The sense of excitement was palpable as we settled into our seats for the performance of Sleeping Beauty by The Russian Imperial Ballet Company.
The setting, the gloriously large Grand Hall at Exhibition World Bahrain, the close proximity of the orchestra and the superb stage, all added to the magic.
The afternoon opened with an exhibition of basic and technical ballet exercises under the guidance of artistic director Gediminas Taranda.
This was followed by solo performances by two male dancers – Nikita Korablev and Lev Brel – who enchanted us all.
Then all the young ballet dancers in the audience were invited on to the stage to show their skills making the afternoon experience even more magical for them.
Tchaikovsky’s superb orchestration and the choreographic skills of Marius Petipa created the ballet Sleeping Beauty in 1890 and under Taranda’s wonderful choreographic skills the performance was fresh, visually exciting and enchanting as well.
When members of the Richter Symphony Orchestra of Kaluga – under the direction of Conductor Alexey Lavrentiev – entered the hall and were introduced, the really enchanting dancing took over.
Exuberant in a truly Russian way, but also as precise as we have come to expect from the nation’s ballet companies, we were taken to the wedding of Princess Aurora to Prince Desire.
Princess Aurora was danced perfectly – gracefully yet with strength – by both Lilia Orekhova and Irene Adilova, whilst Ivan Titov sparkled as Prince Desire. However, it was Nikita Korabkev – as Little Thumb with his Cossack Dance – who captured the audience’s hearts.
All too soon we were watching the grand finale.
There was then a final photo opportunity for the children as the rest of us emerged uplifted into the sunlight and the roar of the cars on the nearby Formula 1 circuit.
I am assured the Imperial Russian Ballet Company will return to Bahrain soon … and personally, I cannot wait.
– Christine Hasan