Special to the E-T

Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and Tarleton State University Fine Arts Department are proud to bring back the Moscow Ballet, performing at repertory concert of selected classical ballet favorites on Monday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center.

Steeped in the highest tradition of Russian ballet excellence, this internationally acclaimed Moscow Ballet will showcase signature dances from a broad array of beloved ballet favorites including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and other classical adagio repertoire. The dances will be performed under the direction of Ballet Master Andrei Litvinov.

Acclaimed for exquisite dancing, spectacular sets and costumes, critics rave that the Moscow Ballet Repertory Concert is “flawless, breathtaking and dazzling!” Whimsical and imaginative storytelling blends with the richness of Russian classical dance to make the performance a treat for everyone. Thrilled to have the Moscow Ballet return to Stephenville, Julie Crouch, director of the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, gushes, “We hope this will become a holiday tradition!” July Danley, president/CEO of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce adds, “The Chamber is excited to be a partner in bringing a cultural event of this caliber to Stephenville for our members as well as families from surrounding communities to enjoy.”

The story of the Nutcracker was first introduced in 1816, when German writer E.T.A. Hoffman published The Nutracker and the Mouse King. The story was a dark fairytale. In 1844, French writer, Alexander Dumas, also known for his classic fiction books including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, wrote a revised, child-friendly version titled The Story of Hazelnut-Cracker. It was this version of the story that Frenchman Marius Petipa, Choreographer, and first Ballet Master to the Czar of Russia, found ideas for the story of the Nutcracker ballet. In 1891, Petipa, whose choreography credits include Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quixote and The Nutcracker, commissioned composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky to compose the music for The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was first performed at the Maryinsky Theater on December 17, 1892 in St. Petersburg.

The Moscow Ballet features Sergei Chumakov and Elena Petrichenko in the Arabian variation. The couple is known for their dare-devil moves combining the line and beauty of ballet with the showmanship of the circus. Chumakov and Petrichenko first danced with Moscow Ballet in 1994 when Moscow Ballet and the Moscow State Academic Children’s Music Theater Named after Natalia Sats (the world's first professional theater for children and perhaps best known internationally as the birthplace of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf) toured the Great Russian Nutcracker with a troupe of 100. Since 2001 they have been principal dancers with the Crown of Russia Ballet performing leading roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Pachita, The Nutcracker, and more. They are principal dancers with the Magdeburg Opera and Ballet Theatre in Germany dancing classical and modern repertoire and with the Russian Theatre in Berlin. They also perform as adage dancers for Las Vegas productions on Carnival Cruise Lines. Their earliest work was with the Moscow State Ballet Company, Bolshoi Theatre; as principal dancers with the Classic and Modern Choreography Theatre, Moscow; with Russian Classical Ballet Theatre; the Classical and Modern Choreography Theatre; and the Russian Ballet of the 21st Century. Chumakov and Petrichenko are graduates of the State Academic Choreography Institute in Perm, Russia majoring in the Classical Choreography Section. They have traveled and worked in countries including USA, Canada, Spain, England, Norway, Germany, Argentina, Ireland, Qatar, Malta, Israel, Mexico, and Jordan.

Andrei Litvinov is on his inaugural tour as Ballet Master. Litvinov danced the archetypal Soviet Prince roles and led the Chisinau State Opera and Ballet in most of the leading roles of the Russian Classics including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beaty, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Spartacus and more. He was Director of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Moldova and an Honored Artist of the Moldova Republic. He graduated from the Moscow Academic Choreographic College, known informally as the “Bolshoi School” in 1982; the Chisinau Choreographic College in 1986 and the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in 2003. He is a Laureate of the International Ballet Competition in Romania, 1996; Yuri Grigorovich IBC, 2000; Danovsky IBC, and the Diagelev Prize. He has toured the USA, Germany, Italy, Greece, England, Spain, and Egypt. The Moscow Ballet is proud to again be working with Mr. Litvinov.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 & under and are available at the Tarleton Box Office, Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council and the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call (254) 965-6191.