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Scene & Heard: the Bolshoi in O.C. and Broadway music in the Palisades

August 27, 2010 |  7:40 pm

Ballet dancers, choreographers and dance aficionados  celebrated at a luncheon Monday
the collaboration between the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Bolshoi Ballet on the dance program “Reflections.”

The new dance program, which will star six graduates of the Bolshoi Academy, will premiere both in California and Russia in January. Now scattered around the globe, the ballerinas include Maria Kochetkova of the San Francisco Ballet; Yekaterina Krysanova, Natalia Osipova and Yekaterina Shipulina of the Bolshoi Ballet; Olga Malinovskaya of the Ballet Estonia and Polina Semionova of the Berlin Staatsoper Ballet. Also in California to create the works for them are choreographers Karole Armitage, Lucinda Childs, Mauro Bigonzetti and Carlos Prado, and costume designer Igor Chapurin. 

Some of the Bolshoi’s leading male dancers, also here for rehearsals and attending the luncheon at the restaurant Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza, were Alexander Volchkov, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Denis Savin and Ivan Vasiliev.

A few days previously in Pacific Palisades, supporters of the Festival of New American Musicals celebrated the end of their third season with a birthday party for Jason Robert Brown in a private backyard garden. Although not precisely the day of his birth, the Aug. 21 affair honored the Tony-award winning composer of  “Parade,” “13,” “Songs for a New World” and “Last Five Years.”

The festival’s co-executive producer, Bob Klein, expressed hope for a healthy, productive future for  musical theater in Los Angeles, and said he counted 32 productions in this year’s program, including full musicals, readings, workshops, cabaret events and concerts.

Look for my full report in Scene & Heard online and in Sunday’s Image section. And stay tuned to Culture Monster for more on the Bolshoi-O.C. partnership.

-- Ellen Olivier

Photo: Dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet enjoy a champagne toast before the luncheon at  Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times