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Postcards from Russia – The Rite of Spring

The Rite of Spring, choreographed by Sasha Waltz

Seeing and hearing Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le Sacre du printemps, The Rite of Spring, at the Mariinsky II with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra was a once in a lifetime experience. In celebration of the centennial of the piece, choreographer Sasha Waltz created a new, modern production

Postcards from Russia – Russian-American Students

Prof. Marina Kaul and Prof. Irwin Weil from the Russian American Academic Center of the Russian State University for the Humanities

In 2004, Northwestern University Professor Emeritus Irwin Weil, and Marina Kaul of the Russian State University for the Humanities, saw a dream come true: the founding of an American Studies program at the university in Moscow. Professor Weil, who has devoted much of his career to promoting cultural exchange

Postcards from Russia – History of Russian Opera in Costumes [GALLERY]

Boris Godunov from the
Opera by Modest Mussorgsky

One of the most memorable exhibits we saw on our trip was inside the Mariinsky II. Throughout the new theater, original and revival costumes from famous opera and ballet performances were displayed from the Mariinsky Theatre Archives. It was a beautiful way to celebrate their colorful and dramatic history. Click more to keep reading and see the gallery of images.

Postcards from Russia – Bolero by Ravel, choreography by Maurice Béjart

Diana Vishneva of the Mariinsky Ballet in Maurice Béjart’s Bolero  at Mariinsky Theatre ll St.Petersburg. Photo credit: Valentin Baranovsky

Prima Ballerina, Maya Plitseskaya was watching from the back box while Diana Vishneva danced this role in one of the opening concerts of the Mariinsky ll.

Postcards from Russia – Farewell to Matt! – Part 11

Matt Honegger, Northwestern University, Class of 2014, with Maestro Gergiev in Moscow, Russia

When my fellow Northwestern University students, Keryn, Zack, and I (Bridget Rodino) arrived in Moscow, we were greeted by some familiar faces, which included Cydne, Matt, Professor Weil, and his wife, Vivian Weil. Alas, Matt Honegger’s trip was nearing its end. I had never been out of the United States, so Matt had a lot of great suggestions and advice.

Postcards from Russia-Moscow Maze – Part 10

A Main Street in Moscow, Boardering Red Square

We had a few hours before the concert to walk around Moscow and Red Square which was only a few blocks away from our hotel. As we began walking, we realized that many of the streets were closed for the holidays. The streets in Moscow are so wide, 8-10 lanes, that you have to go

Postcards from Russian – Khristos voskrese! – Part 9

Kazan Cathedral, Moscow

Khristos voskrese! This is the Orthodox Easter greeting (it means “Christ is Risen!”). We arrived in Moscow on Easter morning, after spending our first night on the Moscow Easter Festival Train. Just from our hotel window, we could count some thirteen churches dotting the city’s skyline – and the town reverberated with the sounds of

Postcards from Russia – An American Orthodox Celebration – Part 8

St. Tikhon's in South Canaan, PA

Пасха – Orthodox Easter As I, Zack Ellis, prepared to pack my bags to travel with the Mariinsky Orchestra, I learned a lesson about the serendipity of life. In a small hamlet 4,500 miles from Moscow, a monastery called St. Tikhon’s keeps Russian Orthodox traditions alive in Pennsylvania. On May 5, I had the pleasure

Postcards from Russia – The Mariinsky Train Experience – Part 7


Привет! I’m Bridget Rodino, a music student at Northwestern University, traveling on the Easter Festival Train with WFMT’s Cydne Gillard, and a group of people from Chicago. Being on the Mariinsky Orchestra’s Easter Festival Train is a special experience. We all have compartments next to one another, just two cars behind Maestro Gergiev himself. Two

Postcards from Russia – Contrasts of the Countryside – Part 6

Nina, our stewardess

Welcoming us to the Easter Festival Tour train, our stewardess, Nina, sweetly tells us everything in Russian. We listen and obey. Often we are visiting two or three cities a day with a concert in every city: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Smolensk, Bryansk, Belgorod, Kursk, Oryol, Tula, Kaluga, Nizhny Novgorod, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Vologda, Cherepovets. As we