The Ruzimatov gala, which was held on two consecutive nights, featured Farouk Ruzimatov, Diana Vishneva and a host of other Kirov stars. I caught the second performance on 30 October during my trip to St. Petersburg.
Ruzimatova and Vishneva appeared in three of the eight numbers. They first danced in a new piece "Songs of Remembrance" set to French songs by Jacques Brel choreographed by Nikolai Kabaniaev. There was an ensemble of three white-clad couples. The choreography was pleasing though not particularly memorable.
Vishneva and Ruzimatova appeared again in Maurice Bejart's "Bakhti" which closed the first half of the evening. This pas de deux was set to a variety of Hindu music and emphasised dislocations. The couple's limbs were twisted into various contorted shapes as is typical of Bejart's style. It was impressively danced by the couple who each had a solo as well.
The second half of the gala consisted of only one work - Roland Petit's "Le Jeune Homme et la Mort". Petit's choreography was exciting and highly theatrical. Vishneva had the right allure as death, and Ruzimatov gave a powerful performance as the young man.
Other stars who appeared included senior Kirov dancers Margaret Kullik and Vladimir Kim in Balanchine's "Tarantella". Alexei Ratmansky's "Middle Duo" which recalled William Forsythe's aggressive style was brilliantly danced by Natalia Sologub and Andrei Merkuriev whose dancing had a sharp edge.
Sologub also appeared in "Le Spectre de la Rose". Igor Kolb was a perfumed Spectre, with his creamy port de bras and his spectacularly high and airy jumps. Another Fokine work was "The Dying Swan" with the soulful Yulia Makhalina in the title role.
The "Don Quixote" pas de deux was dazzlingly danced by Elvira Tarasova, and Rasta Thomas who just joined the Kirov. It was my first viewing of Thomas, whose split jumps and great speed in his 'manege' were breathtaking. Tarasova had strong legwork, and danced with poise and style.
Some Kirov stars spotted in the audience included Igor Zelensky and Svetlana Zakharova.