Current News

February 27, 2012

This is Bob Hoffman. I would like to apologize for the unduly long time it took to update our Website Article “Current News.” Indeed almost one full year has passed before this current updating has been issued. We will do our best for this not to happen again. Because so much time has passed and so much has happened in regard to the activities of Robert G. Hoffman Productions and its PATER OLYMPIAN Project, this updated Article is unusually but necessarily long. Nevertheless, I would not attempt to shorten the Article any further than I’ve already done…because I do not want the information I’m bringing to you as well as your ease of reading it comfortably and enjoyably (I hope) in a “personal story” style that I attempt to convey to you to be thwarted by unnatural forced brevity.

Thank you very much for taking the time to view this comprehensive Website and I hope you enjoy reading about the many principal events of “Current News” that I’ve described to you below.

Robert G. Hoffman

 

Our most recent update of Current News was dated March 14, 2011. Many of the activities reported in such update continued to develop while some were postponed, set aside or have been taken in new directions. However, progress continues to be made on many fronts and we feel the new directions taken have placed the future of this never-ending Project on a firmer footing than ever. We call your attention to “Upcoming Projects” which has been updated as of January 14, 2012 with a fully described outline of the Projects contemplated to be worked upon in 2012 and 2013.

In chronological order from March 14, 2011, we will now describe the “Current News” to you.

In late March 2011, Bob Hoffman met in New York City with an advertising agency that had been recommended by our website consultants. The president of the agency and his principal colleagues discussed with Bob in great detail the history of the Project, the current situation and where it might be headed. The agency personnel felt the Project had excellent marketing potential. However when Bob considered the agency’s initial recommendations he decided that the direction proposed together with the related financial investment Robert G. Hoffman Productions (“RGHP”) would be required to make would not be in line with the financial results that could be expected from such recommendations. Therefore consideration of advertising alternatives has been deferred until at least late 2012.

As previously reported Bob’s trip to Moscow did take place from mid-April until early May 2011. Because of its Top Priority, pressure was building to begin writing the Sequel to Pater Olympian. Bob and Tanya Konstantinova met for dinner at Bob’s hotel with the Russian Television Director who reiterated the idea for a Ballet Movie to be created based upon Pater Olympian and its Sequel for introduction at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi Russia in February 2014. In his hotel business suite Bob played for the Director the DVD of the December 2002 World Premiere of Pater Olympian. Bob discussed the preliminary outline for the Story of the Sequel with the Director who seemed pleased at this stage of the Sequel’s development…and he offered some excellent suggestions for the Story. Bob mentioned preliminary ideas for the components of Classical Music for the Sequel (confidential). A “music arranger” must be engaged for the Sequel. The goal for completion of the Story and preliminary development of choreographic interpretation was set for September 2012…to a certain point in the process when Bob intends to hopefully turn the Sequel over to a Russian Cinema Producer for final completion.

During his trip to Moscow Helen Roudneva and Bob arranged a private dinner reception at his hotel for Pater Olympian’s Principal Dancers Natayla Chekhovskaya, Vasily Polushin and Maksim Gerasimov as well as for Gennady Ledyakh and Larissa Ledyakh the Directors of the Moscow Classical Ballet School. Unfortunately Larissa Ledyakh was ill and could not attend. Attending members from the RGHP “Artistic Team” were Helen Roudneva, Tanya Konstantinova and Katya Miyalnaya, as well as close friend and Principal Colleague Zhenya Romanova who had convinced Bob in 1999 and 2000 to bring the Project to Russia in the first place. Bob gave the group an informal summary of the Sequel’s status at the time and Natalya and Gennady assured Bob they stood ready to assist him in advancing the Sequel…and they asked that they be kept advised of the progress.

Back in New York in mid-May 2011, Eurydice Kelley - a member of the “Artistic Team” - asked Bob to accompany her and her 3-year old daughter Evlalia in attending a special children’s program in Classical Ballet given by the New York City Ballet in their official performance Theatre. It would seem Eurydice (who is herself totally steeped in Classical Ballet) is influencing Evlalia’s future “career” early on – but with Bob observing Evlalia’s reaction and participation in the activities and knowing she has been attending Classical Ballet School, she obviously doesn’t need too much “influencing.”

