Round Table Discussion

Ballet in the Age of the Cold War

10:30 — 12:00
General Staff Building 6/8 Palace sq., St. Petersburg

Art has always been not just a matter of national pride and a means of demonstrating any country’s top artistic achievements, but also an effective tool for developing a positive image in international cultural and political space.  Ballet does not face the challenge of a language barrier and is therefore able to win over and bring together audiences around the world, whatever their nationality, religion or political affiliation.   At times of high tension between the Soviet Union and the West the demand for the art of choreography invariably increased.

An effective ‘soft’ power, it helped build trust and narrow the rift between states, as demonstrated by numerous highly successful performances of leading Soviet theatres abroad as well as prominent tours of famous European and American ballet companies in the USSR.  In the beginning of the XXI century ballet offers no less, and perhaps more value as a mechanism for development of collaboration and integration.

The discussion will aim to explore the most effective ways of using the potential of ballet art as an instrument of people-to-people diplomacy that helps to communicate and bring people together, to encourage dialogue and to strengthen mutual understanding between representatives of different cultures, religions and political systems.