Festival of Classical Ballet
Since Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe in Paris, ballet has been a signifi cant Russian brand along with vodka and valenki (felt boots) for cold winters. In Russia it is said that “beauty will save the world.” This June, the Festival of Classical Ballet will present Muscovites with a unique chance to see classical ballet productions with all the beauty, simplicity, and purity that have inspired audiences for generations. The venerable dance troupes participating in the festival include the State N. Kasatkina and V. Vasiliev Classical Ballet Theatre and the Imperial Russian Ballet Theatre with musical accompaniment by the Novaya Opera Orchestra. The program will consist of the golden Tchaikovsky triad of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty; Prokofiev’s classic Romeo and Juliet; Khachaturian’s Spartak; Minkus’ Don Quixote; one-act ballets Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov; Ravel’s Bolero and more.
The Ten Tenors
The Ten Tenors (also known as TTT) are a musical ensemble from Australia. Formed in Brisbane in1998 when its members were still students, the group gained fame in Europe when they performed as special guests at the 2002 Eurovision contest in Germany. Since then they have used their beautiful voices to captivate growing numbers of fans in Europe and North America. The group’s recorded and live performances cover a diverse repertoire, including “Bicycle Race,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Who Wants to Live Forever” by the rock band
Queen; Bee Gees compositions; and ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” along with operatic selections and native Australian music. Their most recent album, Here’s to the Heroes, is heavily influenced by the music of John Barry. During their Moscow tour, concertgoers will be able to compare TTT’s interpretation of “You Only Live Twice” to the classic by Nancy Sinatra.
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
June 5 & 6 at 19:00
The Ukrainian band is a rare guest in Moscow these days, perhaps because its lead singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, is a member of the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. The band, whose style is sometimes described as urban rock, formed in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in 1994. The group’s popularity quickly spread beyond their beloved native city, to which they dedicated their 1998 debut album, There Where We Are Not. The emotion and melodic tristesse of their music, which is known for an unusual combination of fine guitar music and authentic, colorful Ukrainian melodies, transcends its Ukrainian-language lyrics to affect music fans of all nationalities.
The group — which has performed with symphony orchestras and written such songs as “The Model,” a work that Vakarchuk says was inspired by designer Coco Chanel — draws its style and content from many different cultural registers. This melding of elements has helped turn Okean Elzy into a stylish band in Ukraine as well as in Russia, where it has a significant following.
June 11 at 21:00
The StereoLeto Music Festival started six years ago in St. Petersburg, and this year’s program includes venues in Moscow and Ekaterinburg. While the music StereoLeto celebrates has certainly achieved commercial success, this festival foregrounds music as an artistic medium, a universal means of expressing and rendering emotions. But StereoLeto is not only about music; fashion shows, cafes, film shorts shown in a lounge area, and, of course, the June setting, contribute to the special atmosphere of the event. This year’s headliners include the Torpedo Boys, two DJs from Germany who had tried playing in many styles in many cities before meeting in Paris and forming one of Europe’s
best funk music projects, as well as The Do, a French-Finnish indie rock group, and The Go! Team, a British band that plays energetic music based on the rhythms of two drummers. StereoLeto in Moscow will be held at the Winzavod Arts Complex, a space that, as Ray Nayler pointed out in last month’s issue of Passport, is always in dialogue with the art displayed there.
Usadba Jazz: Aristocratic Open Air
This year the Arkhangelskoye mention will host its open-air Usadba Jazz festival for the fifth time. The event brings together the best jazz musicians and their fans for three days of music (Friday through Sunday) under the summer sky. All styles — mainstream, lounge, free jazz, acid jazz, jazz rock, etc. — will be represented on five stages by more than 50 names from Russia and abroad, including The Brand New Heavies from the U.K., the Charlie Hunter Trio from the U.S., and Billy’s Band from St. Petersburg. All this against the backdrop of Arkhangelskoye’s beautiful architecture along the banks of the Moscow River. The organizers are planning a fireworks display along with other surprises. It promises to be a wonderful weekend for the whole family.
Russian National Dance Show
Having already won the hearts of audiences from Russia to Australia, the Russian National Dance Show offers traditional Russian performance art at its most refined. The program cleverly and skillfully unites lyrical sketches with elements of folklore and ancient Russian epic while preserving the flavor of both Soviet and contemporary Russia. The program unfolds against a backdrop of panoramic sets that reflect in turn the spirit of imperial Russia, the passion of socialist zeal, the patriotism and unity of wartime, and the sparkling talent and richness of modern Russia. Through a combination of traditional national dance and contemporary ballet
pieces, the troupe, which consists of more than 50 artists in 300 unique costumes made especially for the show, provides a compelling insight into the traditions, culture, and history of Russia, from orthodox to secular to heroic.
Cosmos Hotel Concert Hall
June 9 – September 15
On May 6, Kylie Minogue kicked off her long-awaited world tour in Paris, one day after receiving the Order of Arts and Literature from the French government in recognition of her contribution to French and world culture. A presence on the world music scene for nearly three decades, Kylie began producing chart-topping singles in the 1980s and never stopped. Since she has always paid particular attention to the level of her live performances, we can surely expect the graceful singer to prepare something unusual for the audiences who attend the concerts of her KYLIEX2008 tour. Minogue will give two concerts in Russia — one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg.
Photo Leanne Woolrich
Along with her new songs, she is certain to include such golden hits as “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” “Spinning Around,” and “Kids.”
Olimpiisky Sports Complex
June 16 at 19:00
STOMP ’08: Brighter and Louder
At the beginning of June, Moscow will be filled with noise — and not just the usual urban din, but artistic noise — when STOMP comes to town. The world-famous show is the result of a 10-year collaboration between its creators, percussionist Luke Cresswell and actor/musician Steve McNicholas. The two first worked together in London in 1981 as members of the street band Pookiesnackenburger and the theater group Cliff Hanger. In the summer of 1991, Luke and Steve produced, financed, and directed the original STOMP, which premiered at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, winning the Guardian’s Critic’s Choice Award and the Daily Express’ Best of the Fringe Award. Since then, the show has played at some of the best stages in Europe and America. Last year STOMP “Out Loud”
opened in a new $28 million theater specifically created for the show at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. STOMP continues to attract and delight audiences with toe-tapping rhythms found in garbage bins and other unlikely places.