Bob and his wife Linda Hoffman traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts in late May 2011 to attend Bob’s Harvard College Reunion. On the last day of the Reunion Program’s lectures for these rather “senior in age” men and women attendees, a 1 ½ hour lecture titled “Arts at Harvard” was scheduled. There were perhaps 200 persons seated in a traditional upwards sloping lecture hall located in historic Harvard Yard. The Director of the Arts program introduced the Subject to be discussed. There was an attractive young woman seated up front. The Director introduced her as Elizabeth Claire Walker (“Liz”), a Classical Ballet dancer, and the Director said she was to describe the Dance program at Harvard. Liz was scheduled to graduate from Harvard College the very next morning. When Liz completed her presentation - which included video clips of her dancing - the lecture hall broke into tremendous applause. The Director asked for questions and the Director recognized Bob to speak first. Bob spoke for a few minutes about the Project. The audience was completely silent and seemed transfixed… and its surprise – perhaps its amazement - was obvious. The Director recognized what was happening and he good-naturedly and smilingly asked if there was anyone else in the audience that had created a classical ballet and produced it in Moscow. In response there was total silence followed immediately by resounding laughter. At the conclusion the audience rushed down to greet the Director and especially Liz. Bob managed to get through the crowd to give his business card to Liz and the Director. Since Liz was scheduled to rejoin the Los Angeles Ballet Company after the summer, Bob felt he was not likely to hear from her. Then without any further interim word, two weeks later Bob received an e-mail from Liz which among other things read: “To hear you speak about Pater Olympian and its performances and filming was certainly a thrill.” Liz clearly wanted to be a participant in the Project. Liz is now 23 years old and was originally with the Los Angeles Ballet Company at 18…and in October 2011 she rejoined the Company. Liz also now has a consulting role with the Pater Olympian Project especially in regard to the Sequel. In addition it is hoped that Elizabeth Claire Walker will ultimately join with Darya Lyakisheva (See “Artistic Team”) with both of them Principal Dancers in the full-evening-length ballet still to be known as Pater Olympian.

Liz remained in the Boston area during the summer and Bob met with her during the last 3 days of July 2011. They held several long meetings which included discussions about the Blue Book and viewing DVDs of the various choreography styles used in the earlier preliminary versions of Pater Olympian. Liz took copious notes of the meetings. Following their last meeting Liz wrote a computerized summary outline of the details discussed and describing what was needed to be done to complete the Sequel to Pater Olympian. Soon after it was decided to create a special Sequel Committee composed of Liz and Julie Petry (Asst. professor of Theatre and Dance at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania - see “Artistic Team”) – such Committee to be Bob Hoffman’s principal advisor on the Sequel.

On the last day of August 2011, Bob and Linda Hoffman left New York for a two-week vacation. They spent one week in St. Petersburg (Russia) and one week in Paris. When Tanya Konstantinova learned Linda and Bob would not be coming to Moscow, she requested Bob to assign her to St. Petersburg for 4 days of artistic photography of arguably one of the most beautiful and artistic and cultural cities in the world. Bob approved her request and Tanya took the overnight train from Moscow to St. Petersburg with her photographic and computer equipment. The photos are sensational, but we are still waiting for a selected portfolio for inclusion in a new Article to be created in the website titled “All around Russia.”

An interesting development took place on the above-described vacation trip. While Bob had been working to introduce Pater Olympian in Russia he had visited St. Petersburg 4 times from October 2000 until July 2002, but not since. Bob had been with Linda in Paris many times but not since January 2000. Several of the Hotel people in both cities remained the same… and they asked Bob: “Mr. Hoffman, you used to visit us often but not for a long time…what have you been doing all these years?” Bob explained and the Hotel people expressed surprise and interest. The result of those visits was Bob’s realization that representation of RGHP was possible in St. Petersburg, Paris and London. Olga Koshutskaya, Bob and Linda’s tour guide in St. Petersburg and Jessica Wax-Edwards - University student in London but working in the Paris hotel for the summer - indicated their wishes to be “Friends of the Project” (See “Friends of the Project”). This has broadened the possibilities for the Project in many ways in the future.

