09 April

Anatoly Antonov: the Russian-American cultural ties remain strong and keep developing regardless of the political situation.

Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov delivered his remarks during the reception on the occasion of the premiere of “Le Corsaire” by Mariinsky Ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

"Exactly a month ago we met here at the premiere of the opera “Eugene Onegin”. Now we’re honoring one of the best – if not the best – ballet troupes of the world – Mariinsky Ballet. We are quite encouraged by such a trend. It is yet another illustration of the fact that the Russian-American cultural ties remain strong and keep developing regardless of the political situation. They help preserve friendly relations between our nations even in the most difficult times. The beauty of art makes us better and from generation to generation serves as a pillar of progress for our civilization.

Speaking of “Le Corsaire” that we just had the chance to enjoy I would like to note that this artwork is a vivid example of the absence of any geographical and national boundaries in culture. The musical part of the contemporary productions was created by a constellation of composers. The author of the choreography is the renowned Marius Petipa, Frenchman by origin, who devoted his life to the Russian ballet. As a result of the synergy of efforts by a whole number of remarkably talented people the world got this pearl of the ballet art. By the way, at the age of 40, Marius Petipa starred as a principal dancer in the first Russian production of “Le Corsaire”.


Last year ballet lovers celebrated the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa. It would be hard to imagine the Russian ballet school without him. For the past two centuries the world has seen plenty of skilful choreographers. But the Russian ballet has always stood out for its careful attitude to traditions and their continuity.

That is why the American audience is anxious every season to watch the performances of the Mariinsky Ballet which has long become a golden standard in this art. I’m very pleased to greet tonight the principal dancers of “Le Corsaire” – Timur Askerov, Maria Khoreva, Nadezhda Batoeva, Kimin Kim, Alexey Timofeev, Xander Parish, Ekaterina Kondaurova, conductor maestro Vladislav Karklin. Thank you for your magnificent performance.

I also would like to express gratitude to Susan Carmel for her devoted support of our bilateral cultural and educational projects, promotion of the Russian culture in general and the organization of this wonderful evening in particular."