2017-11-09 / Scene

Russian Grand Ballet presents Swan Lake at the Whiting Nov. 18

Artistic director shares fun facts in prep for upcoming show

FLINT — The Russian Grand Ballet will present one of the world's most famous ballets - Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Whiting, 1241 E Kearsley St, Flint. This full-length classical production features the rarely seen Waltz of the Black Swans, and marks the first time the Russian Grand Ballet has performed in Michigan.

Swan Lake features the story of Odette, a beautiful princess, who falls under the spell of an evil sorcerer. Only Prince Siegfried's devotion can save her. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake combines pure romanticism and tragedy, in a magical tale of love and deception. The glorious score and gravity-defying choreography have enchanted audiences for over a century, and continue to inspire new generations of dancers and music lovers of all ages.

Ticket prices are $34, $44, $54, $64 and can be purchased online at TheWhiting.com, by phone at 810-237-7333, or in person at the Whiting Ticket Center.

To give audiences an inside look at the production, Artistic Director of the Russian Grand Ballet Constantine Pinchuk answered some questions and shared some fun facts.

Are most of your dancers Russian, or do you have dancers from a variety of countries?

Our theatre is an international project, so is our troupe - Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Moldova, Japan, Germany, etc. The main thing for us is not a nationality, but a dancer’s passion for dance and his, or her professional qualities.

At what age did your dancers start training?

In most cases, ballet dance school accepts children from 6 to 8 years old, paying attention to physics, such as lifting of the foot, turnout of the hip and flexibility of the whole body, important things in the ballet profession. But as shown by life experience, to every rule there are exceptions, and it all depends on the talent, desire to work and learn, and therefore sometimes children of 11, or even 12 years old get accepted. The legendary Rudolph Nureyev started practicing at the age of 16, for example.

How do you stay fit while on the road?

Ballet is a hard work, so yes, it is very important to keep ballet dancers fit, just like athletes. Even while on the road we do classical dance lessons every day, which allows us to keep in shape and that is what the classical ballet begins with.

Four Amazing Ballet Facts:

• A male dancer lifts over 1-1/2 tons worth of ballerinas during performances.

• Most ballerinas wear out two to three pairs of pointe shoes per week.

• One tutu costs up to $2,000 to make.

• The same tutu requires 60-90 hours of labor and over 100 yards of ruffle.

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