It's a go in Montreal.Loyalty among the world's best dancers has guaranteed that the seventeenth edition of Montreal's Gala des Etoiles (Gala of Stars) will live up to its reputation as a major dance showcase.
Reduced private and public sponsorship threatened the Canadian institution's birthday celebrations until ballet luminaries, headed by Boston Ballet History
The Boston Ballet is a professional ballet company based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1963 by E. Virginia Williams and was the first professional repertory ballet company in New England. Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, pitched in to help. Instead of raising money fur charily char·y
adj. char·i·er, char·i·est
1. Very cautious; wary: was chary of the risks involved.
2. , they invited superstars to dance without pay at the September 4 event at the Salle Wilfred-Pelletier to benefit the gala itself.
Before he retired from the stage, Nissinen was a gala regular, having danced in eight of the annual shows and become a personal friend of gala President Victor M. Melnikoff in the process. When he realized that the event, a unique production featuring the latest and greatest of world dancers, was caught in a tightening economic noose and that Melnikoff would not be able to make his usual round the world talent search, the former San Francisco Ballet San Francisco Ballet, or SFB, is a San Francisco, USA based ballet company, founded in 1933 as part of San Francisco Opera Ballet. The company is currently based in the War Memorial Opera House, where it is directed by Helgi Tomasson. principal offered his help.
With Eldar Aliev, artistic director of Indiana's Ballet Internationale, Toronto's Frank Augustyn Frank Joseph Augustyn (born 1953) is a Canadian ballet dancer.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, he studied at the National Ballet School of Canada.
From 1972 to 1989, he was the principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. , and Milan's Jan Broeckx, Nissinen and Melnikoff designed the anniversary program. Typically, it honors new young talents as well as several veterans of tire event among the twenty or so (there are always last-minute changes as dancers juggle their schedules to appear at the star-studded show) scheduled to perform.
The Gala des Etoiles is the most prestigious event in the world, said Aliev, who appeared from 1992 through 1996, while he was still with the Kirov Ballet Kirov Ballet, one of the two major ballet companies of Russia, the other being the Bolshoi Ballet. In 1991 it was officially renamed the St. Petersburg Maryinsky Ballet; however, on its frequent tours abroad it is still called the Kirov Ballet. . "It provides dance of the highest quality. Dancers really wanted to support Victor. They know [the gala] is about humanity and support for the art form."
Every dancer invited accepted without reservation. Faruk Ruzimatoy, a Kirov star who has performed in numerous galas, was the first to volunteer. Other participants include Carlos Acosta Carlos Acosta is a Cuban ballet dancer. He has danced with many companies including the English National Ballet as a principal and the National Ballet of Cuba, and is now an international guest artist to much critical acclaim. , The Royal Ballet Royal Ballet, the principal British ballet company, based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It is noted for lavish dramatic productions, a superbly disciplined corps de ballet, and brilliant performances from its principals. ; Patricia Barker, Pacific Northwest Ballet The Pacific Northwest Ballet is a ballet company and based in Seattle, Washington in the United States. Founded in 1972 as part of the Seattle Opera and named the Pacific Northwest Dance Association, it broke away from the Opera in 1977 and took its current name in 1978. ; Zdenek Konvalina, Houston Ballet The Houston Ballet, operated by the Houston Ballet Foundation, is the fifth-largest professional ballet company in the United States, based in Houston, Texas.  ; Sarah Lamb, Boston Ballet; Carlos Rodriguez and Angel Rojas, Nuevo Ballet Espanol de Madrid; and others from Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, and Canada.
Heavily supported by public monies, the gala began encountering financial problems in 2002 when the Canadian government imposed a moratorium on its sponsorship funding. At almost the same time, corporate support dwindled dramatically, likely, according to Melnikoff, because of global economic pressures. Although it sold out as usual in 2002, there was nothing left to sustain the organization and plan the anniversary show. Since 1995, the gala has appeared in Greece, Israel, Japan, Hungary, and Toronto, Canada.
Melnikoff said he is deeply lunched by the generosity of the stars. Since 1986 he has entertained dancers in his home, busting parties day and night, even housing some dancers. As a lawyer he has offered them his professional services. But mostly he has regarded them as friends. "The gala wasn't all professional, it was personal too," he has said repeatedly. "It's also a family."