’s Artist of Russia Altynai Asylmuratova starred on the illustrious stage in the leading roles in the productions of Rudolf Nureyev. The world-famous prima performed the role of Nikiya in Ludwig Minkus’ ballet La Bayadère, and also portrayed Odette and Odile in Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake.

Let us remind that Principal Soloists of the opera company Honored Artist of Kazakhstan, State Prize laureate Maira Mukhamedkyzy, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Zhupar Gabdullina, The Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of the Honored Workers of Kazakhstan the opera house’s Principal Conductor Alan Buribayev and maestro Abzal Mukhitdinov have also performed with great success at the legendary Parisian opera house.

The author of the idea of the Gala de Paris and its General Producer Anton Levakhin says that 2018 is a significant date in the history of Kazakhstan.

“The year 2018 marks the anniversary of the beautiful Astana. This date is also significant for the fact that Astana celebrates its 20th birthday along with several noteworthy anniversaries: the 80th anniversary of the dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, the 200th anniversary of the founder of classical choreography Marius Petipa and the 350th anniversary of the most famous French opera house – the Opéra National de Paris. This is why we managed to bring together such a unique international creative team and prepare a brilliant program,” concluded General Producer Anton Levakhin.

The rising star of classical choreography Sébastien Bertaud became the Artistic Director of the evening. The international premiere of Sébastien Bertaud’s recent creation – the ballet Renaissance, which was first presented at the Palais Garnier last year, will be taking place at the Astana Opera as part of the Gala de Paris program. Haute couture costumes for this ballet were created by Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director of the French fashion house Balmain. All ballets will be presented in the original historical costumes of the Opéra National de Paris. Exclusive costumes by Christian Lacroix will adorn the dancers who will be opening the evening with the ballet Raymonda.

The exciting program of Gala de Paris brings together the stars of the oldest national dance company in the world. Laetitia Pujol, Sae Eun Park, François Alu, Marc Moreau, Pablo Legasa, Axel Magliano, Camille Bon, Thomas Docquir, Amélie Joannidès, Naïs Duboscq, Isaac Lopes Gomes, Marion Gautier, Victoire Anquetil, Adéle Belem, Joseph Aumer, Jack Gasztowtt will be performing at the Astana Opera Main Hall.

This evening, the atmosphere of Paris – the city of romance, beauty and fashion – will prevail on the Astana Opera stage. The scenery and the overall design concept of the Gala de Paris is a collaborative effort of designers Anne Sadovska (Paris, France) and Ahsar Muriev (Rome, Italy).

An excerpt from the colorful, emotional ballet Raymonda staged by Vincent Chaillet after Marius Petipa to the music of Alexander Glazunov will open the unique concert program Gala de Paris. Based on a medieval chivalric legend, the ballet tells the story of the beautiful Raymonda, her fiancé – knight crusader Jean de Brienne and the Saracen Abderakhman.

The romantic pas de deux from the ballet Le Spectre de la Rose by Michael Fokine to the music of Carl Maria von Weber based on the eponymous poem by Théophile Gautier will continue the evening. The movements of the dance are an interpretation in plastique of a blooming rose.

Grand Pas Classique staged by Victor Gsovsky to the music of Daniel Auber in 1949 at the Opéra National de Paris will also be introduced to the audience. One of the favorite masterpieces of ballet art captivates the viewers by its harmony, perfection of the ballet positions, precise technique, artistry, and also lightness, sparkling wit in a truly French style.

Rudolf Nureyev has created the choreography of Manfred to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky for the Parisian ballet company. The plot is based on the dramatic poem of Lord George Gordon Byron. The events that make up the canvas of this ballet are autobiographical.

A delightful pas de deux from the famous classical ballet Le Corsaire staged by Sébastien Bertaud after Marius Petipa to the music of Adolphe Adam in the arrangement of Riccardo Drigo enjoys a special regard of the audience of different countries.

The Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Vladimir Lande will also perform Entr’acte Symphonique to scene 2 of Act I from Alexander Glazunov’s ballet Raymonda, Pas de Deux from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker, Scherzo from Felix Mendelssohn’s concert overture Ein Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) ор. 21, scene 1 from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite Swan Lake op. 20.

The exquisite ballet Renaissance by Sébastien Bertaud to the music of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 will open the second part of the gala. The classical style production, which was created in our day, emphasizes the talents and multifacetedness of the dancers of the Parisian opera house.

Solo La Mort du Cygne was staged by Michael Fokine to the music of Camille Saint-Saens’ Le Cygne from the suite Le Carnaval des Animaux. The character of a gentle, delicate swan becomes a symbol of the struggle for life; its sincerity and strength of feelings touch the hearts of viewers from all corners of the earth.

The evening will end with the Finale to the music of Carl Czerny’s Etude featuring all of the dancers. The artists successfully continue the long-standing traditions of virtuosic dance, historically formed in the French school of ballet, from Louis XIV to the present, from Versailles to the Palais Garnier. The strength and enthusiasm of the dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet will remain in the memory of the capital’s high art enthusiasts for a long time.

The project is implemented in conjunction with the Kazakh Auenderi.

The performances will begin at 19:00.

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