Later in September 2011 Bob updated the information about the Project to Daria Varvarina…a University student he had met during his trip to Moscow in April/May 2011. Daria had long been considering Bob’s offer to become a “Friend of the Project.” After being updated she became convinced to do so even though she had a full-time job and a full-time night classes study program at her University in Moscow.

In early October 2011 at Liz Walker’s invitation, Bob attended an independent ballet performance (including Liz as a performer) taking place in the Theatre of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Liz introduced Bob to many ballet dancers, choreographers, artistic directors, dance students and theatre administrators with whom she was acquainted. After the performance celebration in the Museum, Bob and Liz met for dinner and confirmed their mutual plans. Very soon thereafter Liz went off to California to rejoin the Los Angeles Ballet Company.

In November 2011, Bob attended a Reception at a Museum in New York City in honour of Nina Ananiashvili, one of the world’s greatest Prima Ballerinas in modern times (and with whom Bob was acquainted) who recently retired from the world’s great classical ballet stages including the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and American Ballet Theatre in New York City. At the Reception, Bob met the President of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce located in New York City. After some discussion and later communication Bob and the Chamber’s President agreed that RGHP should become a Client of the Chamber. This is now expected to take place in March 2012. It is hoped that fresh ideas for the benefit of RGHP and the Project will come from this new association.

On December 1, 2011, Bob left New York to go on his 30th trip to Moscow. Tanya Konstantinova invited Bob to attend a photographic exhibition at a new modern museum in Moscow where the history of Classical Ballet was prominently displayed in the form of photographic art. Bob was amazed to see photos of dancers he had personally seen dance in New York City decades earlier, including famous Classical Ballet dancers some of whom danced in the 1940’s along with Bob’s now quite elderly sister in the Corps de Ballet at the world famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Music Hall today may still be the largest theatre in the world...which at its inception had an audience seating capacity of more than 6000 persons. In addition, the exhibition included an entire floor of photos taken for the purpose of preserving memories of the grand history of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in the several days before the entire interior of the Theatre in Moscow was virtually taken down for a multi-year renovation beginning in July 2005 and completed in October 2011. This exhibition reminded Bob of the parents of Zhenya Romanova who in the very first days of Bob’s first visit to Russia in October 2000 presented Bob and Zhenya with a gift of two special box seat tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre to attend a spectacular performance of Classical Ballet at its finest...a never-to-be forgotten performance viewed in the grand historical setting of wonderment and splendour of the Bolshoi Theatre in its original design.

During Bob’s December 2011 visit, he continued to work on the Sequel. Bob has selected excerpts of various accompanying pieces of classical music. He has outlined parts of the Story and Scenario. He has discussed the underlying principles of the Story of the Sequel with his consulting staff in the United States and in Russia. Bob has dealt with the quite varied but constructive input he has received. However, Bob reminded the consulting staff that he alone is responsible to make the final decisions... after he will have given full thought and consideration to future ample consultations with the Sequel Advisory Committee he had formed composed of Julie Petry and Elizabeth Claire Walker who as a team are to consider all aspects of the plans for the creation of the Sequel. During this visit, Bob, Helen and Tanya were invited by Vasily Polushin and Natalya Chekhovskaya (Principal Dancers in Pater Olympian) to an entire day-long visit to their new home in the Moscow Region. While bringing the details of the outline of the Sequel of Pater Olympian to their attention Bob received from Natalya Chekhovskaya a breathtaking new idea (confidential) relating to the futuristic Story...an idea to be acted out on stage that importantly serves to vividly complete the life-circle of the entire Ballet Story.

Gennady and Larissa Ledyakh have re-confirmed their willingness to allow the Moscow Classical Ballet School (where they are the Directors) to be used for rehearsal space and to allow the School’s senior high school classical ballet dancers to be selected to assist in the development of the choreography of the Sequel. Bob has not yet chosen the choreographer but he and Helen Roudneva have begun to contact Principal Dancers to take part in the development of choreography. Bob has tried to bring everyone in the Project into the process so that each individual participant would feel to be a part of this great adventure. It is suggested that viewers to this website access this “Current News” Article from time to time during 2012 to be updated on the current status in the development of the Sequel.

