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12 Apr 11

April Ballet Evenings Open in Macedonian Capital

April Ballet Evenings, which begin tomorrow in Skopje, will feature both Macedonian dancers and guests from Portugal, Italy, Romania and the US in a number of performances.

Aneta Risteska

The premiere of “Bolero”, choreographed by Iskra Shukarova, and “Lost Faith” will open the festival of modern ballet on Wednesday at the Macedonian Opera and Ballet.

The performances will last until April 29, which coincides with International Dance Day, a celebration of the art marked around the globe.

Macedonians will be treated to performances of “Carmina Burana” and “If it was….now it is” during the event, among other ballets. The closing event will feature the premiere of the Portuguese play “Dracula”, a co-oproduction of the Macedonian Opera and Ballet and its Romanian counterpart, choreographed by Rafael Caricco and Claudia Martins.

The doors open for April Ballet Evenings as the seventh annual Dance Fest draws to a close, but organisers say that this won't affect attendance, explaining that there is sufficient interest for all performances.

“It is good to have these huge events. As April is dance month, there is nothing unusual if one show happens each evening. The attendance and aftereffects will give us an orientation for next year's events,” the choreographer Iskra Shukarova told Balkan Insight.

Aleksandra Mijalkova and her partner Dmitro Chebotar are professionally prepared for the 18 minute-long “Bolero” ballet, performed to the music of Maurice Ravel, Shukarov said, explaining that the composition is very complex, and the music dramatic and determined.

“Bolero is seen in various performances, which inspired me to think of a new concept, for something modern. It’s about a mixture of male and female in one space, a triangle as a platform on which they are raised. Its base is a symbol of fire, a passion incarnate through their movements,” Shukarova said.

She told Balkan Insight that after its premiere during “April Ballet Evenings”, the play's second performance will be held at this year's Ohrid Summer Fest.

“Lost Faith” a play choreographed by Sasha Evtimova, will also be performed at tomorrow’s opening. After its premiere at last year's Skopje Summer Fest, the play will be peformed at the Macedonia Opera and Ballet for the first time on Wednesday.
“While Ms Shukarova and I have different styles, we match in one thing only- I work with squares and Shukarova with triangles, which will make for an interesting moment when these two shows are connected together. There have been some changes made to the performances, specifically for “April Ballet Evenings,” says Evtimova.

Goran Bozinov, the artistic director of the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, says the festival is immensely important for ballet in the country, and voiced hope that it would reach the popularity the May Opera Evenings in Skopje have enjoyed.

“I believe that in the coming years the event will be enriched with more foreign guests, choreographers, and soloists,” says Bozinov.

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