I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see one of the two performances the Kyiv City Ballet of Ukraine offered in Chicago at the Auditorium Theatre. This rare engagement by the Kyiv City Ballet kicks off the Auditorium Theatre’s 2022-23 performance season.
This past February, the day before Ukraine was invaded, the Kyiv City Ballet boarded a flight for Paris and a long-planned tour. Unknown to them, it would be the last time they’d be in Ukraine.
Taking shelter in France, the company has been welcomed and continued to perform throughout the region and other parts of Europe since the Russian invasion began. Against all odds, this company stands as the “voice of resistance” on the global stage.
Hearing about this company, Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan worked to schedule an engagement in Chicago, which fortunately birthed an exclusive U.S. tour this autumn. (Chicago is one of twelve cities on the U. S . tour. )
“[Kyiv City Ballet] has an important story to tell. This is a company that has a great deal of passion. They are truly ambassadors for their home country and dancing with a passion like you’ve never seen before,” said Regan.
Coming to the Auditorium Theatre in person was a treat and It has been several years since I was last here. I am struck by the beauty that surrounds me when I am here and I love to see dance here.
The dance began quickly. The first number was Thoughts, a modern fascinating and intricate work with music by Nils Frahm, Burkhard Dallwitz, Max Richter, and Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy , and Choreographyby Vladyslav Dobshynskyi
It was brilliantly Performed by: Kateryna Chebykina, Vsevolod Maievskyi, Vladyslav Dobshynskyi, Maryna Apanasenko, artists of the Kyiv City Ballet The music was hypnotic, the dance movement intricate. The visual effect was unusual and the story of the main characters was captivating.
The next number Tribute to Peace was created especially by Kyiv City Ballet for the USA 2022 tour. With music by Edward Elgar and choreography byIvan Kozlov, Ekaterina Kozlova Performed by theArtists of the Kyiv City Ballet, it speaks the darkness surrounding us in the world, and offers light and pleasantness and shows what could be. The projection and costumes were wonderful as was the dancing.
The last number was Classical Suite which presented snippets of ballets that many in the audience know and love. The costumes were such fun.
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa, Ivan Kozlov
Paquita Pas de Deux:
Kristina Kadashevych, Danyil Podhrushko
La Bayadere Pas de Deux:
Oksana Bondarenko, Ivan Avdijevski
Don Quixote Pas de Deux:
Kateryna Chebykina, Vsevolod Maievskyi And artists of the Kyiv City Ballet
Wedding pas de deux from three classical ballets; Paquita, La Bayadere, and Don Quixote.
The composer for all three pieces is the same, but they have been written in different styles.
Paquita premiered in 1846, La Bayadere in 1877, and Don Quixote in 1869.
(Comments from program notes.) “Although these ballets are over a century old, they are still some of the most popular performances today. The pas de deux remain relevant throughout time due to their universal themes.
Classical Suite is performed by the principal dancers of Kyiv City Ballet and gives the audience a look at exquisite classical ballet as the third act of the performance. “
About Kyiv City Ballet of Ukraine & Artistic Director Ivan Kozlov
The Kyiv City Ballet was founded in 2012 by the current Artistic Director Ivan Kozlov. Their mission is to bring joy to audiences through ballet. They strive to bring exemplary artists to theatres around the world. In the past decade, they have successfully worked together with various partners and toured throughout dozens of countries and fourcontinents. Their classical ballets include Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Scheherazade, Giselle, Chopiniana, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Gala Tchaikovsky, Funny Concert,Strauss Evening, and Carmen Suite. In addition are ballets for young spectators and their families, including Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aibolitand Barmalei,and Coppelia,as well ascurrent worksThoughts, Tribute to Peace, and Classical Suite.Ex-Premier of the National Opera of Ukraine, The St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet, IBT (Internationale Ballet Theater), and the Mariinsky Theatre; choreographer and teacher, Ivan Anatolievich Kozlovwas born December 13, 1982. In 2000, after graduating from the KGHU (Kiyv State Choreographic School), under the tutelage of the Honored Artist of Ukraine, Vladimir Denisenko, Kozlov was invited to join the ballet troupe of the National Opera of Ukraine, and simultaneously to the world-famous troupe of Boris Eifman in St. Petersburg. He worked as an artist in both troupes.
Photos are courtesy of Kyiv City Ballet of Ukraine. Tickets
About The Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark that originally opened in 1889.
This rare engagement by the Kyiv City Ballet kicks off the Auditorium Theatre’s 2022-23 performance season featuring a dynamic mix of acclaimed global dance companies (Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Step Afrika!, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, American Ballet Theatre, and the much anticipated annual engagement by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) while closer to home, beloved Chicago dance companies also take the stage (Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, South Chicago Dance Theatre, and special guest, NY-based Dorrance Dance with Trinity Irish Dance Company and M.A.D.D. Rhythms. In addition, the critically acclaimed National Geographic Live film/speaker series, offering first-hand accounts and expert voices on cultural and environmental issues of the day, returns with three offerings and a lower ticket price. And rounding out the season will be two holiday music concert specials in December: the popular Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah and Celtic Woman.
For more information on the Auditorium Theatre and a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.