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May 3, 2011- Moscow Ballet premieres at Mahaiwe PAC

Moscow Ballet premieres 19th annual, 60-city tour at Great Barrington’s Mahaiwe P.A.C. Thu., Nov 10 with award-winning principal dancers
Tickets on sale at 12:00noon – 6:00pm Fri., May 6 for Nov. 10 and 11, 7:30pm performances

Premiering Natalia Toriashvili
Premiering Natalia Toriashvili
Moscow Ballet’s Ilya Zabotin
Moscow Ballet’s Ilya Zabotin

Contact: Sally Michael Keyes, Moscow Ballet
413-499-1733 x21 JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

(Berkshires, MA) May 3, 2011 – For the first time in 19 years, Moscow Ballet premieres the 2011, North American, 60-city tour in Berkshire County Massachusetts. The tour features critically acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker and a completely new production of Romeo and Juliet, set to Prokofiev’s score, choreographed by Ballet Master Andre Litvinov. Moscow Ballet’s beloved Great Russian Nutcracker premieres in Great Barrington MA Nov 10 and 11, and Romeo and Juliet premieres in Wenatchee WA on the same dates. NY Times’ Alastair Macaulay says; “Knock out…Expansive… the Russian style is elegantly generous;” ”Aristocratic finessefrom Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer; “When performed by masters like {Moscow Ballet}…ballet seems effortless, elegant”Twin Cities Daily Planet. The Berkshire performances premiere alternating pairs of award-winning principal dancers; Natalia Toriashvili and Ilya Zabotin, and Natalia Bashkirtseva and Andre Besov, as Masha (aka Clara) and the Nutcracker Prince. Moscow Ballet is partnering with Berkshire Pulse Center for the Arts and Canyon Ranch Resort to offer Master Classes, lectures and other opportunities with the dancers. Berkshire Pulse ballet students will audition and perform with the pros in both performances. Tickets go on sale Friday May 6 at 12 noon for the Thursday and Friday, November 10 and 11, 7:30pm performances of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Call 413-528-0100 or go to . Tickets range from $50.00 to $102.00 and group discounts are available for 10 or more, contact or 800-320-1733.

Premiering in the US with Moscow Ballet, Natalia Toriashvili was awarded the prestigious Festival de la Danza IBC First Prize in Rieti, Italy in 2002 and Honorable Mention for Inspirational Performance at the Rudolf Nureyev Ballet Festival in Tatarstan. Born in 1995 in Tbilisi, aka Georgia and home to George Balanchine, she graduated from the Chabukiani Ballet Academy. Toriashvili danced principal roles for the Ballet Theater Company of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory from 1995 to 2000 and is currently a principal with that company rejoining them in 2007. Toriashvili danced with the Israeli Ballet in Tel-Aviv, Israel and the Yakobson Ballet Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, named after the daring and innovative choreographer recognized for his modern works Spartacus and Rodin Living Sculptors. From 2003-4 she was principal dancer with The Imperial Ballet, with founders and artistic directors Maya Plisetskaya and Gediminas Taranda. Toriashvili dances the lead role in the classic story ballets Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and more as well as lesser known Onegin, Shekherazade, Symphony in C by Balanchine, Valse #7, The Moor's Pavane, Walpurgis Night and The Fairy Doll. She tours extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Ilya Zabotin, born in St Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1985, graduated at 23 years old from the Rudolph Nureyev Russian State Ballet Academy in Ufa, a major stop on the historic Trans-Siberian Railroad and the capital of Bashkortostan. He was immediately invited to be principal dancer of the Yakobson Ballet Company (also known as State Ballet of Leningrad) in St. Petersburg and was there until 2007. Yakobson, soloist and choreographer for Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet for many years, is known for Spartacus, and Rodin Living Sculptors. Since 2007 Zabotin has been principal dancer of the Ballet Theater Company of the St Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. He has a wide range of repertoire from pure classical ballet to ultra modern. He performs leading roles such as Tibalt in Romeo and Juliet, Jose and Young Man in Carmen, The Ecstasy and Eternal Idol in Yakobson’s Rodin Living Sculptors, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Zigfried and Rothbart in Swan Lake, the Prince in The Nutcracker, the Prince in Cinderella, Solor in La Bayadere, Ali in Le Corsaire, Pierrot in The Fairy Doll, Basil in Don Quixote, as well as pas de deux and concert pieces from The Flames of Paris, Mad Dictator with choreography by Yakobson and more.