Bob intends to continue to work with the “Friends of the Project” to whom he will pass his extensive from-the-beginning Project knowledge and other information in order to assist them in becoming fluent and knowledgeable on all aspects of the Pater Olympian Project – both as to its history and its future. By doing that it will enable them to know what has worked and what has not worked – and therefore have a basic framework from which they will be in a better position to avoid mistakes and make better judgements and recommendations and in carrying out ideas and decisions and/or handling a variety of assignments in regard to the Project going forward.

A few days before Bob left Moscow on December 23, 2011, Helen and Bob organized a small Project celebration dinner party at his hotel for the Participating Group. In addition, Olga Pshenitsyna (television journalist) and Olga Udod (Bolshoi Theatre costume designer) were invited to attend. Bob sat next to a young woman, Katya Belova, who is a relative of Helen and is a university student in Moscow. Helen had informally proposed to Katya to become a participant in the Project more than a year earlier. After Katya’s conversation with Bob at the party, followed in January 2012 with communication by phone and e-mail, Katya agreed with pleasure to become a “Friend of the Project.”

“Friends of the Project” now number 4 individuals...Jessica Wax-Edwards (London – also responsibilities in Paris), Daria Varvarina (Moscow), Olga Koshutskaya (St. Petersburg) and Katya Belova (Moscow). You are invited to access the website Article “Friends of the Project” to find their mini-biographies with their photographs hopefully soon to follow. We expect much from this Group in the future.

Two of Bob’s advisors have long been of the opinion that a Book should be written on the subject of the “Life Transformation of Bob Hoffman” and that such a Book could be successfully sold. Bob has finally “listened” to these advisors and accordingly this previously mentioned Project has been upgraded on the list of Upcoming Projects...with the writing of such a Book to be focused upon by October 2012.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish our talented “Artist” Tanya Konstantinova the best of luck in her appointment in January 2012 as Photographer for a Television Channel in Moscow. She will continue her present status as Chief Consulting Artist and a member of the “Artistic Team” of RGHP.

Valerie Vlacancich, Bob’s close long-time friend in New York...who has agreed in due course to become Executive Consultant to RGHP...informed Bob earlier this month that she has contacts in the DVD replication business who are willing to make replication runs in moderate quantities of the DVD of Pater Olympian. That will be a great help to RGHP in managing its DVD inventory to reasonable quantities in line with its marketing needs going forward.

Just a few days ago, Bob contacted Madame Phyllis Latin...the Choreographer and Artistic Director of Pater Olympian in its present form...to let her know he would like to visit her in Saratoga Springs, NY in April. The purpose of his visit would be to discuss the status of the Sequel to Pater Olympian.

Bob’s next trip to Moscow will take place from March 14, 2012 until April 2, 2012. A report on that trip will be made in “Current News” shortly after Bob’s return.

 

March 14, 2011

The previous update to Current News was dated March 14, 2010 and among other things provided information in regard to the then upcoming Centenary Celebration of the artist Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov (1910-1997), People’s Artist of USSR and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Arts. The late artist was the husband of Tatiana Georgievna Birukova-Konstantinova (Principal Colleague of Robert G. Hoffman Productions) and the father of Tatiana Fyodorovna Konstantinova (Chief Consulting Artist of Robert G. Hoffman Productions). There were a number of related events in Konstantinov’s native town of Zaraisk. In Moscow, a Celebration Exhibition of representative works of Konstantinov opened on May 15, 2010 at a branch of the famous Bakhrushin Theatre Museum…the branch called Memorial House of Shepkin (the eminent Russian actor at the beginning of the 19th century). Bob Hoffman - in Moscow at the time and invited by Tatiana Birukova-Konstantinova - attended the opening of this well-attended exhibition at which laudatory speeches were made by prominent art executives and appreciative lovers of Konstantinov Art, including an impassioned speech by Tatiana Birukova-Konstantinova stressing her husband’s loyalty to classical tradition in his portrayal of nature, man and their harmonious interaction. The exhibition showed the breadth of the late artist’s talent – displaying engravings, oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and art prints, until closing on June 29, 2010.

Tatiana Birukova-Konstantinova and her daughter Tatiana Konstantinova have made further progress in choosing and assembling representative pieces of Konstantinov Art for the purpose of Bob Hoffman’s participation with the Konstantinov family in the Konstantinov Art Project planned to take place in the United States and possibly in other countries as well.

