Inspired By a True Story
What do you do when the one thing you live for is taken away from you?
Set in Leningrad and NYC between the 1950‘s and 1970‘s, TO DANCE tells the story of Valery Panov, a Russian Jewish ballet dancer who, despite his ethnic background, manages to become the star of the Soviet Union’s famous Kirov Ballet Company. No sooner does Valery achieve his dream, however, than it begins to fall apart.
Valery’s charismatic but reckless personality clashes with the Soviet vision of a “perfect machine.” Propelled by his desire to be an artist, Valery refuses to conform to the rigid restrictions of the USSR. As his individuality captivates audiences worldwide, the Soviet authorities use their power to crush Valery’s popularity. They ridicule, demote and even imprison him; but their attempts to destroy him only propel Valery to take a bigger stand.
Though he must sacrifice his own dreams in the process, Valery fights to let the world know of the predicament of artists in the USSR who lack human dignity and the freedom to express themselves.
After participating in the Sante Fe Musical Theatre Festival in August 2014, TO DANCE was presented to sold out audiences at FringeNYC2015 where it even received an additional FAVE performance.