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Stars of international ballet scenes danced at the Wawel Castle

During the traditional ballet gala "Grand pas...!" (27 June 2018), co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, organised by the Krakow Opera, dance-loving audience had the opportunity to admire eminent dancers from Polish and foreign opera theatres. The remarkable scenery of the Arcade Courtyard of the Wawel Royal Castle, illuminated with colourful lights, set the stage for a programme set to the music of Frederic Chopin, which is a part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Poland's regaining independence. Dancers of the Wrocław Opera Ballet -Natsuki Katayama and Łukasz Ożga - danced to a fragment from the ballet "Polish Evening: Chopin / Kilar" choreographed by Emil Wesołowski. The audience could also admire the two in the Adagio from the third act of "Spartacus," choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, to the music of Aram Khachaturian. Later, the dancers of the Krakow Opera Ballet presented two pieces: Zofia Rudnicka's "The Invitation to Dance" set to the "Waltz in E flat major," performed by Malika Tokkozhina, Clara Ushizaka, Paulina Cisłowska, Julia Galambos, Mariana Morfin-Sanchez, Nika Lipolt, Aliaksandr Karandulka, Tomasz Staniak, Maciej Pluskowski; and Katarzyna Aleksander-Kmieć's "When Words Fall Silent" to the "Barceuse In Dur - Flat Major," performed by Leonardo Cusinato, Federico Casilli, and Emanuele Sardo. The duet from the audience-favourite ballet "Cinderella", to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and choreographed by Paul Chalmer, and the duet from "Journey of Helen and Paris," choreographed by Viktor Davydiuk to the music by Gabriel Kaczmarek, were danced by artists of the Stanisław Moniuszko Grand Theatre in Poznań – Marika Kucza and Mateusz Sierant. The dancers of Compagnie Chorégraphique François Mauduit presented three choreographies, each prepared by François Mauduit. The first one, "Mon Enfance”, was performed solo by the choreographer (to the music of Jacques Brel); he was then joined by Nicola Lazzarro for a fragment from the ballet "The Last Night of Tchaikovsky" (music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky), and by Vittoria Pellegrino for "Samson and Dalila" (music: Camille Saint-Saëns). Dancers from the Italian Teatro Di San Carlo: Anbeta Toromani and Alessandro Macario, presented the Adagio from the second act of the comic ballet "Coppelia" (choreography: Amedeo Amodio, music: Clément Philibert Léo Delibes) and "Invisible Grace" (choreography: Jarosław Iwanenko, music: George Gurdjieff). One of the hotly-awaited elements of the evening was the performance by the two first soloists of the Mariinsky Theater. Igor Kolb, on his another show at the Krakow Opera, performed "Solo," choreographed by Dmitry Pimonov to the music of René Aubry, and Aleksandr Sergeev performed "Der Leiermann," choreographed by Vladimir Varnava to the music of Franz Schubert. The surprise of the evening was a performance prepared specially for the "Grand pas ...!" gala: the exceptionally emotional "Tango", danced jointly by the soloists (choreography: Alexander Blok, music: Fabio Hager). Despite a brief rain shower, the audience remained focused on the show, and rewarded all the artists with thunderous applause. The artistic director of the ballet gala was Elena Korpusenko, the ballet manager of the Krakow Opera.


Excerpts from the reviews:

… I was enchanted by the charismatic François Mauduit in three different scenes; above all in "The Night-time Passed Deux" from the ballet "The Last Night of Tchaikovsky”. Natsuki Katayama from the Wrocław Opera, dancing with a wonderful partner in Łukasz Ożga, impressed me with the expressiveness and grace of her dance in the Adagio from the third act of the ballet "Spartacus" and in the duet from the "Polish Evening" set to Chopin's music. I will carry with me the final "Tango" in the interpretation of Aleksander Sergeev and Igor Kolb for a long time. It was a show of masterful skill! Against this wonderful backdrop, the young artists of the Krakow Opera Ballet, led by Elena Korpusenko, gave a great show. Keep it up!
Anna Woźniakowska, the Polish Muza portal, 28 June 2018


… Each of the ballet performances represented a very high level of mastery, and received well-deserved applause from the audience. It was a pleasure to look at the harmonious movements and interesting dance interpretations of Chopin's or Prokofiev's works. The audience's appreciation was largely directed, one could say at the expense of other dancers, at Natsuki Katayama, whose grace and lightness during her two performances hypnotized the spectators. Igor Kolb and Aleksandr Sergeev from the Mariinsky Theatre, also deserve special recognition. Their performances confirmed the very cliché — but as it turns out, very true — opinion that Russian ballet is a class of its own. … The castle setting of the event once again proved that it gives a certain flavour to the shows performed there, and since the evening's programme was just as exceptional, many spectators left Wawel with an expression of pure bliss. I probably do not need to explicitly answer whether this year's "Grand pas" was a success.
Manuel Langer, the Głos24 portal, 28 June 2018


The ballet gala "Grand pas…!" was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage