20 Stone Russian ballet stars set for
extensive UK Tour
Ballerina, Tatyana Gladkih
HAVING been a huge success in
2007 and spring 08, Russias alternative ballet
company, The Big Ballet - comprising 16 female dancers each
weighing a strict minimum of 17 Stone is returning
to the UK with an even bigger autumn tour of 33 venues, presented
by Amande Concerts UK, including a performance at the Albert
Halls, Bolton, on Sunday, 12 October.
With dancers weighing an average 20 Stone, The Big Ballet
is a show like no other in the world. All performed on a black-box
stage, with hand-made costumes, the first section of the show
is a parody of popular classical ballets.
The second section is rather more fast-paced as the larger-than-life
dancers perform to more contemporary music, such as Robbie
Williams, Tom Joness Sex Bomb and (continuing
the Russian theme) Go West by Pet Shop Boys, and
even perform to one number in tight leather biker
Said Alexej Ignatow, a producer for Amande Concerts: "We
are delighted to bring back this superb Russian show to UK
audiences - The Big Ballet proved to be a big hit in 2007
and spring 2008. When such attention is continuously paid
to issues of size and weight, we felt that being larger is
not necessarily a restriction and we were right. The Big Ballet
is enjoyed by people of all sizes".
Dion Clements, publicist for The Big Ballet UK tour, said:
"Whether you admire the fuller figure or not, there is
absolutely no denying the raw power emanating from the stage
when 16 large ladies perform choreographed routines in sync
to thunderous music Ive witnessed audiences go
wild for this troupe".
The Big Ballet was established fourteen years ago by top Russian
choreographer, Panfilov. As a young man Panfilov had secured
his position as one of the most influential choreographers
in ballet. Never one to shy-away from controversy, Panfilov
decided he was going to prove two things to the world; firstly,
that people of larger build are able to move with similar
grace, dignity and flare as traditional dancers, and secondly,
that he would be able to create a professional ballet troupe
out of dancers with no previous experience.
Hailing from Perm, a beautiful city with two million inhabitants
in Russias Ural Mountain range, also home to two of
ballets pre-eminent geniuses, Peter I. Tchaikovsky and
Serge Diaghlev, The Big Ballet was formed by Panfilov to challenge
social standards in a world where slenderness and beauty seems
obsessive in testament to Panfilovs achievement,
The Big Ballet continues to be a massive success long after
his renowned murder in 2002.
Often asked how they retain weight during such rigorous training
sessions and demanding tour schedules, The Big Ballets
co-Prima Ballerina, Ekatarina Yurkova, said: "We eat
normal amounts of food, and the same kind of food, as everybody
else our size is in our genes.
2We had the opportunity and, under one of the worlds
leading choreographers, we gained the ability and confidence
to take to the stage and show that we are as good at professional
dance as thin people".
Fellow Prima, Tatyana Gladkaya jokes: "You definitely
have to have a sense of humour to be in The Big Ballet, but
we still take our work very seriously. Having said that, its
easy to do the splits with 120 kilos of down-force"
To book tickets for The Big Ballets performance in Bolton,
contact the Box Office on telephone 01204 334400 or visit
www.thebigballet.co.uk for more details.
News, 9/ 9/ 2008