DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Internationally renowned ballerina Svetlana Zakharova – the Bolshoi’s prima and the first and only Russian Etoile at Teatro alla Scala – is famous for thrilling audiences and critics all over the world with her formidable technique and her sparkling dramatic interpretation of classical and contemporary roles.
A towering figure in the 21st century ballet, Zakharova comes to the Dubai Opera in January with MODANSE, a double bill produced by MuzArts. She will be joined onstage by a star-studded cast of dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet including Mikhail Lobukhin, Vaycheslav Lopatin, Denis Savin, Artemy Belyakov, Anastasia Stashkevich and Ana Turazashvili.
The night will open with a ballet Come Un Respiro (Like a Breath) by Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, created specifically for Svetlana Zakharova. The musical basis of the performance is formed from various pieces by George Frideric Handel. Incidentally, the Baroque period is present not only in the music, but also in dance choreography emphasized by stylish and daring costumes, designed exclusively for the ballet, by Helena de Medeiros.
The second part of the performance will feature a tribute to the legend of fashion Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. Ballet Gabrielle Chanel is the collaboration between choreographer Yury Possokhov, composer Ilya Demutsky and with Alexei Frandetti; who created the libretto and acted as director.
CHANEL Fashion House studio, headed by Artistic Director Virginie Viard, has created more than 80 costumes specifically for Gabrielle Chanel ballet.
The performance narrates Chanel’s journey from an obscure provincial singer to head of one of the most influential Fashion Houses; a journey that forever overturned the world of the 20th century fashion. Chanel was inspired by the movement dance, as a metaphor of freedom, as a language and as an expression of beauty. She had fruitful collaborations with the greatest artists and choreographers of her time. She supported Ballets Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev – who revolutionised the art of dance – to re-stage The Rite of Spring in 1920. She also designed costumes for both Le Train Bleu in 1924 and Apollon Musagete in 1929 in Paris.
MODANSE Double Bill
Total duration: ~2 hours 10 minutes
- COME UN RESPIRO (LIKE A BREATH) (UAE Premiere)
Duration: 45 minutes
Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti
Music: George Frideric Handel
Costumes: Helena de Medeiros
Lighting: Carlo Cerri
Svetlana Zakharova, Denis Savin, Artemy Belyakov,
Mikhail Lobukhin, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Ana Turazashvili,
Anastasia Stashkevich, Victoria Litvinova, Marfa Fyodorova,
Oxana Sharova, Anita Pudikova, Anna Zakaraya,
Karim Abdullin, Alexei Gaynutdinov, Anton Gaynutdinov,
Duration: 25 minutes
- GABRIELLE CHANEL (UAE Premiere)
Duration: 60 minutes
Choreography: Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ilya Demutsky
Libretto, Direction: Alexei Frandetti
Set design: Maria Tregubova
Video design: Ilya Starilov
Lighting: Ivan Vinogradov
Gabrielle Chanel Svetlana Zakharova
Chanel’s Sister / Aunt Ana Turazashvili
Étienne Balsan Mikhail Lobukhin
Arthur Capel Artemy Belyakov
Perfumer Denis Savin
Serge Lifar / Apollo / Golfer Vyacheslav Lopatin
MODANSE double bill was created by MuzArts ballet production company specifically for Svetlana Zakharova.
It received its world premiere on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre on June 22nd, 2019.
GENERAL PRODUCER: Yuri Baranov
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Kate Matlashenko
HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS: Tim Ovsenni
The UAE premiere is presented by MuzArts in collaboration with M Premiere.
Svetlana Zakharova on her role as the great Coco Chanel:
“The first transformation took place before the photo session when I had my makeup and hair done like hers and I put on her costume and saw ‘Chanel’ in the mirror. I had already done a lot of research, reading biographies, watching films about Chanel’s life, even visited her apartment in Paris where her collections of jewellery, costumes, shoes and perfumes are kept. Chanel loved Russian ballet, Russian people and she adored Russian fashion models. Those aristocratic women, who had to leave Russia, worked for her and created incredibly beautiful things. My task now is to inhabit her character and to dance her image with all her emotions and experiences as I feel it.”
Composer Ilya Demutsky:
“As soon as I learned that the ballet was being created for Svetlana Zakharova and was going to be choreographed by Yury Possokhov, I immediately agreed to a proposal by MuzArts. I have worked with Yury Possokhov before – on ballets ‘A Hero of Our Time’ and ‘Nureyev’, and Svetlana brilliantly implemented my musical score on stage, but those were different images and absolutely different intonations. This time we were united by the story of life and creative work of the magnificent Gabrielle Chanel.
During our work on this performance, I was present at rehearsals and saw the way Svetlana and Yury worked – their persistent search and all-consuming labour, which then gradually transformed into the very essence of naturalness when choreography is literally absorbed into the body. And then comes the moment when I “hear” my music through my eyes, I no longer need the orchestra because I can literally see my music.
In the music, which I wrote for this performance I insist on sensuality, the unique quality without which a Woman cannot create – exactly this way, with a capital “W”, and the great Mademoiselle Coco was and remains in history precisely such a Woman. My music, slightly flavoured with a French aroma, has room for both light-heartedness and tragedy, brief fascination and deep feelings. The music turned out to be intense, multifaceted, quite tricky to perform, absorbing and sporadically brilliant. Just like the whole life of Coco Chanel.”
Libretto writer and director Alexei Frandetti:
“I love to step out of my comfort zone and throw myself into something absolutely new and unknown. The proposal made by MuzArts Production Company to create not just a performance, but a ballet about the legendary character that has rocked the world of fashion looked like total insanity and a challenge to myself. I doubted whether her story could be danced at all, let alone fit it into one act. My doubts melted when I started my first rehearsal with Svetlana and felt the magic she radiates when she dances. Not so much dances as lives, breathes with her heroine and conveys it to the public.”
General producer of MuzArts Yury Baranov:
“Svetlana Zakharova is a great dancer of the 21st century, her talent multiplied by never-ending labour and never-ending search of herself in art inspires admiration and respect. For such a dancer you want to invent something unconventional, new and surround her with talented people so that together they achieve incredible heights. At MuzArts we’re passionate about presenting world-class ballet to audiences all over the world and we are absolutely delighted to be presenting this very exciting double bill in Dubai this January for the very first time. The programme, which we named MODANSE, was created specifically for the world’s greatest ballet star Svetlana Zakharova and also features many of the world’s top ballet performers – a superb company of dancers and they all look forward to performing at the Dubai Opera.”