Swan Lake 3D to be Broadcast Live from the Mariinsky Theatre to Cinemas in Over 50 Countries


“There is this magic of 3D. 3D Live from a theatre to the whole world you think ‘wow!’ This is for the first time 3D Live – brave, unknown, risky – you feel like a pioneer.“
-Valery Gergiev, Director Mariinsky Theatre – one of the most famous conductors in the world.

On Thursday June 6 2013, one month after the opening of the new opera house Mariinsky 2 in St Petersburg, a spectacular event will take place. From the company who have introduced some of the world’s greatest dancers, outstanding music and sensational ballets comes a special performance of Swan Lake – celebrating 275 years of Russian ballet in the Winter Palace.

The performance will be filmed in 3D Live – simultaneously in 2D – and transmitted to cinemas in more than 50 countries around the world.

This will be the very first 3D Live transmission of ballet from a historic theatre to a worldwide audience.

Cameron Pace Group, the company of James Cameron and Vince Pace, will produce the 3D event using the same Oscar-winning technology as Avatar and Life of Pi.

Valery Gergiev, “ We all know if you team up with Cameron ( Pace) something exciting should happen. All your experience helps you so Live will not lose any part of this promised magic. When people know this is happening NOW it adds so much to the feeling.”

In St Petersburg itself the event will be truly exciting. It will be the Season of White Nights when the sky above St Petersburg, the Imperial Capital of Russia, is only fleetingly dark.

The Swan Lake 3D Live Special Event will be filmed in the Mariinsky Theatre and simultaneously relayed to a screen in the new state of art auditorium – Mariinsky 2.

It’s the perfect marriage of art and technology: the best ballet company in the world and the world’s most advanced 3D technology.

Special guests and thousands of international visitors will gather in the two grand theatres: one historic, and one brand new.

In the historic Mariinsky Theatre, many seats will be moved from the stalls to make room for eight large 3D camera rigs: two will be on tracks on the far left and right and three more will be in the body of the stalls – as will a movie bird crane to capture height and movement of the Mariinsky dancers.

Another camera rig will be in the orchestra pit trained on the Director and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Maestro Valery Gergiev – acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest conductors.

2013 will be a heady and pleasant summer for the man Russians who many others call Maestro. He will have a new theatre, and will have been in charge of the Mariinsky for 25 years. His sixtieth birthday is being respectfully celebrated in the musical centres of the world, all summer – including in London where he is principal Guest Conductor of LSO.

In front of the cameras, in the boxes next to the stage, in the Directors box, and in the Tsar’s box will host special guests

In new Mariinsky 2 auditorium – which is a stunning modern replica of the dimensions of the old theatre, an audience of around two thousand, from St Petersburg and many from abroad, will don the glasses to watch Swan Lake Live in 3D on a large screen: as it is danced in the Mariinsky theatre next door.

The Hollywood company Real D, which is also linked to Jim Cameron, is providing the screen in Mariinsky 2. The St Petersburg Company NevaFilm, which has established an international reputation over the last twenty years, is working with the media department of Mariinsky Theatre to install Dolby cinematic surround sound and the 3D projectors.

The Technical Producer is Chris Bretnall:NevaFilm will work with Chris Bretnall to link Mariinsky 2 to the main satellite truck parked on the far side of the MariinskyTheatre.Chris Bretnall will work with Arqiva, the satellite delivery team, to relay two signals – both in 3D and 2D from the theatre to cinemas worldwide.

Yuri Fateev, the Deputy Director of Mariinsky Ballet:”We perform Swan Lake because this ballet was born in our city and our theatre. This is a very important thing. Now, every ballet company around the world performs Swan Lake but the first one, was created for the Mariinsky Theatre stage with the genius of Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.”

The ballet was made in a room inside the former Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg – now the Vaganova Ballet Academy at 2 Rossi Street. A plaque on the wall of the room celebrates the creation of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. The British choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon and many others have visited this place seeking inspiration.

When the company were in California they recently performed at the Segestrom Centre, a large venue in Orange County performing Swan Lake to large crowds nine times in one week.

This Swan Lake 3D Live ballet celebrates 275 years of Russian ballet:275 years ago Empress Anna ordered that the children of the imperial court learned “the foreign steps”. It led to a power house of talents who inspired the world. Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Barishnikov, George Balanchine who created New York City Ballet and many, many more.

