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With Utmost Grace & Poise

Friday, March 09, 2018

Anindra Siqueira speaks with Royal Russian Ballet director, Anatoliy Kazatskiy

Last year, production house Navrasa Duende brought to India the world famous Swan Lake ballet, a timeless story of good versus evil. Performed by the Royal Russian Ballet (RRB) troupe, performances held in Delhi went off tremendously well, and so Navrasa Duende founder, Dinesh Singh just had to bring them back for another helping of the graceful art, this time with a series of performances planned in Mumbai. We caught up with the Artistic Director and Producer of the Royal Russian Ballet, Anatoliy Kazatskiy, for his thoughts on bringing the ballet to India.

What can Mumbai audiences expect from the RRB’s Swan Lake performances?

Audiences can expect a powerful combination of music, dance and drama that is quite cinematic in nature. I know Indians enjoy cinema a lot, and they will immensely enjoy the intense drama and the romance in Swan Lake.

What were some of the troupe’s biggest challenges of performing in Delhi last year?

On overseas tours, we need to take a microscopic look at all aspects of production — from stage decoration to stage size, curtain arrangements, lighting and sound provisions, green room facilities and costume co-ordination.

The challenge we faced in New Delhi last year was that the stage was not large enough. But, we got over the limitation through creative set design, while the choreographers made excellent use of the space. We are quite optimistic that now that we have performed in India, we will be able to better understand what we need to focus on in our production.

March is always hot in Mumbai. Were there any difficulties, or anything different, with practising here?

We have travelled and performed in tougher conditions! The prospect of performing in Mumbai overweighs all odds.

Ballet is gaining attention in the country, and last year we saw the Ballet Festival of India. What do you expect, or see coming in the future, from ballet in India?

It seems to be an exciting time for ballet in India, and the timing right now is perfect to create a community around ballet. Also, there should be more efforts to train young enthusiasts in this dance form and help nurture a generation of ballet dancers who can take this art forward in India.

What are you expecting from Mumbai audiences?

We are all very excited to come back to India and perform in Mumbai, especially since our show in New Delhi was such a massive success with the audience. As artists, we are thrilled just to be performing and to satisfy the audience’s urge for good art.

Apart from directing Swan Lake here in Mumbai, what do you plan to do in the city? Are there any sights you are keen on seeing, or food that you are looking forward to tasting?

Our rehearsal schedule over the last few days has been gruelling. But, if I do manage to take some time out after the show, I would like to see and feel more of the city of Mumbai.

Tickets: Rs 2,000 onwards

When: March 13 to 25, 2.30pm and 7pm

Where: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point

Contact: 66223737 and

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