Utahns get a bit of Russian ballet

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    By Julene Thompson

    The Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet will put on a private performance for The Utah-Russian Institute of Utah Valley State College, June 18 at Jordan High School.

    Performances for the public are at Capitol Theater June 19-23.

    “Many people would agree that Russia is center of the ballet universe,” said Rusty Butler, director of the Utah-Russia Institute, based at Utah Valley State College. “Even the children”s ballet groups are serious business.”

    The performance is intended to raise ballet awareness and to learn from our Russian friends, said Butler.

    The Moscow ballet is second only to the Bolshoi in Russia. It was founded in 1929. It encourages its actors to identify with a role by becoming totally immersed in the inner life of their characters. In Russia, they are known as the “dancing drama actors.”

    The Utah-Russian Institute has hosted many events with the Russian culture.

    Mike Leavitt created it in 1993 to help with humanitarian, educational, and intercultural efforts, and to promote opportunities for friendship between Utah and Russia, said Amy Tenny, student intern at the Utah-Russian Institute.

    Russia Days is one of the events the institute sponsors. It educates people on the cultural aspect of Russia. The institute also sponsors the Russia Adoption Support Group for families who have adopted Russian children.

    The support group helps adoptive parents conquer language, sociological and cultural barriers with Russian orphans.

    We have volunteered for the Olympics, and hosted many intercultural events like this one, said Tenny.

    According to Butler, UVSC is ideal for hosting a ballet company because ballet is a prominent point of interest at UVSC. It is the home of Utah Regional Ballet. UVSC president, Kerry Romesburg strongly supports it.

    The Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet will arrive in Salt Lake Monday June 17 and stay there for the duration of the visit.

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