On July 5, a unique Gala Ballet program, featuring world classical masterpieces and works by outstanding choreographers of the 20th and 21st centuries, was presented to the Lithuanian audience by the Astana Opera Ballet Company. Thousands of tourists and residents of the city, who have gathered in an open area near the famous Kaunas Castle, expressed their appreciation and delight with stormy ovations and shouts of “bravo”.
Pas de deux from Adolphe Adam’s ballet Giselle opened an extensive two-part program, authored by the Artistic Director of the Astana Opera Ballet Company, People’s Artist of Russia Altynai Asylmuratova. An excellent young Soloist Anastasia Zaklinskaya and her partner, Principal Dancer Olzhas Tarlanov portrayed fragile Giselle and Duke Albrecht. The ballerina managed to masterfully perform the part of the ethereal Wili and tell the touching love story with the expressive language of dance. The oldest brick castle in Lithuania, built in the middle of the 14th century at the confluence of the rivers Nemunas and Neris, served as a picturesque setting for this fantasy ballet. In the second part of the concert, Anastasia Zaklinskaya skillfully transformed into the Eastern beauty Zobeide from Michel Fokine’s ballet Scheherazade to the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The ballet Soloist Serik Nakyspekov performed the role of the Golden Slave.
Following the tender Giselle, the passionate gypsy Carmen appeared onstage. A duet from the eponymous ballet by the eminent 20th century choreographer Roland Petit to the music by Georges Bizet was presented to the Lithuanian viewers. Expressive acting and sensual plastique of the Honoured Workers of Kazakhstan Gaukhar Ussina and Rustem Seitbekov did not leave anyone indifferent.
A duet from the ballet Sounds of Time by Kazakh composer Aktoty Raimkulova staged by Swiss choreographer Ksenia Zvereva represents a fascinating tale, filled with ancient magic, where myth and today’s reality intertwine. The heroes, possessing mysterious power, who become immersed in the turmoil of events, were portrayed by Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Anel Rustemova and Olzhas Tarlanov. Examples of the creative work of modern national and foreign authors also included numbers: Kuat Shildebayev’s Tamyr choreographed by Anvara Sadykova, Ksenia Zvereva’s Lost Paradise to the music by John Williams.
The festive atmosphere pervaded everything around; the dancers pulled out all the stops, delighting the residents of Kaunas with the performance of Ludwig Minkus’ Indian Dance from La Bayadère, Gypsy Dance (revised by Elena Sherstneva) from Don Quixote, pas de deux from Adolphe Adam’s Le Corsaire, pas de deux from Riccardo Drigo’s Harlequinade. Principal Dancer Yerkin Rakhmatullayev, Soloists Daler Zaparov, Shugyla Adepkhan, ballet dancers Zhanibek Imankulov, Natalya Kondya, Nazira Zayetova, Sultanbek Gumar, Galymzhan Nurmukhamet, Bostan Kozhabekov, Daniyar Zhumatayev and others presented their art to the viewers.
The performance of Étoiles of the Astana Opera Ballet Company Honoured Workers of Kazakhstan Aigerim Beketayeva and Bakhtiyar Adamzhan caused particular admiration of the audience. The Principals performed a duet from the famous 20th century ballet Notre-Dame de Paris staged by Roland Petit to the music by Maurice Jarre. Exquisite beauty, sincerity, grace and playfulness of Aigerim Beketayeva’s Esmeralda touched the hearts, the ballerina ‘shone’ in this difficult part, demonstrating a bright artistic temperament, professional expertise and the highest level of technical skills.
Named by international experts and critics as “ideal”, Bakhtiyar Adamzhan’s interpretation of the immensely complicated plastique of the deformed body and the angelic purity of the soul of the crippled bell-ringer Quasimodo was a resounding success with the audience. The power and energy of the dance, airborne leaps, impeccable technique and unsurpassed acting skills of the Principal Dancer’s have won over ballet lovers from many countries of the world. Kaunas was no exception: Lithuanian connoisseurs of choreographic art joined the ranks of admirers of the talent of Kazakh dancers. The Grand Pas from Ludwig Minkus’ Don Quixote performed by the world ballet stars Aigerim Beketayeva and Bakhtiyar Adamzhan became an enchanting conclusion to the evening.
According to the audience, the performance of the Kazakh ballet company was a real celebration of classical art and a great gift for the residents and guests of Kaunas.
“The performers showed us a high culture of dance, technical and acting skills. The dancers’ professionalism is beyond praise. It is obvious that each of them has a bright individuality, artistic charisma and their own personal style. The lines of the ballerinas’ arms and legs were flawless; they were like poetry in motion. The company is undoubtedly in great shape. I would also like to note the genre variety and contrast of the numbers in the interesting, rich and well-thought-out concert program. I liked everything: both classical ballets and contemporary numbers, it was truly an impressive sight! I hope that today’s performance in Kaunas will be far from the last,” viewer Agnė Raude said.
The tour of the Astana Opera Ballet Company to Kaunas was organized with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan within the framework of the “Rukhani Zhangyru” program.