Allen Public Library Presents: Russian Music and Dance

Bach to Books celebrates the majesty and fun of Russian music and dance, this performance features an outstanding medley of folk and classical selections. Stefanie Best, Artistic Director of the Allen Civic Ballet states, "With the exception of the Russian Winter Festival held in Dallas, I am not aware of any recent programs that have both classical and folk music and dance from Russia." The Allen Civic Ballet will perform White Swan variation from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky), Bluebird variation from The Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky), Peasant variation from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky), Fairy of the Crystal Fountain variation from The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri's variation from Don Quixote, Minkus, Fairy of the Enchanted Garden variation from The Sleeping Beauty, The Dying Swan (Saint Saens), as danced by Nathalie Krassovska, prima ballerina of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Russian Classical (Tchaikovsky), and Kalinka (Russian Folk Dance). "Ballet may have originated in the French Court, but the Russians were responsible for shaping ballet into the art form we know today. The classics that we still enjoy, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, etc., all sprang from the artistic environment in Imperial Russia. Nobody contributed more to the art of ballet than the Russians," declares Stefanie Best. After a brief intermission, a trio comprised of a cellist Martin Guerra, violinist Bethany Wildes and pianist David Yi from Southern Methodist University will perform Russian classical and folk musical selections. Born in Portland, Maine, Violinist Bethany Wildes studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. A graduate with a Master in Music degree from Southern Methodist University, Bethany has been a member of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, played a concert tour in Mexico City, and has participated in festivals across the United States and abroad. A native of Houston, Cellist Martin Guerra has been a member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State Orchestra for two years, finishing fourth in the state of Texas. Martin recently participated with Viva Vivaldi Music Festival in Mexico City and currently studies with Andres Diaz at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts. Pianist David Yi is a senior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in Piano Performance. In 2006, he won first place in the Dallas Music Teachers Association (DMTA) piano completion. A native of Korea, David has provided pianist accompanist for the prestigious Meadows Chorale.

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