St Petersburg Ballet Theatre

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Russia     2011 2008 
The white nights season is in full flow and so begins the first Saint Petersburg season of Irina Kolesnikova, Prima Ballerina of the Konstantin Tachkin Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre. On stage at the Aleksandrinskiy Theatre, she is performing her crowning roles of Odette – Odile in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and Nikiya in Minkus’ “La Bayadère”.

Every year she has a successful season at the legendary Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris and now there is the hope that the same tradition will be established in the home city of this talented graduate of the Vaganova Academy.

Foreign critics are not miserly with their compliments and call Kolesnikova “the diva of dance” and, “the diamond in the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre crown”. Western ballet fans buy tickets for her shows well in advance and make sure their favourite’s performances are complete sell-outs. At the pre-tour press conference, the president of the Committee of Culture, Anton Gubankov, stated that Irina Kolesnikova and Konstantin Tachkin’s theatre has made a considerable contribution to propagandising Saint Petersburg culture and Russian classical ballet.

The phenomenon that is Irina Kolesnikova is not content with four turns in attitude that she allows herself to perform in “Swan Lake”; her unique technique is allied with extraordinary acting talent. Her dancing is captivating and ineffable but the inner emotions of her heroines are conveyed not only by her physicality, but also by her expressive eyes and the slight movement of her lips.

Irina is a large-scale ballerina and is rightly called “a dancing actress”. It is not surprising that her recordings of “Giselle”, “Swan Lake” and “Nutcracker” that have been released on DVD have become best sellers in Great Britain.


Moreover, the worldwide career of a Prima ballerina from a non-state company is a living example of effective management. In all the years the company has existed, Konstantin Tachkin has not taken a penny from the state…

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