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Exposition Classical Saint-Petersburgh 

In the secluded yards of the Capella. 11 Bolshaya Konyushennaya, you can find a cozy Gallery Molbert which will give you a chance to enjoy viewing pieces of modern art with a sip of a tasty coffee. The Gallery works with young promising artists trying to reveal their talents to a general audience. This time I got a happy chance to witness a rare photo exposition in this place. It was a premiere of the exposition Classical Saint-Petersburgh by Natalie Bero which was held on November 12th-15th. 

Exposition Classical Saint-Petersburgh represents a collection of photographs that depict the dancers of the legendary ballet on the background of the landmarks of the city. The project aims at showing the bond between ballet and city architecture. Silhouettes of the edifices, urbanized landscape, strict geometry of bridges and streets are intertwined with graceful and beautiful movements of professional ballet dancers.

Natalie Bero is an international photographer, who has been working for 13 years and specializes in fashion and work with people. she has worked in NY for the last five years. When she got a request from the Gallery in American San-Petersburgh, Florida in 2017, she got into the project to present it to the American audience. Saint-Petersburgh in San-Petersburgh was the main idea… the idea to deliver Russian landmarks to the USA. But on the stage of preparation, the gallery went bankrupt and closed. Natalie on her turn did not get despaired but got on to collect 103 different but united with the same idea shots. In March 2020 one more attempt to organize the Exposition in the USA was stopped by COVID-19. Being in Russia with borders closed and a vague future Natalie decided to try a premier exhibition within The IX St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum in her sweet and native city. Although the Forum got canceled the Premier took place to demonstrate 25 wonderful and amazing works. 

I had a chance to have a word with the author, she was in the Gallery all the days. She said that usually, she does not work with architecture and the crucial factor in her work is a person. One of the brightest sides of the city is the Ballet so, the photographs show not the architectural wonders only but dancers of the leading Russian Theatres. I cannot help but list the dancers who contributed greatly to the project: solo dancer of Mariinsky Theatre Maria Khoreva, · Mariya Khoreva, first lead of the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet Company, Petr Attikov, dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre, Maria Iliushkina, lead of the Mariinsky Theatre, Maievskyi Vsevolod, a dancer of the Mariinsky Theatre, Anastasia Lukina, the second lead of the Mariinsky Theatre, · Ivan Grebenshikov, dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, · Liliya Berezhnova, lead of the Primorsky Stage Mariinsky Theatre, Daniil Belozerov, dancer of Primorsky Stage Mariinsky Theatre,· Maksim Zenin, dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, · Elizaveta Anoshina, dancer of Novosibirsk Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Viktoria Pavlova, a graduate of Vaganova Ballet Academy, Zoya Frolova, Vaganova Ballet Academy

The Gallery showed Classical Saint-Petersburgh Making-off Film. There you can see that petite and tender ballerinas in reality turn out to be brave, strong, and persistent. One shooting was on so-called the pier. It was an old, unstable structure that cannot provide enough support for people on two legs. But the Mariinsky ballerinas managed to pose on one leg wearing toe shoes. Bravo!!!  

Carefully watching the exposition, I can also say “Bravo!!!” to the photographer. Now it is a difficult moment for all of us. In this difficult moment, time of misfortune and illnesses the author, just for 40 minutes, managed to carry us away emerging into the world of beauty to the immortal beauty of Saint-Petersburgh architecture and ballet mastership. In her photographs, Natalie succeeded in showing the language of spacious arts – ballet and architecture. She narrated the story of mutual interaction between a person and the urban environment. It is difficult to hide a difficult relationship with the city but after a while… looking at the photographs I can sense some deep feelings for the city… maybe a kind of love. Though Saint-Petersburgh is famous for its grey skies and constant rains the works catch your eyes with brightness and cleanliness. I cannot help but quote Natalie’s husband “It has become a revelation to me that here Black Dog Petersburgh looks positive. As for me, the native city is DDT-like but I can’t see it in the photographs.

I wish all the best to Natalie Bero in her world tour of the project. I hope she will manage to reach the USA in February 2021, Palm Beach, Florida. Natalie has an invitation to the Vladivostok Biennale and at the moment organizing events in Paris (April) and Rome (May).