Moscow Ballet has a long-standing commitment to peace incorporating specific choreography to highlight that ideal. Moscow Ballet dancers have advocated for world peace since 1993 through each Great Russian Nutcracker performance and recently through a physical presence at Maidan and Tahrir Squares.
In 2014, principal ballerina Olga Kifyak stood at Maidan Square with a white rose of peace as seen above. Earlier soloist Olga Aru was in Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring uprising avoiding bullets coming in studio windows and was later evacuated, see image above. Hailing from all corners of the former Soviet Union, Moscow Ballet artists dance from New York City to Los Angeles, and San Juan to Calgary for world peace, as they have done since Talmi Entertainment (TE) first brought Russian dancers to North America in 1980s.
Advocacy for world peace began with Bolshoi Ballet superstar Alexander Gudunov’s first American tour and defection; and Valentina Kozlova’s ”Leap to Freedom Tour,” and NYC Ballet career, in the early 1980s. During the 1989 to 1992 collapse of the “Iron Curtain,” TE produced International Glasnost Festival Tours featuring premiere Russian artists Prima Ballerina Assoluta Tatiana Chernobrovkina and Vadim Bondar of Stanislavski, Margarita Kullick and Vladimir Kim of Kirov, Jana Kurova and Stanislav Fecho of Czechoslovakia State Ballet and many more, who had never before been seen by American audiences. In 1993, Talmi Entertainment’s Great Russian Nutcracker premiered in North America. Choreographed by Honored Artist of Russia and Bolshoi soloist Stanislav Vlasov, it featured the non-traditional storyline of peace: Masha and Nutcracker are welcomed to the “Land of Peace and Harmony,” traditionally called the Land of Sweets, and are escorted there by the “Dove of Peace,” a character exclusive to Moscow Ballet and conceived for a female soloist. In 1998 Moscow Ballet also advocated for peace on behalf of freedom fighter and St. Petersburg Parliament member Galina Staravoitovna as written up in the Baltimore Sun.
For the 20th anniversary of the Great Russian Nutcracker in 2012, Sergei Chumakov and Elena Petrichenko, inspired by the 1957 Carnegie Hall performance of Vlasov and Sabitova (during US Tour of the Bolshoi Ballet presented by legendary impresario Sol Hurok), created and premiered Moscow Ballet’s 2 person “Dove of Peace” to critical acclaim. Chumakov and Petrichenko were invited to perform in the 1994 production of the Great Russian Nutcracker as Nutcracker Prince and young Masha by Russian legend Natalia Satz’, known for producing “Peter and the Wolf” in collaboration with Sergei Prokofiev and for her world renowned children’s theatre in Moscow (still in operation today). Twenty years later, New York Times Chief Dance Critic Alastair Macaulay declares, “Knockout male dancer Sergey Chumakov…when partnering Elena Petrachenko …confers an unusual thrill,” of their Great Russian Nutcracker performance at West Point Academy. Continuing Moscow Ballet’s tradition of seeking artistic freedom and cultural sharing, the touring company, who hail from the major Russian Ballet houses including Kazan, Stanislavsky, Perm, Kiev, Bolshoi, Odessa and more, dedicate the 2014 tour of Great Russian Nutcracker to world peace.
Moscow Ballet - In addition to the Great Russian Nutcracker, Moscow Ballet repertory includes classic ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and more. For over twenty years the company has performed 100 engagements annually in North America including in a majority of the top twenty demographic markets. Moscow Ballet has received critical acclaim from media outlets and was invited to present at 2 National Press Club Newsmaker events. In addition to the public performances, the company’s mission and national platform enables it to share the Russian Vaganova training with over 5000 local dance students annually in the “Dance with Us” program. “New Horizons - A Children’s Program for Life” is an intensive cultural immersion project that benefits thousands of school children and on-going programs Musical Wunderkind, Master Classes and Summer Intensives also touch the lives of many more children and young adults. Moscow Ballet’s partnership with corporations and not-for-profit organizations such as the President’s Challenge Program, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and Capezio over the past 20 years has raised awareness of and revenue for their significant missions and causes. www.moscowballet.com.