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Celebrating the Bolshoi Theatre in Orange County

January 23, 2011 |  9:10 am

Bubble dancer 
Big celebrations were in order at the "Reflections" premiere at the newly renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts (formerly the Orange County Performing Arts Center). It was not only the center's first collaboration with the Bolshoi Theatre but also its first production since being rechristened in honor of the Segerstrom family.

The mood was already jubilant by the first intermission, where Yekaterina Zhukov, wife of Alexander Zhukov, the deputy prime minister of Russia, joined Elizabeth and Henry Segerstom, dance impresario Sergei Danilian of Ardani Artists, and others for cocktails at the Center Room. There, center president Terry Dwyer acknowledged the partnership and thanked production underwriters, who included Terry and George Schreyer, Virginia and Richard Hunsaker, Sutton and Christian Stracke, Christina Lyon, Bill Gillespie and Michelle Rohe.

A near-midnight supper followed last week's performance , where ballerinas in giant plastic bubbles awaited more than 250 party-goers at South Coast Plaza. Cast members joined in for more dancing, only this time not to ballet tunes but to rock music.

Through a translator, Anatoly Iksanov, the Bolshoi Theatre's general director, invited guests to Russia and not so surprisingly, a few in the crowd said they were headed for the ballet's Moscow premiere, among them Christina Lyon and Sutton Stracke. Both former dancers, Lyon said she danced with the American Ballet Theatre and English National Ballet, while Stracke taught at the North Carolina Dance Theatre.

-- Ellen Olivier


Photo: "Bubble dancer" at South Coast Plaza. Credit: Steve Dawson