After a longer absence, the ballet will be returning to the Cēsis Art Festival with an evening honoring the Latvian National Ballet principal dancer Aleksejs Avečkins (1976-2013). The concert is being produced by Aivars Leimanis, Artistic Director of the Latvian National Ballet, composer Arturs Maskats, artist Andris Freibergs, and director Roberts Rubīns. Every performance in the concert is linked to Avečkins’ unique talent and creative body of work.

The concert’s special guest performer, Czech ballet star Jan Fousek, will dance in an excerpt from Maskats’ ballet Dangerous Liaisons. Fousek danced in the production of Dangerous Liaisons at the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno, with Avečkins having worked as his repetitor to prepare him for the role. Fousek danced the role of Valmont for three seasons, and for which he received the Thalia Award, the Czech Republic’s highest artistic prize.

Also featured will be excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Adam’s Le Corsaire, and the Bizet-Shchedrin Carmen Suite. The evening will commence with the duet of Princess Florine and the Bluebird from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, which in 1996 was the first number that Avečkins danced on the stage of the National Opera in Riga after having moved to Latvia from his home country of Belarus.

A video will show excerpts from a performance created specially for the Cēsis Art Festival with cooperation from the contrabassist and composer Kristaps Pētersons and the choreographer Kirils Burlovs. Arturs Maskats says: “It’s very good that there exists a recording in which you can see the expressive close-ups – it’s really exciting to watch.”

Dancing in the concert will be Elza Leimane-Martinova, Margarita Demjanoka-Skuteļska, Laine Paiķe, Viktorija Jansone, Jolanta Lubēja, Iļana Puhova, Sabīne Guravska, Sergejs Neikšins, Raimonds Martinovs, Arturs Sokolovs, and Kārlis Cīrulis.