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 5 ARROW • week of April 24 - 30, 2013

The 2013 Senior Showcase will be at 7:30 p.m. May 4 and at 2 p.m. May 5 at the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre.+​



The Russian National Ballet Theatre will perform at Southeast for the third time on Friday. Submitted photo

Russian National Ballet Theatre returns to perform Swan Lake ANDREA GILS COPY EDITOR

The Russian National Ballet Theatre will dance at Southeast Missouri State University for the third time since 2009 and will perform Swan Lake, one of the world’s most popular ballets. Swan Lake tells the story of a princess, Odette, who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse and shares a love story with Prince Siegfried, who helps Odette lift the curse. Bob Cerchio, the assistant director of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, said he always tries to bring in full-length classic Russian ballets performed by a classic Russian company. “You really can’t get better than that,” Cerchio said. Cerchio said Russian dancers are true to the old-style Russian classical ballet. Alexander Daev, associate artistic director and ballet master, has toured with the Russian National Ballet Theatre for 12 years. Daev is in charge of keeping the performances “fresh” and making sure they are always held to the highest standard. Daev said the company is dancing a performance that has been handed down to them through their mentors and teachers for generations. “The Russian School of Ballet is the ‘gold standard’ for ballet training all over the world,” Daev said in an email. Daev said that Swan Lake combines many

elements that are conceived by artists who are the greatest in their fields. “The music by Tchaikovsky is magnificent,” Daev said. “The choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipas is exquisite. Our sets, lighting and costumes are all beautiful and traditional. All of these things combined take the audience to another place.” Cerchio said it is a breathtaking experience. The Russian National Ballet Theatre is represented by Columbia Artists Management, one of the top three agencies in the world as far as representing excellent artists, Cerchio said. Rachel Hunsell, Southeast senior and dance minor, said bringing companies like the Russian National Ballet Theatre, guest artists and choreographers and companies from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles helps students create more connections when they meet the guests. Students unfortunately will not be able to meet the Russian National Ballet Theatre dancers because they will be on a tight schedule. The Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts had the support of the Bank of Missouri to bring the company. Cerchio said any touring show can cost from $12,000 to $35,000 depending on the company, expenses and whether the company is fully booked or not, among other factors. The payment is done by the end of the performance, and if sales are not enough to cover the costs, the Board of Regents agrees to fund the losses, Cerchio said. Cerchio said he brings some shows that he already knows they can’t break even on, like

the St. Louis Symphony that he plans to bring next year. If Cerchio wanted to break even with the St. Louis Symphony, he said the River Campus would have to charge $100 for tickets, which it will not do because then ticket sales would be affected. “Our ticket prices are where they should be, but there are a lot of people that think prices are too high,” Cerchio said. Cerchio said it would be impossible to bring companies like the Russian National Ballet Theatre if the River Campus box office did not charge $34 to $40. Cerchio said people are seeing the same show they would see in Los Angeles or New York City and are saving a significant amount of expenses by reducing traveling costs. Cerchio has been booking touring agencies for 35 years, and he said his experience and expertise has shown him what works and what does not. “I try to end up by the end of the year with everything working out, the right amount of audience, right performance for the right price,” Cerchio said. “It’s a bit of an art itself.” Any profits made in shows go to the River Campus account, where the River Campus box office will get funds to cover other shows’ losses. Cerchio said he usually breaks even, and if there is any profit, it is not that much. Students need to see Swan Lake and performing arts because it is part of life, Cerchio said. “The arts represent the pinnacle of a culture,” Cerchio said. “It represents moving beyond merely sustaining our society to elevating it.”

Hunsell said that one off the first things dancers read is Swan Lake. “It’s an iconic ballet, so it’s really awesome to bring something like this to SEMO,” Hunsell said. Cerchio said people do not need to know a lot about ballet to enjoy Swan Lake. “You hopefully will walk out feeling like a better person, or being a better person,” Cerchio said. For those who wish to pursue ballet dancing as a career, Daev said that ballet requires total commitment and hard work. “If you love it, it’s a wonderful life,” Daev said. Cerchio said sales have been normal so far and thinks sales will go well. “I hope people understand how special it is to have those companies in Cape Girardeau,” Cerchio said. “Some people go through all their lives and do not see what kind of art we present here.” Cerchio said a common reason people do not see performances is because they are too far away. “This is right here, in your backyard, and we hope people appreciate it and take advantage of it,” Cerchio said. The Russian National Ballet Theatre will perform Swan Lake at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall. General audience tickets range from $34 to $40, while students get a 50 percent discount when they present their Southeast ID. Tickets are available at the River Campus. For more information, visit

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