In response to the Belt & Road Initiative and to promote practical cooperation between BDA and prestigious dance institutions in pedagogy, talent training and choreography under the Russian-Chinese Association of Culture and Arts Universities, BDA President Guo Lei led a visit to Russia from May 27 to June 1 at the invitation of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet.
The BDA delegation first visited the Bolshoi Ballet Academy which was established 245 years ago in 1773. The Dean of the Academy, Marina Leonova, met with the delegation and had discussions with President Guo Lei on a range of issues, including curriculum design, competitive student admissions, cooperation with dance companies, graduate programs and language requirements for international students, etc. President Guo Lei expressed hope for future opportunities in teacher and student exchange and co-creation on top of the existing cooperation between the two academies. Professor Zou Zhirui from the Ballet Department of BDA cordially invited Dean of the Academy Marina Leonova and other faculty members and students to attend the 2018 Beijing International Ballet Competition for Dance Schools and related events to be held by BDA in October this year, followed by a detailed introduction to the events.
During their stay at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, the delegation also visited ballet classes for male and female college students and students’ theater rehearsals, in addition to visiting non-dance classes, student dormitories, reading rooms, prop rooms and other facilities. Students at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy shared about their study and life, giving the Chinese delegates a better understanding of the Academy.
On the morning of May 30, the delegation left for St. Petersburg for a visit to Boris Eifman Dance Academy.
Accompanied by Lali Afanasyeva, head of the Boris Eifman Dance Academy, the delegation visited ballet classes for junior female students and rehearsal classes for senior students, and watched ballet dance The Brothers Karamazov rehearsed by the students. After that, Lali Afanasyeva walked the delegation to student dormitories, canteens, gymnastics rooms and in-door swimming pools among other facilities, and shared the experience of Boris Eifman Dance Academy, including its teaching philosophy and pedagogical methods.
President Guo Lei said the China-Russia youth ballet performances jointly held by the two academies last November established firm ground for future partnership, and he looked forwarded to continued support from the Boris Eifman Dance Academy as BDA expected to send its Ballet teachers and students to Russia for the performance of Swan Lake in 2019.
The delegation left for St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet on the afternoon and met with Boris Eifman, world’s renowned choreographer and artistic director of St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet.
During the meeting, President Guo Lei cordially invited Mr. Eifman to attend the 2018 Beijing International Ballet Competition for Dance Schools to be held by BDA in October this year, along with outstanding choreographers and dancers from St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet towards establishing a long-term cooperation mechanism between the two sides in dance performance and choreography. Mr. Eifman said he regarded Beijing Dance Academy as his second home, and praised the school for the artistic excellence of its students. He looked forward to close partnership in future for enhanced mutual understanding and collaboration.
During the visit, Mr. Boris Eifman invited the delegation to watch the rehearsal of the novel version of ballet Tchaikovsky, which plunged the delegates into a stunningly beautiful and expressive performance—something that came out of Mr. Boris Eifman’s great dedication to details and the performers’ extraordinary skills.
On May 31, the delegation visited the Vagonova Ballet Academy, a long-renowned ballet academy established in 1738.
The delegates were informed about Vagonova Ballet Academy’s history through visiting the academy’s museum with its precious collections and historical archives, and shared views on the training systems for classical ballet. President Guo Lei expressed hope for closer ties and diverse forms of academic cooperation between the two academies in future and invited the Vagonova Ballet Academy to visit Beijing. The delegation then watched the dance rehearsals supervised by the Academy’s rector Nikolai Tsiskaridze, and visited its teaching facilities.
Against a very tight schedule, the delegation was highly efficient in visiting 4 celebrated Russian dance institutions, further enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation. Moving forward, BDA will continue to facilitate practical academic exchanges and cooperation projects with these institutions to inform its own development of various disciplines, such as dance pedagogy, performance and choreography, etc.
China and Russia’s exchanges in dance go back many years.BDA was founded under the direct support and guidance of Soviet dancers, adopting and adapting soviet models of dance pedagogy. This part of history has closely tied China and Russia in dance—a friendship that continues to the present day. In recent years, BDA has maintained close partnership with Russian art academies and institutions in academic exchange and performance. As a major country along the Belt&Road, Russia is steeped in rich cultural traditions, including dance. We cherish our ties with Russian art academies, in a bid to connect the two countries in international talent training, academic cooperation and performance, etc.,to produce even more illustrious dancers for the two countries.
（International Office Text/Niu Qing）