November 30, 2003 |
"Put nicely your presents, nice, nice, nice, and then go. " Forty youths in leotards swiftly responded to Viktor Yeliohin's sharp order, discernible despite a thick Ukrainian accent. Across the wooden floor they flitted, then one by one gingerly placed a glittery gift in a designated spot beneath an imaginary Christmas tree. Grace and giddy excitement ruled. It was the last rehearsal before the local ballet dancers, ages 6 through 20, perform The Nutcracker at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.
April 15, 1992 |
The sad saga of the Donetsk Ballet in Philadelphia officially ends today. The Ukrainian troupe came for a tour of America last year, but the tour arrangements fell through and the dancers were stranded in Philadelphia. For the last 11 months, while living here, they've failed to find steady work as a group, although they have had a few bookings. Today, the troupe's return tickets expire and seven of them have decided to return home. They plan to fly out of Kennedy Airport in New York.
April 9, 1992 |
Alexander Boitsov, hands on his slim dancer's hips, threw a stern look upon the eleven doe-eyed students posed like graceful statues about him. Shaking his head, he cocked his hips at an awkward angle and dangled a limp arm over his head to mimick them. Each girl straightened her stance and tilted up a regal chin. And Boitsov smiled and nodded. They didn't need to understand his words. They already knew his language. Master dancer Boitsov and other members of the highly-regarded Donetsk Ballet from Ukraine - stranded in the United States a year ago - have invited about 45 area ballet students to join them this weekend in a special performance of Don Quixote.
March 31, 1992 |
When I first reviewed the Donetsk Ballet in 1989, they were a Cinderella story come to life. Stranded by their backers on their first American tour, a whirlwind fund-raising campaign booked them into first-class venues in Philadelphia, New York and Washington. The 60-member Ukrainian company was an inspiring blend of meticulous technique, showstopping energy and affecting innocence. Many of the principals, including company superstars Inna Dorofeyeva and Vadim Pisarev and artistic director Vladimir Shumeikin, are now based here and are starting a school of classical ballet at the Wissahickon Dance Academy.
March 26, 1992 |
What has become the Philadelphia branch of Ukraine's Donetsk Ballet - about two dozen dancers who having been living in Germantown since the summer - has found a novel way to produce one of the most lavish ballets of the Russian repertory, Don Quixote. On Friday and Saturday, a production that uses 60 children as well as the Donetsk professionals will be performed at the Germantown Friends School. The idea of presenting a major ballet with children in secondary roles belongs to Nancy Malmud, the director of the Wissahickon Dance Academy.
December 6, 1991 |
A world renowned Ukranian ballet troupe that has fallen on hard times and blames it on its American handlers yesterday was given freedom to find its own way on stage by a federal judge in Philadelphia. U.S. District Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen said the 25-member Donetsk Ballet Company and its star performer, Vadim Pisarev, were no longer obligated to Mascotte Productions Inc., a local firm that had an exclusive booking agreement with the troupe. The feud also involved locking out some troupe members from the toney Alden Park apartments at Wissahickon and Chelten Ave. The judge said the ballet company would "disintegrate" if he didn't act now. "Time is of the essence because the most active season of the year for a ballet company is fast approaching, and the company must procure a venue to perform the Nutcracker if it is to survive in the coming year.
December 6, 1991 |
A federal judge ruled yesterday that relations between an internationally known Ukrainian ballet troupe and a group of Philadelphia promoters had deteriorated into "all-out war" replete with deception and mistrust and should be severed. The dancers, members of the Dontesk Ballet Theater, led by superstar Vadim Pisarev, have been virtually stranded in the city since last spring, when concert engagements fell through and the group signed up with Philadelphia- based Mascotte Productions.
October 14, 1991 |
Under normal circumstances, dancers must overcome sore muscles in performance. The dancers of the Donetsk Ballet, in the Ukraine, had to cope with inactive muscles yesterday afternoon, when the ensemble led by Vadim Pisarev danced at Drexel University's Mandell Theater. For the last several months the company has been sitting idle in Philadelphia after an American tour collapsed in Baltimore - idle, that is, except for fighting numerous legal battles with the very gentlemen who had supposedly come to their rescue in the spring.
October 13, 1991 |
They could be called the Flying Dutchmen of the ballet world. Two U.S. tours in the last three years have run aground in Baltimore, leaving the dancers of the Donetsk Ballet Theater, a Ukrainian company of international reputation, stranded in a strange land. Twice in the last three years, they've foundered on the brink of eviction from temporary American quarters - most recently last month in Philadelphia, where a bitter and labyrinthine legal dispute has beached them.
September 25, 1991 |
The news in Common Pleas Court was mixed yesterday for a group of Soviet ballet dancers fighting eviction from their temporary quarters in a Germantown apartment complex. The bad news is that they now face further legal action as efforts continue to force them out. The not-quite-so-bad news is that those efforts must proceed in an orderly fashion according to law. "The main result is that we have some time now," said Vadim Pisarev, the 26-year-old star of the Donetsk Ballet, who is doing more testifying than dancing these days.