Thursday, 24 October 2019

World Ballet Bay - Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre Ballet Troupe

Standard YouTube Licence

One of the joys of World Ballet Day is the opportunity to learn about companies that might never otherwise be seen. One of those companies is the ballet troupe of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Perm is a city is in Russia some 721 miles east of Moscow which is about the size of Birmingham. For a number of years, it was known as Molotov after the Soviet foreign minister.

According to Alexei Miroshnichenko, who is described as the artistic director of the Perm ballet, the Kirov Ballet was evacuated to Molotov during the second world war. While they were there they laid the foundations for the Perm ballet.  The Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre is, however, much older. The building was constructed between 1874 and 1879 but there was apparently an opera company in Perm from at least 1870.

The Bolshoi featured the Perm Ballet in its contribution to World Ballet Day and readers can see the feature on that company from 20 minutes to 30 in the recording.  For me, the most fascinating aspect of the feature is that the company performs ballets by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Sir Frederick Ashton. Much of the feature is taken up with rehearsals and interviews with the dancers.  From the clips, they seem to have mastered the choreography very well.  Several of the dancers say that it is not easy and I wonder whether that is because of differences between our traditions and the Russians'.

Intriguingly, Natalia Osipova is listed as a principal ballerina on the Perm Ballet's website. I have tried to cross-reference in this website with Osipova's own and other sources but I have seen no evidence that she is the same as the Royal Ballet's Osipova.

Tomorrow I shall look at a British company,


  1. She is the same Osipova. In one of the interviews, she is telling the story of her becoming "invited principal" of Perm ballet: she said that there was a season in ROH when McMillan's Romeo and Juliet was not performed. Ans she HAS to dance it every year. So she looked for the company that would, and found the Perm's ballet. They let her dance in it, and that's how the partnership has started.