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SOUVENIR (article first published : 2001-02-23)

Musician and impresario Edouard Miasnikov, responsible for bringing the Bolshoi Ballet Company to South Africa last year which produced a phenomenal box-office success, now brings to Durban and Pietermaritzburg the Russian State Dance Company Souvenir.

Souvenir is a Russian variety dance ensemble, boasting impressively talented top professional dancers schooled at Moscow Academic School of Choreography at the Bolshoi Theatre. Trained in a myriad of dance styles including classical ballet, folk and contemporary dance, the dancers have performed to international critical acclaim.

Souvenir was founded in 1971 by renowned Russian choreographer Tamara Golovanova, who is a "People's Artist of Russia" and a winner of the State Prize in the USSR. She worked for 28 years as a soloist of the State Ensemble of the USSR headed by Igor Moiseev. The ensemble, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary whilst on tour in South Africa, travels in Russia and extensively abroad. The troupe is also a prize winner of the XIth World festival of Arts in Havana and the recipient of the Grand Prix of the Festival of Arts in Berlin.

The programme to be seen in KZN features a selection of inspiring dance from around the world. Choreographers have created vibrant dances combining folk and contemporary dance and classical ballet with a variety of well-known and popular music from Bizet's Carmen to Herman's Hello Dolly. There will also be Argentinean, Arabian, Moldavian, Gypsy, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian and Jewish folk dance as well as classical sounds from Strauss, Mussorgsky and Liszt. There's also street dancing to music by Prince and a karate number performed to the soundtrack from Mortal Combat!

There are two performances at The Playhouse Opera on March 16 and 17 at 19h30. Tickets for these performances from Ticketweb on 0861 400 500, (031) 369-9444 or http://www.ticketweb.co.za

Souvenir will perform at the Winston Churchill Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on March 18 at 19h30. Book at Computicket, credit cards (031) 3042753 or http://www.computicket.co.za.




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