Moscow Festival Ballet dazzles at Anderson Center

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

The Moscow Festival Ballet returned to Binghamton University this past Monday (April 7) with elegantly executed excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. Artistic director  for the performance, which took place in the Anderson Center, was retired Bolshoi Ballet dancer Sergei Radchenko, who founded the dance company in 1989.

The show began with a classic scene from The Sleeping Beauty in which Princess Aurora celebrates her 16th birthday and meets her suitors. The piece featured Maria Sokolnikova as the beloved princess alongside four cavaliers: Evgeniy Rudakov, Alexander Yakovlev, Oleg Pichugin and Rustem Aasanov. Sokolnikova was a vision in pink, an inspiration for the aspiring little dancers in the audience sporting tutus as well.

The piece was followed by an excerpt from the classic Russian ballet The Little Humpbacked Horse, which takes place in a magical underwater world. Here, it was the ladies who shone once again, with Hanna Kimovchenko and Maria Kluyeva’s perfectly synchronized movements keeping viewers in awe.

By far, the best performances of the night were by the leads in the Act III grand pas  de deux from Don Quixote, which featured a large part of the company dancing to the music of Ludvig Minkus. Alexander Gorsky’s choreography of the piece highlighted the best of the troupe. Eldar Sarsembaev’s solo dancing featured perfectly executed tours a la seconde (turns on one leg with the other raised and extended throughout), and Sokolinikova’s fouettes (quick whipping movement of the raised leg while turning on the other) amazed during the second variation.

All in all, Radchenko’s troupe brought a sense of delicacy and precision in movement that this reviewer has not seen for a very long time. Here’s hoping they’ll come back soon.

COMING UP: The next big event at the Anderson Center will be a concert featuring Justin Hayward, the legendary voice of the Moody Blues, at 8 p.m. Monday, May 19. For more information, visit the Anderson Center web site (anderson.binghamton.edu).

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