Although just 34-years-old, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia has forged a reputation as one of the nation’s leading ballet companies.
Next week, it returns to the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, presenting a triple bill of classic stories. We spoke to artistic director Sergei Bobrov about his work and the ballets being brought to life.
So what does a typical day involve as the artistic director of a prestigious ballet company when at your base in Krasnoyarsk and also, by comparison, when you are on tour?
“A typical day in Krasnoyarsk... I work with the team from 10am and until the end of the evening performance or rehearsal. But there is a ballet day time rest, and I need to work at this time with art workshops, because each performance requires very spectacular costumes and scenery. So my workload is from morning until late evening.
“We are currently showing our performances in Krasnoyarsk, getting ready for annual tour in the UK. This will be our 13th year so we are strongly attached to the tastes of the British audience.
“During a tour all is clear and calm, we come completely ready. And my task is only to maintain the quality. However the amount of performances is very big for the tour compared to Krasnoyarsk and it’s not easy.”
The company will be performing three separate productions in Blackpool for the 2015 tour. What is your overview on each of them?
“Swan Lake is a human dream of unearthly beauty and a desire to be reunited with it.
“Coppélia sees a young man, Franz, fall in love with a doll, Coppélia, much to the exasperation of his sweetheart Swanilda but true love is always very close in this comic ballet.
“In Giselle, betrayed true love for the sake of etiquette and everyday goods is always unrecoverable.”
When choreographing an original production of a classic ballet like those performed on tour how long does the process take, from initial planning to when the production opens? Can you provide an example which may relate to one of the performances on this year’s tour?
“From the moment of conception of the idea to realization of the performance passes approximately one and a half years. As an example, the conversation about ballet The Snow Maiden with our promoter Raymond Gubbay took place last year, and the premiere will be held in the UK in December 2015.
You were a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. What is your favourite memory as a performer and which was your favourite role to perform?
“The main memory is the feeling that you are part of the great mechanism bound for success.
“This state is always present with me when I’m working with the Siberian ballet. My favorite role was Rothbart the evil genius in Swan Lake.”
What advice would you give to a young ballerina interested in aiming for a career as a dancer?
“A young ballerina should be totally focused on the profession, prepared to work hard and try to meet and work with masters. And, most importantly, to dance well. Dance as much as possible, so that when you’re on stage, you are not thinking about the material, this benefits in the first step of work.”
The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia will be at Grand Theatre, Church Street, Blackpool for: Coppelia, Friday, January 9, 7.30pm; The Nutcracker, Saturday, January 10, 2pm and 7.30pm; Swan Lake, Sunday, January 11, 2pm and 5.30pm. Call (01253) 290190 for tickets.