ABT performed “Chipollino” last week at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale.
“This will be the fourth time that we will be staging ‘Chipollino.’ ‘Chipollino’ is one of our most popular ballets because of the dancing, colorful costumes, staging and choreography that appeals to both children and adults,” said Vladimir Issaev, Artistic Director of ABT, who choreographed and directed “Chipollino.”
Based on a fairy tale by Italian author Gianni Rodari, “Chipollino” is staged in two acts choreographed to the music of Russian composer Karen Khachaturian.
The story is about the adventures of a group of fruits and vegetables living in Limonia governed by Prince Lemon. When Prince Lemon forces Mrs. Pumpkin and her children to build a house and announces new laws to impose taxes on the air, rain, and sun, Chipolino (a green onion) reacts by stomping on the foot of Prince Lemon. In support of Chippolino, the fruits and vegetables unite to revolt against Prince Lemon.
“All the wonderful personalities of this story, which include Ms. Cherry, Tomato Police, Apples, Flowers, Radishes, Strawberries, show off the classical ballet skills of our dancers in this demanding and fun choreography.”
Performing in the principal roles are Ataru Matsuzawa as Chipollino, Kanau Shiina as Ms. Cherry and Saaya Okada as Ms. Carrot, the girlfriend of Chipollino. The costume designer is Jorge Gallardo and the sets were created by Elena Bond.
The success of Arts Ballet of Florida is attributed to its founder, Issaev who is a former ballet dancer and is celebrating a personal milestone on his 60th year dancing, teaching and administrating ballet.
“I consider myself to be a very fortunate and lucky man. From the very beginning when I took up ballet, I knew immediately that dancing would be my passion and I learned to evolve through the years and especially enjoy teaching young men and women the art and love of ballet.”
Issaev first honed his ballet skills in the 1970s in the Opera House of Odessa, Russia and within ten years became a ballet master and choreographer. He arrived in Miami in 1997 and developed a strong rapport as a ballet teacher locally, teaching young dancers at the prestigious Miami City Ballet as well as the Orlando Ballet. His reputation as a compassionate teacher gave his students inspiration in participating in numerous international competitions that were often staged in Miami.
“Without a doubt, the years I spent teaching at the Miami City Ballet were important both with the quality of the dancers and the many people I met in the community who loved and supported the ballet,” said Issaev.
Issaev also runs the Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet located in North Miami Beach.
Arts Ballet of Florida h16 professional dancers (eight men, eight women), five understudy dancers in the corps de ballet, two ballet mistresses and two choreographers in addition to Issaev.
Arts Ballet of Florida presents choreographer Vladimir Issaev’s “Chipollino” on Saurday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 Street in Aventura.
Tickets are $50. For tickets and information, go to aventuracenter.org or call (305) 948-4777.