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Moscow Ballet Will Make Southland Debut

May 09, 1987|LEWIS SEGAL | Dance Writer

Shortly after the mighty Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow returns to Los Angeles this summer after an eight-year absence, a smaller company from the same city will dance in Southern California on its first American tour.

Augmented by six guest principals, the 24-member Moscow Ballet will appear in Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for seven performances, Oct. 22 to 28.

Ironically, the leading dancer and artistic director of the company is Vyacheslav Gordeyev, 38, a Bolshoi star missing from the Bolshoi tour this summer--for reasons more related to politics within the Bolshoi, some sources suggest, than any lack of dancing prowess.

The Pasadena engagement of the Moscow Ballet (Oct. 22 to 25) will be sponsored by Ambassador Foundation, and the Music Center dates (Oct. 26 to 28) by Premiere Dance, the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based dancewear manufacturers who are producing the three-month, 21-city U.S. tour.

Lubov Kunakova, a Kirov Ballet principal who danced leading roles with that company in Los Angeles last May, is scheduled to be a guest artist with the Moscow Ballet for the tour, as is Vadim Pisarev, principal of the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, and a gold-medalist at the Moscow (1985) and Jackson (1986) International Ballet Competitions.

Founded by Soviet dancer, ballet mistress and teacher Irina Tikhomirnova, the Moscow Ballet has previously toured the Soviet Union, France, Portugal and Mexico.

Gordeyev became its artistic director a year ago. A recipient of the Soviet Union's highest artistic honors, Gordeyev has made a major comeback from serious injury (a torn Achilles tendon) in recent years. However, since his separation from his wife, Bolshoi ballerina Nadezhda Pavlova, he has been rumored to be in disfavor with Bolshoi artistic director Yuri Grigorovich.

According to William Merriman, Premiere Dance co-producer (with Dave Hermon), programming for the tour is intended to mix staples of the international classical repertory with Soviet specialties and contemporary works by Gordeyev never seen in this country. The tentative American repertory is as follows:

Program 1--"Paquita" variations (Petipa), "Passacaglia" (Gordeyev), "La Bayadere" variations (Petipa), "Gopak" (Zakharov), "Melody" (Messerer), "Moskovsky Waltz" (Vainonen), "Diana and Actaeon" pas de deux (Vaganova), "Don Quixote" variations (Petipa).

Program 2--"La Vivandiere" pas de six (Saint-Leon), "Grand Pas Donizetti" (Gordeyev), "Swan Lake," Act 2 (Ivanov), "Sleeping Beauty" pas de deux (Petipa), "Walpurgis Nacht" (L. Lavrovsky).

Program 3--"Raymonda" variations (Petipa), "Paganini" (Gordeyev), "Black Swan" pas de deux (Petipa), "Ocean and Pearls" pas de trois (Gorsky), "Spring Waters" (Messerer), "Giselle" Act 2 pas de deux (Perrot/Coralli/Petipa), "Satanella" pas de deux (Petipa), "Flames of Paris" pas de deux (Vainonen), plus an additional Gordeyev ballet.

New digital tapes (to be recorded in the Soviet Union this summer) will accompany the dancers, Merriman said.

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