Natalia Bashkirtseva is aDistinguished Artist of the Russian Federation” and a Medalist of the Petipa International Ballet Competition (IBC) Moscow 1993. She is a graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy, St Petersburg, 1987 and of the Leningrad State Academic Conservatory 2003 in the Department of Musical Theater Direction. She danced with the Ballet Theater Company of the St Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory from 1987 to 1991 as principal and with the modern Askold Makarov Ballet, formerly the Yacobson Ballet. She also danced for the Russian Ballet Theater, the Mikhailovsky Theater as principal dancer and Ballet Mistress and is currently with the Ballet Theater Company of St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory as principal dancer and Ballet Mistress. Bashkirtseva travels extensively and performs in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Her repertoire includes the principal roles in ballets including Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Sheherezade, Don Quixote and more. Contemporary repertoire includes works by Leonid Yakobson, Maurice Bejart, Oleg Vinogradov and others.

Andre Besov was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1980 and began dance training at ten years at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, known as one of the world's preeminent ballet schools. In 1998 Besov graduated and his professional career started at the Ballet Theater Company of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory under artistic direction of Konstantin Tachkin. He was there for ten years. Besov has danced for the following ballet companies as principal dancer and guest artist: the Latvia National Opera in the capitol Riga; Vanemuine Theater in Tartu, Estonia; the world famous Hermitage Theater, in St. Petersburg; the Mikhalovsky Theater in St. Petersburg; and the Ballet Theater Company of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. Besov’s repertoire includes the principal role in the most often performed classic story ballets as well as modern repertoire. He dances Prince Désiré in Sleeping Beauty; Prince Sigfried in Swan Lake; the Prince inThe Nutcracker (all three ballets withmusic by Pytor Tchaikovsky); Albrecht in Giselle; Romeo in Romeo and Juliet andPhœbus de Châteaupers in Esmeralda.

Berkshire Pulse is a dance and creative arts education center dedicated to building and strengthening community life through diverse and accessible programming in performing, movement and creative arts and was founded in 2003. Dance educator, founder and choreographer Bettina Montano says, “Beginnings are always exciting, but the beginning of a national tour of the Moscow Ballet is an extraordinary event. We are thrilled that Berkshire Pulse students will be a part of these dynamic performances which will be historic for our region.” Ballet Director Ruby Aver adds, “It is an honor to have the opportunity for our students to work alongside the Moscow Ballet in performance and to have the artists training in the studios with our students, only compounds this already rich experience.” Berkshire Pulse is a not-for-profit organization in Housatonic, MA.

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About the Performance - Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker tells the beloved Christmas story of the girl who falls in love with a Nutcracker Prince – with Russian flair. Praised by the NY Times as “thrilling and expansive,” the 40 impeccably trained Russian dancers leap, spin and lunge bringing the traditional story to life. The Act I Christmas party enchants with its magical toys, evil Mouse King and a journey through the glittering Snow Forrest. Unique to the Great Russian Nutcracker, Russian folk characters Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden escort Masha (aka Clara) to the Land of Peace and Harmony in Act II where she and the Nutcracker Prince are honored by emissaries from heritages the world over; African, Russian, Asian, European and Hispanic. Set to Pytor Tchaikovsky’s famous score, Moscow Ballet’s production features lavish costumes, nine hand-painted backdrops with 3-D ornamentation and fanciful, larger-than-life puppets designed by Russian puppet master Valentin Federov. A must see show for everyone in the family this holiday season!

History - Akiva Talmi Presents Inc. (ATP) is now known for its annual, touring Great Russian Nutcracker and full-length productions of the classic story-ballets; Swan Lake, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others by the Moscow Ballet. ATP produced the “Cynthia Gregory National Tour” with Nancy Reagan as Honorary Chair; the “From the Top” NPR TV special featuring NYCB’s Violette Verdi and Itzhak Perlman, the “Alexander Godunov” national tour and more. Created by award-winning Juilliard alumnus, composer/conductor and theatrical producer, Akiva Talmi, ATP evolved out of the all-star Russian "Glasnost Festival Tour" (1986-92). The Great Russian Nutcracker made its debut in 1993 and was directed and choreographed by soloist Stanislav Vlasov of the famous Bolshoi Theater. In 1994, the Moscow State Theatre of Natalia Sats and the theatre's full orchestra joined Moscow Ballet to expand the company to an 88-artist tour which was billed as the "19th Century Classical Nutcracker." In 2003, Anatoly Emelianov, then an upstart choreographer and winner of the Diagelev award, restaged the Great Russian Nutcracker to critical acclaim. Moscow Ballet productions continue to feature award-winning principals and top graduates of Perm, Vaganova, Moscow State Academic Choreographic and Kiev schools.

