Ballet Stars at Wawel Castle Spectacular Gala

On the evening of 29 June 2017, the Arcade Courtyard of the Wawel Castle turned into a dance floor and hosted the Grand pas...! ballet gala. The event featured ballet stars from Europe and Russia. 

The Krakow Opera Ballet, as the host of the event, opened the first part of the evening by presenting Akord with choreography by Eduardo Bablidze. Mizuki Kurosawa, Julia Galambos, Takafumi Tamagawa and Yauheni Yatskevich danced to the minimalist and contemplative music by Arvo Pärt. We could also watch the soloists of the Sankt Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. Igor Kolb danced to the choreography by Vladimir Varnava titled Beginning, which was accompanied by the romantic music by Erik Satie. He also performed a piece titled Swan with choreography by Radu Poklitaru to the music by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns. Lesław Czapliński wrote the following words about the artist: “Special skills are required from a dancer for characteristic dance not to turn into an unintentional parody. Igor Kolb is such a world class dancer (...).” Together with Alisa Petrenko, a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, Igor Kolb performed a duet from the Rain ballet with choreography by Radu Poklitaru to lively Moldavian folk music. Soloists of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius, Olesia Shaytanova and Kipras Chlebinskas, danced a duet from theEverywhere we weren’t ballet with choreography by Martynas Rimeikis and music by one of the most important post-minimalists – Max Richter. The soloists also performed a duet from Romeo and Juliet with choreography by Krzysztof Pastor and music by Sergei Prokofiev. We could admire soloists of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Romina Kolodziej and Damián Šimko, in Slovak Dances – Life of lights. The choreography was prepared by Natália Horečná, while the music was written by the Slovak composer Peter Breiner. Soloists of the Theatre in Košice, Ami Fujikawa and Maksym Sklyar, told us a touching love story through their dance. They performed a duet from Anna Karenina with choreography by Kirill Simonov and music by Rodion Szczedrin.

The second part of the gala featured the Polish National Ballet and its soloists – Yuki Ebihara and Dawid Trzensimiech. They performed the famous Bolero to the music by Maurice Ravel with choreography by Krzysztof Pastor, which earned a loud applause from the spectators.

The audience of almost a thousand people awarded the artists with a thunderous applause and a standing ovation. On the Polska Muza website Anna Woźniakowska summarised the gala as “coherent and interesting”. “Eight short ballet scenes presented in the first part (...) showed the expressive richness of motion theatre, as well as the great imagination of the choreographers who freely combined different dance techniques and styles, looked for various inspirations, and built their stories on an interesting music layer. We have also admired a wonderful technique and physical abilities of the performers, as well as – in almost all the presentations – the depth of their artistic message. (...) Bolero by Ravel, choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor and performed by the Polish National Ballet, was full of passion, beautiful, and perfectly presented.”

The artistic directors of the ballet gala were: Elena Korpusenko, Bogusław Nowak, Dariusz Pawelec, and Bożena Pędziwiatr. The producer was Małgorzata Wójsik. Katarzyna Sanocka hosted the event. 

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