Ekaterina Kondaurova will be Odette/Odile on the night of the 3D Live. “It is a real joy for me to dance Swan Lake.”She was a star born when she performed Firebird in London in 2011. Luke Jennings of The Observer said of the Mariinsky: “The Mariinsky is the most revered ballet company in the world, and when they performed Swan Lake they showed us why. It’s a purity of style and schooling.”

The Mariinsky corps de ballet also wrote: “Every back has the same soft-swept arch, every arm the same airy line from shoulder to fingertip, every neck is identically poised, every gaze parallel. The effect is ravishing. A sublime account of the world’s best loved ballet”

Jim Cameron’s long time partner Vince Pace will be 3D Executive Producer.

The ballet film director will be Ross MacGibbon. British and a former Royal Ballet dancer himself, once on stage with Nureyev, he has, in the last few years, become the Director for Live dance to cinema. He knows the ballet stories – knows when to go close and high-light emotions – when to stay loose to focus on the shape of the dance. He has recently worked with Matthew Bourne – filming in 3D.

Everyone has prepared for this moment.

“Having already filmed a ballet in 3D, I feel up to this challenge. The shapes made in classical ballet can only be fully appreciated on screen in three dimensions as dance is all about movement through space. The 3D will transform the cinema experience. I feel, it’s especially thrilling when allied to great dance.”

For the producers Ann McGuire and Lorna Dickinson of Glass Slipper, this Swan Lake is designed to be a magical encounter with the best ballet filmed by the very best people. Ann McGuire was in the Mariinsky Theatre on a freezing and bleak February evening over a year ago. “There were no tourists, just local people. I was sitting with two or three babushkas and I thought what a pity this magic is not being seen around the world.”

Swan Lake 3D is a big business incentive too. Real D provides equipment for live, enabling cinemas for 3D. It’s a big job – even in America. Real D have just supplied 3D Live enablement pods to Blitz Cinestar in Croatia – the latest to sign up to receive 3D Live.

In Zagreb, Kristina Frajtic, Blitz Head of Acquisitions is talking about a special event “with champagne! …It’s the 3D Live that is so exciting.”

The aim is to reach as many people around the world as possible. Swan Lake 3D will be Live in Russia West of Moscow and Europe, Live in the United States and Central and South America – and recorded As Live in Russia East of Moscow, South Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It will be possible to see the Event in Live 3D, recorded 3D, 2D Live and recorded.

Maria Bezenkova of Russian distributor NevaFilm. “We are thrilled that we will be able to show this event in 3D – live format – most innovative and amazing format that has been invented. Russian public prefer screeenings in 3D format and also this will be the first live project that will show a live event from a Russian theatre to a Russian audience.”

Russia and Mariinsky have had a long journey with 3D: both have always been at the cutting edge of new developments.

A 3D film was released in Russia in 1911 – years before the same happened in the US – and before the ‘golden age’ of 3D in the 1950s in the States, there were many 3D films being made in Russia. A technician named Semen Ivanov invented a 3D viewing method that doesn’t need glasses – you watch it through a wire frame, which isolates each eye.

Short 3D films for the Live Events are edited in London in 2D, then sent to Los Angeles to be edited in 3D by Cameron Pace Group, then to India for work to the background “plates” – this is the green screen technology of Avatar and Life of Pi – then back to Los Angeles for the Grade – then to the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia for final approval – a global journey for each frame of film.

The Mariinsky was the first theatre to experiment with Live 3D. After a closed circuit experimental Live to an audience in Paris, a 3D recording of Giselle and a 3D recorded Nutcracker – the theatre is ready for a 3D Live to the world.

Valery Gergiev, “Mariinsky Live 3D format is something totally new not only for us but also for the whole world. Looking at this opportunity it’s to both display the qualities of the company but to do it with the newest possible technology”

“We show our leading dancers the new wave of Mariinsky stars – every season there is someone else coming. We show the beauty of those productions led by great music and including living composers.”

The birth of Russian ballet, Tchaikovsky, the Mariinsky with the world’s most eminent ballet corps, the new Mariinsky theatre, Gergiev, the world’s first ever live 3D broadcast of theatre, the birth of 3D film in Russia, the modern Russian film industry benefiting from the world’s leading 3D technology… if it’s cultural pride and excitement we’re talking about, it just doesn’t get better.


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