The Croatian National Theatre (HNK) on Monday welcomed some of the greatest Russian ballet stars, the leading ballet dancers of St. Petersburg who thrilled the Croatian audience with their renditions of the most attractive parts of world famous ballets.
The audience, including Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic and Russian Ambassador Anvar Azimov and other prominent guests, excitedly welcomed the soloists of the Leonid Jacobson Ballet Company and the Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theatres, the oldest and most prominent Russian ballet institutions.
HNK Zagreb director Dubravka Vrgoc said that this exceptional theatrical event was unprecedented in the history of contemporary Zagreb theatre as far as ballet was concerned. It continues on the cooperation of the Russian and Croatian ballet artists that started in 1920, she said.
The art director of international cultural projects of St. Petersburg, Viktor Minkov, conveyed a message from the governor of "the northern Russian capital", expressing satisfaction that Zagreb had become a centre for lovers of Russian art for a few days.
The visit by Russian ballet stars is part of a project that presents to the European audience the artistic performances of the most important theatres of the Russian capital of culture.
Russian ballet dancers will stage a second performance at the HNK Zagreb on Tuesday.
This artistic project is a result of cooperation between the government of St. Petersburg and the HNK Zagreb, with support from the Russian Embassy, the City of Zagreb and Mayor Milan Bandic.
As part of the project, an exhibition of photos of St. Petersburg by Evgeny Mokhorev, one of Russia's most prominent contemporary photographers, was opened at Zagreb's Klovicevi Dvori gallery.
The exhibition, entitled "St. Petersburg through the eyes of the angels: a view from St. Isaac's", brings panoramic photos of the city taken from its 101.5-metre St. Isaac's Cathedral. The exhibition will be open until November 13.