Artist couple presents two sets of programs in Shanghai

Ma Yue
Ballerina Svetlana Zakharova and her husband, violinist Vadim Repin are joining with other Bolshoi dancers to present two sets of exquisite programs at the Shanghai Grand Theater.
Ma Yue

Russian prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova and violinist Vadim Repin are joining with star dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet to present two sets of programs for Shanghai audiences this week.

As an enviable artist couple, Zakharova and Repin both have excellent reputations in their respective fields.

Zakharova joined the Mariinsky Ballet at the age of 17 and was promoted to principal dancer a year later. She took a longstanding offer from the Bolshoi in 2003 and has been a principal dancer for the company since.

Artist couple presents two sets of programs in Shanghai
Ma Yue / SHINE

Svetlana Zakharova (center), Vadim Repin (second left), and Bolshoi Ballet dancers Denis Savin (left), Artemiy Belyakov (second right) and Mikhail Lobukhin (right) pose for a photo after meeting local media at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

She won Russia's Golden Mask Award twice at the ages of 20 and 21 for her roles in "Serenade" and "The Sleeping Beauty." In 2008, she was awarded the "People's Artist of Russia." In 2014, she performed in the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Zakharova's husband Repin became the youngest winner of the violin section of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels when he was 17. Specializing in Russian and French music, Repin has been a frequent guest at international festivals, and joined the recording of Chinese pianist Lang Lang's first chamber music album.

Both artists have made multiple trips to China. Zakharova remembers that the last time she performed at Shanghai Grand Theater was in 2014.

'Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers'

"I like Shanghai's architecture and delicious food," she said. "There has been a lot of change since I last came. It's one of the most beautiful cities in the world."

Repin is more impressed by the high standards and professionalism of orchestras in Shanghai and Guangzhou. He will work with the Shanghai Opera House Orchestra for the two "Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers" performances on Saturday and Sunday.

"Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers" consists of 11 music and dance pieces, including "Progetto Handel," "Caravaggio," "The Dying Swan," and "La Ronde des Lutins, Scherzo Fantastico."

The couple perform together in some programs. While Zakharova changes costumes, Repin keeps the audience occupied with his superb violin skills.

Artist couple presents two sets of programs in Shanghai
Ti Gong

The couple and other Bolshoi Ballet dancers share the stage in "Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers."

"This is my favorite show given its rich diversity," Repin said. "The dancers look very different in each program. So it's not only a feast of music, but also wonderful acting."

Repin explained that the idea of creating "Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers" came from a suggestion by a Swiss curator friend.

"My wife and I admire each other's talent and have been in a great relationship. Our Swiss friend suggested that we should 'fix' our love into a performance together," said Repin.

"We have a lot of freedom regarding program choice. I can pick the music while Zakharova decides her dancing partners. Eventually, this became our favorite performance."

'Gabrielle Chanel' is baed on the life of the designer.

Repin unveiled that they make small adjustments in programs when they perform in different countries to give audiences "a fresh feeling."

On Wednesday and Thursday, Zakharova and the Bolshoi dancers will first present a dance drama "MODASE," which consists of two one-act dances, "Come un Respiro" and "Gabrielle Chanel."

Created by Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti with music by Georg Friedrich Händel, "Come un Respiro" premiered at La Scala in 2017. It doesn't have a clear plot, but can be considered a modern presentation of beauty and fashion.

"Gabrielle Chanel" is a ballet version of a biography of the French fashion designer. Chanel's career, love life, and some little-known interesting stories about her work are told in the dance.

Artist couple presents two sets of programs in Shanghai
Ti Gong

'Gabrielle Chanel is a ballet version of a biography of the French fashion designer.

Performance info:


Dates: May 15-16, 7:30pm

Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers

Dates: May 18-19, 7:30pm

Tickets: 180-1,080 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater 上海大剧院

Address: 300 People's Ave 人民大道300号

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