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By Kina Poon
We're theater-bound tonight—the movie theater, that is—to see the Mariinsky's glorious Ekaterina Kondaurova in Swan Lake. And what makes tonight's broadcast extra special is that her performance (happening in St. Petersburg right now) is being captured in 3D, with the help of James Cameron's production company Cameron-Pace Group. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the technical challenges include seven rigs of cameras helmed by an international 71-person crew. It's a worldwide event: there are over 1,200 theaters in 50 countries showing this production. (NYC, unfortunately, only has 2D Showings, but find a theater—and format—near you here.)
We wish we looked this good in 3D glasses. Photo by Natasha Razina, Courtesy Fathom Events.
We have high hopes for the direction (not too many close-ups of feet, for the love of Petipa) with Ross MacGibbon, former Royal Ballet dancer, at the helm. (His recent work includes Matthew Bourne's 3D Swan Lake film and the Royal's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland live relay.) In Time Out London, Ann McGuire, the director of the venture's parent production company Glass Slipper Live Events, cited the success of Wim Wenders' 3D PINA as inspiration.
Beyond Big Red (as Kondaurova is affectionately nicknamed), the cast includes Timur Askerov as Siegfried and Andrei Yermakov as Rothbart. Our 2012 "25 to Watch" Keenan Kampa will dance one of the big swans, and Xander Parish, the British up-and-comer who just debuted as Albrecht, will perform as one of the Prince's Friends (with tiny tempest Maria Shirinkina and Nadezhda Batoeva). Mariinsky general director Valery Gergiev is conducting.