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The world premiere of the ballet "Sleza" with Diana Vishneva will take place in Astana as part of the international Ballet Glob festival
The world premiere of the “Sleza” (tear) ballet, created by the world-famous choreographers Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, will take place at the stage of the Astana Ballet Theater. The screenings will take place on May 25 and 26, as part of the Ballet Globe International Festival. It bears to remind that the festival is held annually in Kazakhstan, and attracts the renowned dancers from all over the world. Before the premiere, a creative meeting of the ballet’s artistic team with students of the Kazakh National Academy of Choreography took place as well.

The authors of the stage play – Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater – Diana Vishneva and the artists Jorge Nosal, Stefan Zeromsky and Roger Van Der Poel shared their experiences with students and told about the history of the stage play’s creation. A creative evening was held by Altynai Asylmuratova, Artistic Director of the Kazakh National Academy of Choreography and the Ballet company of the Astana Opera Theater.

Sol Leon

It bears noting that the one-act ballet was created specifically for Diana Vishneva, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater and etoile of the American Ballet Theater (2005-2017). Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot are recognized worldwide as a creative duo, associated with the renowned Dutch Dance Theater over 35 successful years. The first experience of the choreographers with Diana Vishneva took place in 2011, when the ballerina performed their production “Object of changes”, as part of her solo program “Dialogues”. 10 years later, by the initiative of Diana Vishneva Foundation, Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot began to create a stage play specifically for the ballerina. A project brought together unique artists of the different schools and styles, worldviews and experiences. The production was attended by the artists, associated with the period of work of Lightfoot and Leon in NDT: Jorge Nosal, Roger Van Der Poel, Stefan Zeromsky.

Paul Lightfoot

The life experience and personal experiences of the choreographers and the soloist formed the basis of the ballet. Having no strict narrative, it develops around the universal themes: love in its most diverse manifestations — maternal and paternal, marital, passion for the life and profession, as well as a spiritual love. There is the transformation of a girl, who goes through the stages of growing up, becoming a wife and mother. Moreover, encountering the death of a loved one and how it changes our lives forever.

“Our stage play touches those themes and emotions that every person has been experiencing throughout his life. Hence, the “Sleza” (tear) name arose, as an expression of the highest degree of feelings, deep and intimate. It is ambiguous. A tear can be a manifestation of both joy and grief, cleansing and releasing an inner emotion as well as a strong experience. In the interpretation of our choreographers, one tear has not been crying yet, but an emotion is being released”,  — Diana Vishneva shared.

The set design was created by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot. Also, the concept of the video projections in the stage play was developed by the choreographers, and the director Tommy Pascal is responsible for its implementation. He is known for his work with the Paris Opera, NDT, Theatre de la Ville, Theatre National de Chaillot, the Lyon Opera House and so on.

“Astana Ballet is an excellent venue for the world premiere of the Sleza (tear). We are glad to cooperate with the Diana Vishneva Foundation – an outstanding artist of our time. The Ballet Globe Festival is one of the most prestigious events in the world of ballet, bringing together the most talented artists from all over the world. This festival is held annually and attracts the attention of the art connoisseurs and professionals worldwide” – noted the founder of the Ballet Globe Festival, Yerlan Andagulov. 


Also, during the premiere evening, there will be a performance by the troupe of the Astana Ballet Theater with a production of the “Salome” ballet by the Honored Figure of Kazakhstan – Mukaram Avakhri.

20 May, 2024
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