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April 30, 2017

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ABT returns to Moscow after 45 years

The new ballet "Troika" was choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the ballet scenes in the movie "Black Swan." The film starred Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for best actress. She is expecting a child with Millepied.

The piece found an appreciative audience Tuesday. "The classical elements are used in a very innovative way, very unexpected," said Maxim Kachilin, a ballet regular. "It is a kind of a merger of the past into the present."

Three men dance the "Troika," accompanied by a lone cellist, Alexander Knyazev, on stage playing selections from Bach.

One of the dancers Tuesday was Sascha Radetsky, an American who spent a year in Moscow as a teenager studying at the Bolshoi Ballet school.

The main Bolshoi Theatre, built in the early 19th century, has been closed for renovations since 2005. All performances are now held on the new stage, which opened next door in 2000.

As for Baryshnikov, even though he left ABT two decades ago, "his presence is felt everywhere still," Radetsky said. "He's the guy who all young male dancers especially look up to ... his tangible presence isn't there anymore, we never see him, but his legacy still exists."

Baryshnikov was a principal dancer with ABT from 1974 to 1978, and its artistic director from 1980 to 1990.

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