Oleg Kalishenko, founder of the Serge Lifar de la Danse International Ballet Competition and Festival, has launched another project in Kyiv XIst Century Dance. Mr Kalishenko won awards of the Sergey Diaghilev International Fund in 1994 and 1995 and of the Paris Dance University in 1997; now he heads the nonprofit Centre of Contemporary Choreography. He has invited leading dancers from several countries of the world to take part in his new project which will include many events. Mr Kalishenko is of the opinion that ballet may contribute to furthering mutual understanding between peoples in the world. Antoine Livio, a member of the UNESCO Council on Art, shares Kalishenko's views on the art of ballet and gave his consent to be a member of the jury of the XXIst Century Dance Competition. The jury was headed by Etienne Frey, a dancer, choreographer and teacher of dance from Switzerland.

In the past, he worked for some time with Maurice Bejart, played a role in Franco Dzefirelli's Othello. Serge Lifar himself (who was born, by the way, in Kyiv) presented an international award to Frey. Anatoliy Kozlov and Tetyana Borovyk, winners of several international ballet contests, took part in the XXIst Century Dance Festival, dancing in ballets choreographed by Etienne Frey and Rolan Peti. Tetyana Borovyk, the prima ballerina of the Ukrainian National Ballet, was awarded the title of Dance Queen of Ukraine'99. The Rubato Theatre of Dance from Berlin presented a ballet This Is Not a Love Song, choreographed by Dieter Baumann and Jutta Hell.

Etienne Frey with Oleg Kalishenko

Tranzcompagnie RUBATO: Jutta Hell, Dieter Baumann.

The theme of the ballet is eternal: man and woman who in their relationship pass through understanding, alienation, coming together again. Both the choreography and music were rich and in many respects unusual. There were musical fragments from Beethoven, avant-garde music, verbal monologue (in a ballet!) and silence. The Swiss theatre Sinopia, founded by Etienne Frey, presented a ballet, D'une Aube a l'Autre, which in many respects stood in contrast to This Is Not a Love Song. The Swiss danced to jazz music, bringing out harmony of body and soul. Alla Rubina, one of the leading Ukrainian choreographers, expressed her impressions of D'une Aube a l'Autre by quoting Milosh Kundera, a prominent author: "Unbearable lightness of being." The dancing of Lucy Naitingal (Great Britain) and of Robert Russel (USA) did indeed leave an impression of something buoyant and delicate. The XXIst Century Dance Festival was made possible thanks to the support given by the Goethe Institute German Culture Centre, the Pro Helvetia Swiss Fund, the National Academy of Management, Joss International Entertainment Club, Moskovsky Hotel and the Kyiv Communications College.

The third festival of contemporary choreography of Ukraine and Switzerland is planned for April 8, 2000. It will be held within the framework of the XXIst Century Dance International Project. The best ballet dancers and choreographers will be awarded Lotus Prizes. In November 2000, Kyiv will be the venue of another ballet festival in which leading ballet dancers will perform to show different ballet techniques and approaches. The First International XXIst Century Dance Competition of Contemporary Choreography will be held in Kyiv in April 2001, with dancers and choreographers coming from 20 countries. The jury will be made up of world top ballet experts, including: Douglas Dunn (USA), Jerzy-Maria Birczynski (Poland), David Earle (Canada), Sofi Alonso (Cuba).

Sinopia ensemble de danse.

Patrons of art are welcome to support the XXIst Century Dance Project. Call: 224-99-83, the Centre of Contemporary Choreography.

By H.-H. Pylypenko
Photographs have been supplied by the festival organizers