East and West Tours as of 5-3-11

Nov. 09 Wed. tbd
Nov. 10 Thur. Great Barrington MA
Nov. 11 Fri. Great Barrington MA
Nov. 12 Sat. Albany NY
Nov. 13 Sun. Rochester NY
Nov. 14 Mon. Virginia Beach VA
Nov. 15 Tue. Virginia Beach VA
Nov. 17 Thur. Tulsa OK
Nov. 18 Fri. Dallas TX
Nov. 19 Sat. Dallas TX
Nov. 20 Sun. Little Rock AR
Nov. 21 Mon. Mountain Home AR
Nov. 22 Tue. Shreveport LA
Nov. 23 Wed. Meridian MS
Nov. 25 Fri. Blountville TN (Johnson City)
Nov. 26 Sat. Knoxville TN
Nov. 27 Sun. Franklin TN
Nov. 28 Mon. Tiffin, OH
Nov. 29 Tue. Evansville IN
Nov. 30 Wed. Youngstown OH
Dec. 01 Thur. Asheville NC
Dec. 02 Fri. Morgantown WV
Dec. 03 Sat. Somerville NJ
Dec. 04 Sun. Verona NY
Dec. 05 Mon. Lockport NY (Niagara Falls)
Dec. 06 Tue. Lockport NY (Niagara Falls)
Dec. 07 Wed. Lakewood NJ (Tom’s River)
Dec. 08 Thur. Easton PA
Dec. 09 Fri. Cleveland OH
Dec. 10 Sat. Rosemont IL (Chicago)
Dec. 11 Sun. Detroit MI
Dec. 12 Mon. Gettysburg PA
Dec. 13 Tue. Fairfax VA
Dec. 14 Wed. Fairfax VA
Dec. 15 Thur. Bethesda MD
Dec. 16 Fri. Bethesda MD
Dec. 17 Sat. Baltimore MD
Dec. 18 Sun. Baltimore MD
Dec. 19 Mon. Wilmington NC
Dec. 20 Tue. N. Charleston SC
Dec. 21 Wed. Charlottesville VA
Dec. 22 Thurs. Charlottesville
Dec. 23 Fri. Durham NC
Dec. 26 Mon. St. Petersburg FL
Dec. 27 Tue. St. Petersburg FL
Dec. 28 Wed. Sarasota FL
Dec. 29 Thurs. Lakeland FL
Nov. 04 Sun- Montreal
Nov. 10 Thu- Wenatchee, WA
Nov. 15 Tue. Calgary AB O'Reilly
Nov. 16 Wed. Calgary AB O'Reilly
Nov. 17 Thu Kamloops BC
Nov. 20 Sun. Surrey BC
Nov. 21 Mon. Nanaimo BC
Nov. 23 Wed. Edmonton AB
Nov. 24 thu Edmonton AB
Nov. 25 Fri. Saskatoon SK
Nov. 26 Sat. Saskatoon SK
Nov. 27 Sun. Prince Albert SK
Nov. 28 Mon. Regina SK O'Reilly
Nov. 29 Tue. Regina SK O'Reilly
Nov. 30 Wed. Grand Forks ND
Dec. 01 Thu Milwaukee WI
Dec. 02 Fri. Minneapolis MN
Dec. 03 Sat. Minneapolis MN
Dec. 04 Sun. Indianapolis IN
Dec. 05 Mon. Galesburg IL
Dec. 06 Tue. Galesburg IL
Dec. 07 Wed. Leavenworth KS
Dec. 08 Thu Wichita KS
Dec. 09 Fri. Denver CO
Dec. 10 Sat. Denver CO
Dec. 11 Sun. Farmington NM
Dec. 13 Tue. Cedar City UT
Dec. 14 Wed. Rancho Mirage CA
Dec. 15 Thu Santa Ynez CA
Dec. 16 Fri. Cupertino CA
Dec. 17 Sat. Santa Rosa CA
Dec. 18 Sun. La Mirada CA
Dec. 19 Mon. San Diego CA
Dec. 20 Tue. Phoenix AZ
Dec. 22 Thu Tucson AZ
Dec. 23 Fri. El Paso TX
Dec. 27 Tue. San Antonio TX
Dec. 28 Wed. San Antonio TX
Dec. 29 Thu New Orleans LA

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