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Thursday, March 3, 2011



BRADFORD, Pa. — The Russian National Ballet Theatre will return to Bradford with a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” on Tuesday, March 15, at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

The renowned ballet troupe, which presented a sold-out show at the campus in 2009, will perform its rendition of William Shakespeare’s classic love story starting at 7:30 p.m. in Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. Cost is $28 to $32 for the public, and $12 to $14 for students. The performance is part of the university’s Prism series.

Nearly 30 dancers will perform in the full-length, two-scene “Romeo and Juliet” with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Marius Petipa designed the original choreography.

Before “Romeo and Juliet” is staged, the Russian National Ballet Theatre will perform “Chopiniana,” a short set of dances put to music composed by Frédéric François Chopin, followed by an intermission.

“Russian National Ballet production of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ was a sold-out show, which told us that we had an underserved dance audience in the region around Bradford,” said Randy Mayes, director of arts programming at Pitt-Bradford. “The master class and workshop for experienced dance students was fantastic, and the audience was enthusiastic after the performance. By any way measurable, it was a huge success.”

Mayes expects the March 15 show to be sold out as well.

The Washington Post hailed the Russian National Ballet as “a cut above many of its rivals.”

Founded in the late 1980s in Moscow during the transitional time of Perestroika as the Soviet National Ballet, the Russian National Ballet Theatre was formed by dancers from Russia's top choreographic schools, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. Many dancers emerged from top-rate ballet companies and academies of Russia and companies of Riga, Kiev and Warsaw.

Since January, the Russian National Ballet has been on a four-month coast-to-coast tour of the United States.

“Russian National Ballet is probably a larger company than most people realize,” Mayes said. “If Russian National Ballet relocated to the United States, they would be the third largest company in North America, just behind the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. We are very fortunate to have them come here.”

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