Russian National Ballet Theatre presents two great ballets and a grand pas in one single evening

Natalia Dagenhart
Updated 4/24/2018 10:14 AM
  • "Romeo and Juliet," "Carmen Suite" and "Chopiniana" will be presented by the Russian National Ballet Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville. Courtesy of the Russian National Ballet Theatre

    "Romeo and Juliet," "Carmen Suite" and "Chopiniana" will be presented by the Russian National Ballet Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville. Courtesy of the Russian National Ballet Theatre

"Ballet is a dance executed by the human soul," said famous Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. This statement can be applied to the Russian National Ballet Theatre, with its dancers putting their soul into their dancing and adding their personal touch and sincerity to each of their performances. Russian National Ballet Theatre will create an atmosphere of passion and elegance by performing two full-length one-act ballets "Romeo and Juliet" and "Carmen Suite" and a grand pas "Chopiniana" at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at historic Pfeiffer Hall, which is part of North Central College and is located in walking distance from downtown Naperville.

Russian National Ballet Theatre is well-known by Naperville residents and the performance of these two ballets is highly anticipated. North Central College, being one of the most reputable colleges in the Chicago area, is happy that Pfeiffer Hall has become one of the regular locations for Russian National Ballet Theatre's performances. In April, 2015 this ballet company brought to Pfeiffer Hall Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," and in April, 2017 it successfully presented Adolphe Adam's "Giselle."

Russian National Ballet Theatre dancers love this location too, although they have to keep in mind that the stage at Pfeiffer Hall is a little bit too small, which makes it hard to give ballet performances on it. However, challenges make these highly professional dancers even more enthusiastic and willing to demonstrate their talent and the legendary Russian ballet dancing traditions. These dancers received the best ballet training and are so experienced, talented and adaptable, that the audience will have a feeling that the dancers are flying in the air without experiencing any difficulties while presenting one of the best performances ever.

It is important to note that the Russian National Ballet Theatre is one of the best private classical ballet companies in Russia. It includes over fifty experienced and talented dancers. The company was established in Moscow in 1989. At that time, many Soviet dancers and choreographers started their own dance companies that combined the timeless traditions of classical Russian Ballet and new dance experiences from around the world. One such organization was the Russian National Ballet Theatre.

The legendary Bolshoi Theater principal dancer Elena Radchenko became the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, and in 1994 by Presidential decree she was selected to be the first permanent artistic director of the company. Since then, the Russian National Ballet Theatre has been one of the leading Russian ballet companies and has been greatly appreciated and valued all around the world. The company's performance of "Romeo and Juliet," "Carmen Suite" and "Chopiniana" in Naperville is part of their big annual North American tour.

The full-length one-act ballet "Romeo and Juliet" is a brilliant masterpiece as it is based on William Shakespeare's timeless tragedy and on the touching music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The audience will recognize the passionate melodic lines and rich orchestration that demonstrate the whole spectrum of emotions and feelings between the Montagues and their enemies, the Capulets, and between two young innocent people, Romeo and Juliet, who fell in love to each other despite the conflict between their families.

This particular production is unique as the Russian National Ballet presents its own version of "Romeo and Juliet." Original choreography was designed by Marius Petipa; later it was restaged by Elena Radchenko with Alexander Daev being a choreography assistant. Libretto, the sets and the costumes were created by Elena and Sergey Radchenko. The Russian National Ballet Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" is also unique because Elena Radchenko combined Tchaikovsky's Fantasy-Overture "Romeo and Juliet" and his Symphony number 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathetique." The merging of some parts of these two great works created a distinctive full-length one-act ballet, which is the only one of its kind. It premiered in 2010 in Moscow, and now the Russian National Ballet Theatre is happy to present this masterpiece to its American audiences.

"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo," said Shakespeare; or maybe there was one? The Russian National Ballet Theatre will question these words by presenting to its audience another masterpiece that ends tragically -- the ballet "Carmen Suite." At the end of this production, Carmen, the main heroine, is being stabbed by José, a temperamental and jealous man who loves her.

"Carmen Suite" is a full-length one-act ballet created in 1967 by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso to music written by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin for his wife, prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Shchedrin used Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen" that was based on a touching story by Prosper Merimee and arranged it for strings and percussion. He added new fresh instrumental colors, rhythms and musical phrases and created a masterpiece suited to be performed in the form of a ballet production. Additional choreography and staging were created by Iryna Kovalova. The premier of "Carmen Suite" took place on April 20, 1967 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

This ballet consists of thirteen beautiful dance numbers with each number being a complete dance representing a particular character or situation of the story. The Russian National Ballet dancers are eager to demonstrate their own understanding of this timeless masterpiece and their outstanding dancing techniques and passionate illustration of Shchedrin's "Carmen Suite." Free-spirited Carmen, fickle Don José, popular bullfighter Escamillo, Fate, who represents Carmen's alter ego, and other characters --the dancers who play these characters can't wait to tell this tragic story to Chicago area ballet lovers.

Russian National Ballet will also introduce a grand pas "Chopiniana," which is a suite of dances that serves as a showpiece for lead dancers and demi-soloists. Based on touching music by Frederic Chopin with a suite of piano pieces orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov, choreography by Mikhail Fokine, and sets and costumes by Elena and Sergei Radchenko, this great ballet will carry the audience on the waves of gorgeous themes, moods and feelings.

Tickets are available at the North Central College Box Office 630-637-SHOW (7469) or at and range from $40 to $25. Don't miss the beauty and pageantry of the Russian National Ballet Theatre!

Natalia Dagenhart

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