Ballett Zürich in St. Petersburg

The Ballett Zürich at Dance Open

The Ballett Zürich opens the Dance Open Ballet Festival! On 17 April our dancers staged «Winterreise» by Christian Spuck at the renowned Alexandrinsky-Theatre. And the anticipation of being part of one of the most important dance festivals was huge on both sides: The performance of the Ballett Zürich in St. Petersburg was sold out immediately!

For this diary we captured our short tour in both pictures and text. Further impressions might be found on the Facebook page and Instagram account of the Ballett Zürich and the Dance Open festival as well. Also, our soloist Kevin Pouzou shared his journey here.

Day 1: Arrival, press conference and St. Petersburg

On Tuesday, 16 April we leave sunny Zurich at the break of day for St. Petersburg. And the city welcomes our dancers and our office, makeup and costume crew with perfect spring weather. What a beautiful start for our tour!



Flight to St. Petersburg

Christian Spuck and our soloist Elena Vostrotina have to leave from the airport directly for the press conference of the Dance Open festival. Together with Ekaterina Galanova, general manager of the festival, and the chairman of the committee of culture they answer the questions of the numerous press people. Right afterwards they both have to give interview after interview.



Press conference Dance Open

All the others drive by bus to our hotel which is located in the heart of the old town of St. Petersburg. The Dance Open festival already warmly welcomes us at the airport and at the hotel there is a film crew waiting to capture our arrival:

Straight after a short stop at the hotel, Christian Spuck and the crew have to leave for the Alexandrinsky-Theatre, where our technical staff has already set up the stage for «Winterreise». But yet there is still a lot to prepare, as not everything is in its right place or is working as desired. To prevent the theatre from getting dirty, the whole auditorium is covered – which makes it appear somewhat ghostly.



Preparations at the theatre

Meanwhile, our dancers enjoy an afternoon off to discover the city and get some sun.

Day 2: Rehearsal, performance and cameras everywhere

Also Wednesday welcomes us with wonderful spring weather and bright sunshine. The company takes the bus to the Alexandrinsky-Theatre. And there we first have to find our way to the dressing rooms... After make-up and hair are done, a short training is scheduled. After countless winding corridors and stairs we find our studio on the sixth floor of the Alexandrinksy-Theater, which offers just enough space for all dancers.



Behind the scenes

In the meantime, everything is ready for the main rehearsal – including around two dozen journalists, photographers and television cameras, some of them follow us everywhere one goes.



Behind the scenes

After a long rehearsal it's finally time for a short break – but for Elena Vostrotina, Esteban Berlanga and Christian Spuck it means more and more interviews!

We did it! Some use the short break for a stop in the hotel, a short walk around the theatre or at least a coffee in the sun...



Short break before the show

About two hours before the performance we all arrive at the Alexandrinsky-Theatre again. Soon it will be serious and we will open the Dance Open Festival in front of 1500 guests. While our dancers go into the mask, warm up and change into their costumes, the stage is cleaned one last time – and covered with snow. And then our performance of Christian Spuck's «Winter Journey» begins!



It's showtime!

After one hour and 40 minutes we are happy and relieved about a successful performance and an enthusiastic audience! Tired but in a good mood we take the bus back to the hotel, where we are welcomed by the fire brigade: But luckily it’s all-clear shortly afterwards. What a day!




Day 3: A good night's sleep and journey home

After a long and hard Wednesday, many take the opportunity today to sleep a little longer. Fortunately, our flight back to Zurich doesn't leave until the afternoon. We take the bus to the airport - and are greeted by a howling siren. But luckily, it seems to be nothing serious and without any problems we reach Zurich in the late afternoon. Now it's time to say goodbye, because after the short, intensive but wonderful tour we have a few days of well-deserved holidays ahead of us.

Many thanks to Olga Belenkis and Ekaterina Galanova for inviting us to the Dance Open 2019, it was an honour and a pleasure to be part of the festival!