Monday, February 10, 2014

Center Favorites Make Olympian Impressions in Sochi

Ivan Vasiliev in the opening ceremony
Among Russia’s great artists and cultural ambassadors to the world who performed during the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics were Maestro Valery Gergiev, general and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, and dancers Diana Vishneva and Ivan Vasiliev. Gergiev has appeared at the Center many times and is probably best remembered for bringing the Mariinsky Orchestra, Ballet and Opera for the opening celebrations of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006. 

Maestro Valery Gergiev conducts in the 
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006

The brilliant Diana Vishneva swirled among other dancers on the Sochi stadium floor until they eventually created the shape of a dove, which was followed by opera star Anna Netrebko singing the Olympic anthem. Among Vishneva’s many appearances at the Center, she has starred in two solo evenings created for her by the Center in association with Ardani Artists – Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion and Diana Vishneva: On the Edge. Her performance in Beauty in Motion won Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask award for the Center, that nations’ highest accolade for achievement in the arts. 

Diana Vishneva in the opening ceremony

Following his appearance in the opening ceremony, one report said, "The brilliant Ivan Vasiliev brought the stadium down with astonishing leaps.” Vasiliev has also appeared at the Center. He has been seen here with the Bolshoi Ballet, in two Tour de Force gala evenings, Reflections and Kings of Dance. He returns in July with Natalia Osipova in a special night titled Solo for Two. Included in that program will be two world premieres.

Dancers with Diana Vishneva, center

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