Moscow Festival Ballet: Appreciating the Art of Dance

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Annie Mohr and Araya Jackson

A world of elaborate costumes, divine poise and theatrical music makes the Moscow Festival Ballet’s performance of “Sleeping Beauty” a one of a kind event for the Statesboro area.

According to Columbia Artists Management, a website about the Moscow Festival Ballet, they were founded back in 1989, when dancer Sergei Radchenko decided to combine principles of two already existing ballets and form a new independent company. He is the group’s artistic director, and he strives to ensure a lasting representation of classical Russian theater.

Since its establishment, the group has completed two European tours, two United Kingdom tours, a two month tour of Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong and performed at festivals in Turkey and Greece. This renowned group started in the United States in 1997 with a Coast-to-Coast tour, and has come back sporadically years since. This 2016 tour is their first since 2014.

Although many may find ballet okay to be outside of their comfort zone,it doesn’t take a professional dancer to enjoy the art. Ballet encompasses an athleticism and grace that can be appreciated by anyone.

Stacie McDaniel, interim director at the Performing Arts Center hopes that students will enjoy this theatrical take on the familiar childhood story.

“I know that we hear the word ballet and anyone who hasn’t studied the subject may have a reaction that this type of thing just isn’t for them,” McDaniel said. She encourages that “Dance is timeless, especially a title like “Sleeping Beauty” is something that will appeal to everyone.”

If it is your first time at the ballet, don’t fret. Here are a few tips to help you appreciate what you are going to see:

  1. IT’S HARD WORK – “A ballet company can rehearse from sunrise to sunset. The amount of hard work put into a production is incredible,” Isabella Axelson, sophomore exercise science major, who’s been dancing since age four, said.
  2. PAY ATTENTION- “Ballet tells a story. Even the smallest hand motions can describe a major part of the story. Really focus on the movements and facial expressions,” Mollie McLaughlin, junior exercise science major, who’s been dancing for over 10 years, said.
  3. NOT JUST ANYONE CAN DO THIS- “Most professional dancers begun training around the age of five or six. The peak age to audition to be part of a company is around seventeen and many dancers will train their entire lives and never perform on the professional level,” Axelson said.

Ballets are a good opportunity to get dressed up, bring a date or a friend, and experience something that you normally can’t around a place like Statesboro. Plus, if this group has traveled all over the world and they have chosen to come perform for us here at Georgia Southern, they deserve an audience turn out of appreciation.

There’s hundreds of hours and gallons of sweat put into these routines, in order to deliver a beautiful performance. The showing of “Sleeping Beauty” will be Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and can be purchased online or through the Performing Arts Center box office.