Dances a reflection of beauty

When "Kings of the Dance" first premiered in Segerstrom Hall in 2006, it became an instant phenomenon. "Kings" showcased four of the world's top male ballet dancers in technically demanding and thrilling performances, and still is being produced around the world.

Now enter the world premiere of "Reflections," a converse mirror image of that production, featuring seven young world-class, Bolshoi Ballet Academy-trained ballerinas in contemporary new works. This showcase is a groundbreaking artistic partnership between the newly rechristened Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Bolshoi Ballet.

It also marks the fourth such partnership for the center and Sergei Danilyan of Ardani Artists, which also brought "Kings," the famed 2006 Mariinsky Festival and 2008's "Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion" to the center.

Daily group rehearsals and the creation of new ballets for "Reflections" went on for several grueling weeks here last August, followed by months of individual training. The production is highly personalized: Each dancer's individual talents and personality were showcased in a world-premiere work by her choice of a roster of preeminent contemporary choreographers.

Older works also will be included in the repertoire, including Nacho Duato's re-visioning of "Remansos" for three couples, and George Balanchine's famous "Pas de Trois." The seven Bolshoi-trained ballerinas, including Mara Kochetkova of the San Francisco Ballet, are joined in the show by four of the Bolshoi Ballet's top male soloists (and the Bolshoi Theatre orchestra). Rounding out the crop of top Russian talent: fashion designer Igor Chapurin, the "Russian Armani," who designed all the costumes for the new works.

The Bolshoi Theatre, with roots stretching back to 1776, has grown to become one of the world's preeminent opera and ballet houses; its ballet academy has produced many of the world's leading dancers, artistic directors and scholars, from Maya Plisetskaya to Vladimir Vasiliev.

"Reflections" will travel to Russia next week to debut on the Bolshoi Theatre's New Stage, before being incorporated into the Bolshoi's repertoire.

"With 'Reflections,' the center's goal is to inspire a legion of new dance fans, strengthen our reputation as one of the nation's premier presenters of great dance and to contribute to the dynamic cultural scene in Orange County," center President Terry Dwyer said in a release.

If You Go

What: "Reflections" dance showcase

When: Through Sunday

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Cost: $15 and up

Information: (714) 556-2121 or

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