History of the National BalletChoreography of Moldova has got its old traditions and roots in its national dancing creation which had preserved the features of ancient Greek and Roman dances; it had felt the influence of the Balkan and Slav people’s cultures as well.
There was always a great interest in opera and ballet in Republic of Moldova, but the possibility to create a professional theatre appeared only in 1957. For this purpose, a Moldovan group was taught in Leningrad, which after graduating the famous choreographic School after Vaganova returned to Chisinau and became the basis of the ballet group with Vladimir Tihonov, Piotr Leonardi, Vitalii Poclitaru, Vera Salcutsan, Claudia Osadceaia and others. At the same time, the young ballet dancer Galina Melentieva and the experienced ballet dancer Pavel Fesenco were invited to Chisinau. The first ballet performance was “Bahcisarai Fountan” by B. Asafiev, staged by Alexandr Protsenco. The part of Vtslav was played by Vladimir Tihonov, Maria’s part was performed by Rozita Poiehina, and the part of Khan Gherey was played by Pavel Fesenco.
Soon after, the ballets “La fille mal gardee” by F.Herold, “Straussiana” by J.Strauss, “Swan Lake” by P.Tchaikovsky staged by L.Voskresenskaia appeared in the repertory of the theatre.
In search of its own style, were created national ballets. The Moldovan composer Vasile Zagorski composed the ballet “The Dawn”, which was staged by V.Varkovitski. The composer Eduard Lazarev created the ballet “Broken sword” after M.Eminescu’s poem “Ghosts”, staged by the ballet masters S.Drechin and N.Danilova. In this performance the principal part of Arald was played by Vladimir Tihonov, and Piotr Leonardi was brilliant in the part of Fire.
The first ten years of becoming a professional ballet group were marked by new performances when each play was an event. The theatre was touring to Bulgaria, Moscow, Kiev. Then, many talented guests gladdened Chisinau by playing here, such as Vladimir Vasiliev, Ekaterina Maximova, Elena Reabinkina, Raisa Struchkova, Nicolai Tsiscaridze, Andrei Uvarov, Mariana Rijkin, Liudmila Semeneaka, Boris Efimov, Marihiro Ivata.Ballet-lovers were looking forward to seeing such ballet dancers as Vladimir Tihonov, Piotr Leonardi, Rozita Potehina, Alexander Mihalachi and others.
The ballet „Carmen-Suite” by R. Schedrin/G.Bizet has showed once again Galina Melentieva’s tragical spirit as an actress, who danced such parts as Odilia, Snow White, Cleopatra.
In 1964, having graduated from the Choreographic College in Moscow, Mihail Caftanat, a native of Chisinau, came back and right away became famous, performing such difficult parts as Arald in “Broken sword”, Anthony in “Anthony and Cleopatra”, Zigfrid in “Swan Lake”, Desire in “The Sleeping Beauty”. Mihail Caftanat has become a real star of man dancing, conquering the audience with his scenic charm and creative work.
The ballet of the National Opera theatre first of all aspired to increase its classical repertory without which there is no genuine theatre. In that way the basic repertoire of the theatre became such ballet as „Swan Lake”, „The Sleeping Beauty”, „Nutcracker”, „Giselle”, „La Silphide” etc.
The flourishing period of ballet in Republic of Moldova is connected with the name of Marat Gaziev. Just then such classical performances were played as “La Silphide”, “Coppelia”, “La Bayadere”, the renewed “Anthony and Cleopatra”, such splendid artists appeared as V.Gelbet, V.Scepaciov, O.Gurievski, O.Ionel, L.Cerececea and others.
The ballet „La Bayadere” by L.Minkus was lovingly transferred by Tatiana Legat from the theatre Mariinski to Chisinau. Its performance demonstrated that the theatre managed well with the difficult work which had needed good players and mastership.
In 1993 was the premiere of the national ballet “Luchafarul” by E.Doga, staged after Mihai Eminescu’s poem by Valerii Covtun have also been an attempt to create national ballet. These original performances were nicely played by a new talented generation of artists – V.Gelbert and V.Scepaciova. They manifested themselves as real masters who created unrepeatable beautiful characters of Catalina and Luchafarul.
The National Opera and Ballet Theatre carefully keeps on classical plays in its repertory, side by side with modern ones. They are dancing the ballets „Snow White and 7 dwarfs” by B.Pawlowski, staged by G.Maiorov, „Romeo and Juliet” by S.Prokofiev, „Prince and Poor” by N.Simonean, staged by E.Girnets.
In the Opera and Ballet Theatre there is a change of generations.Today, Mihai Caftanat is the Chief Ballet Master, hei s an outstanding dancer, People’s Artist of Republic of Moldova and Hero of labour in Vietnam. Olga Gurievski, Merited Master of Arts of Republic of Moldova, is the tutor. Her students are such artists as A.Homitchi, V.Statnii, A.Terentiev.Elena Tsarikov is a skilful tutor, who teaches such dancers as Cristina Terentiev, Rada Duminica, Nicolae Balan, Svetlana Balta.Tamara Podaruev – Master of Arts, Merited Artist in Vietnam, is also tutor.
The theatre is proud of dancer Andrei Litvinov – Master of Arts. He possesses an uncommon appearance, a great acting talent; he has got a peculiar aristocratic motion. His powerful high jumps and his ability to work in pair with a partner – everything shows that he is a master.Ghenadie Badica, Master of Arts, is another well-known dancer with striking artistic manner.
Today, at the stage of the theatre there is a new generation of talented dancers. Soloists Nadejda and Egor Scepaciov, Cristina and Alexei Terentiev, Anastasia Homitchi, Vladimir Statnii, Maria Poliudov, preserving classical traditions, show spectators their professionalism and talent. It is very important to mention that the National Choreographic College had its contribution to the professional formation of the ballet dancers of Republic of Moldova. From this College graduated such dancers as V.Scepaciov, O.Ionel, E.Zaitev, Gh.Badica, A.Litvinov, N.Cotet, E.Scepaciov, C.Terentiev, A.Homitchi, V.Statnii, M.Poliudov, S.Vasilita, V.Bondarenco, A.Nazarenco and others.
During its life full of creative work and artistic discoveries of some artists and ballet master’s generations, the National Opera and Ballet Theatre has presented itself in a good light because of its highly professional ballet troupe. It is evidently from its tours to Russia, Laos, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, as well as from the appreciation given our performances by the theatre critics. Our ballet group is full of energy, new artistic ideas, and desire to perform more original plays. Moreover, it has always had its favorable spectator.