In Russia, the foundation works with Moscow theaters to assist with the creation of productions. Right now they are working with the Natalia Sats Children's Theater in Moscow.
The foundation's touring company draws from Russia's finest theaters including the Bolshoi, Marinsky, Kremlin Ballet and the K.S. Stanislavski and V.L. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko (Moscow Stanislavski).
As it says in their Russian promotional materials, "its performances are distinguished by their adherence to the great Russian ballet tradition with its unparalleled technical beauty and artistry and the dramatic use of scenic shapes.
I should note that although Lantratov's organization is a Russian charitable organization, Double V Promotions, which promotes Mr. Lantratov's projects here in America is not a non-profit. We've often produced our ballet projects without a profit, but it was not intentional! Although we are not organized as a non-profit, we are motivated by the same spirit. Our mission is to bring the finest arts and entertainment from throughout the world to American audiences and students while increasing opportunities for performers from other nations. (After our summer tour, we will inaugurate a feature introducing you to some Russian dancers affiliated with Lantratov's foundation)
Another question we sometimes get is "why are you coming to my small town?" It is sometimes asked with a hint of suspicion that anyone who would come to such a place as the speaker's town must not be very good.** So let me just say that we have had some of our best experiences on the road in towns that fall a little further off the path. Being able to bring a master teacher to a studio in a town that would never be on the ABT's tour route is something we do to further the foundation's mission and something we do because it is a pleasure for us to meet anyone with a passion for dance. That can be found off scenic rural back roads, amidst the farms or in overlooked corners of urban environments.
In Russia, Valery usually works with professionals or students hoping to gain entrance to top theaters like the Bolshoi Ballet. Of course he likes being able to work at this level, but he also loves working with anyone who is putting in the effort and trying to learn and grow. The only students he does not enjoy are those who do not make an effort. Come to class prepared to work.
"Everyone has talent," he has said. "Everyone."
I will add that talent in itself is very nice, but it is hard work that turns raw talent into something beautiful.
We're pleased to announce a new confirmed class, July 8 at 1PM at the Faubourg School of Ballet in Hanover Park, IL.
I responded well to their mission statement: "Faubourg School of Ballet, Ltd. is devoted to developing each student's abilities and potential to the fullest. We believe that no matter what the body type or inherent ability, each dancer through hard work, dedication, God's grace, and the individual attention of caring and well trained teachers, can bring greatness within themselves. The sense of achievement and satisfaction that come from this self-improvement brings greater self-respect and responsibility. It gives young people at their most unsure times, the confidence and self-esteem they so desperately need so that they may face the uncertain world of today."
**It reminds me of the song Al Gore by Monkeybowl. The singer can't believe a former presidential candidate lives on his street. The VEEP's cameo at the end is in line with our feeling when people say, "I can't believe you're here."