The 70th jubilee year of Imatra is kicked off by an Imatra Ballet event with the classic Giselle by Adolphe Adam. The ballet is performed by St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre, SPBT, as per the customary new year’s tradition.
St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre, founded by Konstantin Tachkin, is one of the best-known interpreters of classical ballet in the world. All 60 dancers in SPBT have graduated from the highly respected Vaganova Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg or other high-level Russian ballet academies..
The ballet company constantly tours six continents and several different countries. During the past year, SPBT has performed e.g. in Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Macao and Taiwan. For the past four years, SPBT has celebrated the beginning of the new year in Finland, in Imatra.
In the small, beautiful Karelia hall, Imatra has seen the shows the Nutcracker in 2014, Swan Lake in 2015, Don Quixote in 2016, the Sleeping Beauty in 2017, and now it’s Giselle’s turn in 2018.
Traditionally, Imatra Ballet events are marked by the artist, fashion designer Jukka Rintala’s exhibition and shop, which is open in the lobby of Culture House Virta during the ballet event.
Patron for the event is
Riitta Uosukainen, Counselor of State
Giselle represents the romantic style of ballet. It was first performed by the Paris Opera Ballet in the summer of 1841. A young peasant girl falls headlong in love with a handsome young man named Loys. Another main character is a young peasant boy madly in love with Giselle, who doesn’t notice him. The young peasant boy finds out that Giselle’s love, Loys, is in reality a disguised nobleman Albrecht, who’s already betrothed to the daughter of a duke. When she finds out the truth about Albrecht, Giselle loses her life.
In the second act of the ballet, Giselle has joined the Wilis, dead maidens disappointed by love. These spirits rise from their graves at night and appear in the forest. If a man meets the Wilis, they will make him dance until he dies. The Wilis also get their hands on Albrecht, who is wandering in the night-time forest. Giselle protects Albrecht from the other Wilis by dancing with him until morning breaks. Before she leaves, Giselle forgives Albrecht.
St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre, founded by Konstantin Tachkin in 1994, is one of the best-known, leading interpreters of classical ballet in the world. Their repertoire includes such masterpieces as Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère and the Sleeping Beauty.
SPBT gives on average 250 performances per year on different continents. What’s unique about SPBT is that it’s independent administratively and by ownership and completely independent of government funding.
SPBT is constantly the centerpiece of attention for international media as they perform on the largest stages of the world, such as the Coliseum and Royal Albert Hall in London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Palais des Congrès in Paris, Bankamura Hall in Tokio, National Theatre in Taipei or National Theatre in Beijing.
Respectable publications, such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, publish reviews from professional critics:
“SPBT performs classical ballet skillfully, with respect to the original foundation of ballet. Classical ballet is alive and well in competent hands.”
“SPBT has reached a unity of style and a refinement of execution. Not only the soloists but the company itself shows a high level of quality. The dancers have obviously received the best traditional and respected Russian training and interpret consistently the same language with their dance.”
“SPBT is a refined, first rate ensemble. Their systematic precision combines freshness of expression, academic strictness and respect for the repertoire.”