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RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE PRESENTS "CINDERELLA" AND "SLEEPING BEAUTY"
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE
Friday, March 20, 2009 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 8 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 12, 2009 –The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow in the late 1980s during the transitional period of Perestroika, when many great dancers and choreographers of the former Soviet Union began exercising their newfound freedom by starting new, vibrant companies, bringing a fresh, invigorating spirit to the timeless tradition of classical ballet. Described by The Washington Post as “a cut above many of its rivals,” this spectacular company brings two classical Russian ballets to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on two consecutive nights. Russian National Ballet Theatre performs “Cinderella” on Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m. and “Sleeping Beauty” on Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.
“Cinderella” is the classic story of the lowly servant girl who is tormented by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, but with the help of her fairy godmother, gets to go to the ball at the palace, and eventually wins the heart of her prince. The sumptuous costumes, jubilant music by Prokofiev, lush scenery and hilarious double-roles of the stepsisters make the Russian National Ballet Theatre’s presentation of this masterpiece and evening not to be missed.
“Sleeping Beauty” is the magical tale of the beautiful princess who waits in slumber to be awakened by the kiss of her prince. Manius Petipa’s brilliant choreography, considered by many to be the crowing jewel of his career, is enriched by the resplendent sets and costumes of this stunning production. Combine all this with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score – which he himself said was perhaps the best piece of music he had ever written – and the masterful movements of these Russian dancers, and the result is an evening of awe-inspiring artistry.
In 1994, legendary Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Elena Radchenko was selected by presidential decree to become artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, and she has focused the company on upholding the grand national tradition of the major Russian ballets and developing new talents throughout Russia, with a repertory that includes virtually all of the great full works of Petipa: “Don Quixote,” “La Bayadere,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “Raymonda,” “Paquita,” “Coppélia” and “La Sylphide,” as well as productions of, among others, “The Nutcracker,” “Sylvia” and “La Fille Mal Gardee.” Today, the Russian National Ballet Theatre is its own institution, with more than 50 dancers of singular instruction and vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since its inception.
The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.
Tickets for RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE are $54, $46, $27. Family Friendly! All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.
About George Mason University
George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.