Prague to host a star-studded ballet gala

If you are a lover of ballet, then on Wednesday evening Prague will be the place to be. The State Opera will be hosting a star-studded international ballet gala, featuring twenty top dancers from around the world. They include stars of the Paris Opera, the New York City Ballet, the Berlin State Opera, or the Bolshoi in Moscow, to name just a few, and most have never danced in Prague before. The gala will include classics like Tchaikovsky, but there will also be more modern and experimental work. David Vaughan spoke to the director of the project Jana Kurova.

Jana Kurova
"We are very happy that we can welcome these principal dancers here in Prague."

And what is the idea behind getting them all together here to perform in Prague?

"We would like to show people the different faces of the art of ballet. So we would like to produce classical works, also neo-classical and of course modern."

So these are going to be extracts from various choreographies around the world that are performing at the moment?

"Yes, they are. So it is like a collection of fragments, including, for example, classical ballet performances, Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux and Duet, and the modern things include a very nice solo to the music of Jacques Brel: the choreography is Ben van Cauwenbergh, the principal dancer is Danil Simkin, winner of many international ballet competitions."

You have been extremely busy putting it all together. What will be the highlight for you?

"For me it is important to show good work to a new generation of young people. It is nice if they can see the best of the world of ballet at present."

Do you think that ballet is appreciated as much as it should be here in the Czech Republic?

"Of course the ballet has a history here, but if I can compare, abroad it is much better. I would like to do just a small step to help young people, because for example in France, in the United States, in England, the conditions are different."