The Studio Blog
Celebrating 20 Years of Great Russian Nutcracker!
Commemorate our 20th anniversary tour with exciting new gifts and special deals!
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker tour marks its 20th year in 2012, and we're celebrating in all sorts of ways—from special events nationwide (featuring our Russian dancers) to the introduction of new, unique, exclusive items and great deals in our gift store!
Among these new gift store items is something we here at Moscow Ballet are thrilled to present.....the 20th anniversary Great Russian Nutcracker Storybook!
It features 50 pages of colorful, dynamic illustrations that were painted exclusively for Moscow Ballet by Olga Larionova of St. Petersburg Academy of Art Repin Institute. The book is based on the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman, with elements of the Great Russian Nutcracker tale (which is also based on Hoffman's story) incorporated. Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker story is set in turn-of-the-century Moscow. It follows the young Masha (known traditionally as Clara), as she travels through a wondrous, dream-like Christmas Eve. She is accompanied by her Nutcracker Prince along the journey through the Land of Peace and Harmony (exclusive to Great Russian Nutcracker), and with Russian folk legends Ded Moroz (Father Christmas) and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden). This is the perfect winter story for readers of any age, children and adults alike! Order your copy today!
New in 2012, Moscow Ballet has teamed up with Capezio to offer fantastic deals on dancewear and related items for children and adults! Save on Capezio-brand leotards, tights, slippers, bags, and more. There is also a Capezio Bundle package that includes everything a ballet dancer needs—Ultra Soft-Footed Tights to Short Sleeve or Tank Leotards to Ballet Slippers to bags.
We've got new Russian Nutcrackers, of all types! Choose from a large selection of Moscow Ballet-branded Nutcrackers—all are wooden, hand-painted, and hand-assembled. These make great gifts and are perfect for any collector. Additionally, we're introducing an extensive selection of Ulbricht Nutcrackers. Crafted using the 300-year old Ulbricht family tradition, these Nutcrackers are hand-painted, traditional, wooden, and one of a kind—definitely a must-have! The Ulbricht collection includes the (adorable) buck-toothed Rat King, the magical Uncle Drosselmeyer holding a miniature Nutcracker Prince, a traditional Red Soldier Nutcracker, and so much more. Click the links to check out our wide selection!
The lovely Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) doll is new this year! Made exclusively for Moscow Ballet, the porcelain Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) is one of the most beautiful characters in Russian culture; she assists Ded Moroz (Russian Santa Claus) in bringing gifts to children. This 15” doll is adorned with an intricately ornamented traditional blue and white satin gown, with a beaded headdress. It is a perfect gift for children and collectors!
Have you seen Moscow Ballet's new Matrushka (nesting) Dolls? There are so many choices! Our many Matrushka (nesting) doll sets are painted in traditional jewel-toned Russian colors. Each five-piece set is made from carved wood and hand painted in fine detail. Many portray authentic Russian fairy tales, while others feature things like Aria Ballerinas, Moscow Ballet ballerinas, and even religious-based scenes and characters. These ornate, artisan toys are perfect holiday decorations and gifts, and illuminate Russian folk culture all year long.
Our new youth Party Dress is a must-have for your little princess! Made for Moscow Ballet by Pegeen (committed to making every child’s special day unique and happy, and producing couture quality children’s formal wear at amazingly affordable prices), this all-taffeta Party Dress is available in five very pretty colors. And it features a lace collar, sleeve ruffles, and a contrasting wide grain ribbon around the waist. Each dress is made-to-order (delivery takes 2-3 weeks).
Visit the Moscow Ballet Gift Store to start shopping today!
Question and Answer Session, with Oleg Vinogradov
Question 1, from The Weekly Standard
Oleg Vinogradov responds: I love being in Russia now and lots of things have changed. I am very involved in the art of ballet and know all about the new operas & modern musical theater productions. Personally I cannot attend Pytor Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta because it’s a story that is now set in a concentration camp and the King of France wears and performs in a Nazi uniform. This is part of the western school that was brought to Russia recently but it’s a democracy so these types of shows can be presented.
Pictured here: Oleg Vinogradov's beautiful staging of the classic Romeo and Juliet
I said once that Czars and Communists are better for ballet than democracy because the peak of the development of and the life of classical ballet was during the time of the Czars and Communists. They didn’t understand anything about the ballet, but appreciated its beauty. So when I was Artistic Director at the Kirov, I never had to think about money. We were always funded to do whatever we wanted to do. Today, in democracy, Artistic Directors have to search for funding and sponsors. This is in part why there are only 10 ballet companies still in Russia... C'est la vie.
Oleg Vinogradov responds: It depends on which type of ballet…if it is a good show, a good story and high quality 3D then I would would support any technologies that would develop public interest in ballet and classical art. The book I wrote four years ago about my life, career, and work process, has more detail about my views on the next steps for ballet and the classical arts. It is only available now in Russia—it sold out in America.
Pictured left: Sketch by Oleg Vinogradov for Knight in Tiger Skin
Question 3, from Ballet Reviewer George Jackson
Oleg Vinogradov responds: Thirty years ago, when I was in Berlin, a competition was announced to create a new story ballet for Sleeping Beauty. I wrote one based on the classic fairy tale, but it was still different and I sent it to the competition. Surprisingly they liked it and it won. I wanted to tell the same tale but about a modern kingdom and its characters. I was invited to stage it to Tchaikovsky’s music but I declined because I didn’t think it would be good. After 25 years, I came back to the idea and at the time was involved in work with modern composer Alexander Tchaikovsky.
Pictured here: A scene from Battleship Potemkin
Alexander is a wonderful composer who has won prizes in American competitions, and when I heard his music I wanted to work with him to create Battleship Potemkin on the Mariinsky/Kirov stage in 1986. Later he composed music for a ballet based on a story of the 19th century writer Nikolai Gogol. He also arranged music for a ballet set to Grieg’s music for In the Hall of the Mountain King. Alexander also agreed to create the music for new Sleeping Beauty and right now, the ballet has been accepted for the staging in Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow.
In 2011 and 2012, Moscow Ballet has sponsored a fine art contest focusing on ballet-inspired contemporary work with Oleg Vinogradov and the St. Petersburg (Russia) State Conservatory.
Pictured, left to right: Moscow Ballet Associate Producer Dan Talmi, Nataliya Yablakova of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, and Oleg Vinogradov at the Conservatory in 2010.
Vinogradov is one of the three judges and six artists (three each year) who have won awards of cash prizes. Moscow Ballet highlights their art to North Americans through the annual Great Russian Nutcracker tours to 70 cities.