In April 2010, Bob Hoffman enjoyed an afternoon visiting choreographer Madame Phyllis Latin while she conducted her dance class in the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was a great visit followed by a social dinner. Although Madame Latin does not intend to participate in creating the choreography of the planned Sequel to Pater Olympian, as always she was gracious in offering Bob advice for this Project.

While Bob was in Moscow in May 2010, he participated in a number of cultural activities with the Artistic Team, Principal Colleagues and other friends. Bob was also invited to private dinners at the apartments of some of the Team Members. The subject of a Documentary on Bob’s life arose again at a preliminary meeting Bob had with another television industry contact of Tatiana Konstantinova. This possibility is scheduled to be further explored during Bob’s upcoming trip to Russia scheduled to begin in April 2011.

By May 2010, more than seven years had passed following the December 6, 2002 World Premiere performance of the ballet Pater Olympian in Moscow, whereupon Bob Hoffman decided it was time to give back to those who helped so much in the success of the Project. Accordingly he invited a group (about 20 persons) of artistic friends to the 4th Reunion Reception (see “Photos”) for a private viewing of the newly created DVD of the Premiere, the first such viewing of the DVD in Russia. The Reception took place in the beautiful open atrium of Hotel Marriott Tverskaya in Moscow where the invited guests were first served with a beautifully prepared buffet consisting of an array of delicious cold and warm hors d’oeuvres and a variety of dinner dishes with selected bartended wine.

The guests then took seats in front of a wide television screen where the DVD was about to be played. Following Bob’s greeting remarks the group sat silently transfixed on the playing of the DVD for about an hour as it viewed the thrilling Premiere performance of the Ballet integrated seamlessly with awesome voiceovers as well as Bob’s introductory and post-performance remarks live on screen. At the close, the audience rose with applause with some making short speeches in regard to the excellence and professionalism of what they had just enjoyably witnessed (the DVD) and thanking and congratulating Bob for his never-ending efforts in the field of ballet over the previous 10 years and for bringing the attending group of ballet lovers together as friends time and time again at such wonderful Reunions. The group concluded by asking Bob when the Sequel to Pater Olympian would be written.

Late in May 2010 a few days before Bob left Moscow, he invited the Russian Team Members to a “Goodbye Dinner” at a very nice restaurant in the City. Without his prior knowledge, Bob was suddenly confronted by a “masked” woman who asked him if this was the “Party of Bob Hoffman.” Bob responded “Yes!” then the mask came off and it was Bob’s very first Russian colleague and friend Zhenya Romanova (See “Principal Colleagues” and “Art Defeats Terrorism”) whom Bob had not seen since she married and moved to India about two years earlier. This “surprise” had been engineered by Helen Roudneva, also a close friend of Zhenya.

For the past year in New York Bob had cultivated an association with an experienced Promotion Consultant who was prepared to become a key Principal Colleague in February 2011. However and unfortunately in late February 2011 she found it necessary to withdraw from the association due to the increasingly successful progress in her own television show. However she carried through on a long-time promise to Bob and on March 1, 2011 she arranged a live recording of a 10 minute interview she personally conducted of Bob to be aired on her television show in the near future and which will probably be integrated into this Robert G. Hoffman Productions website within a few months. In addition, she had arranged for the production of a second run of a moderate number of DVDs of the World Premiere performance of the ballet Pater Olympian…this time with the revised Wrapper that was newly and beautifully designed for the DVD case by Tatiana Konstantinova during the preceding months.

During the past many months and into early 2011, Robert G. Hoffman Productions has been working to create a new consulting group with the title “Friends of the Project.” So far there are at least 5 such “Friends” in Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York City, Florence, Italy, and California. The members of this enthusiastic group have expressed impatience to make contributions to the Project. Regrettably, for internal administrative reasons, assignments to these “Friends” to specific activities have not been given out, but it is planned they soon will participate in the sales and distribution of DVDs and Blue Books.

Bob has finally begun to put together an initial conceptual framework for writing the Ballet Sequel to Pater Olympian. He found that this framework turned out to be somewhat different from an even earlier concept he had. But this is to be expected and is really not a surprise at all - and more of the same is likely to follow. Unfortunately, Bob in recent months has been too occupied with administrative duties and the like given the expansion of the activities of Robert G. Hoffman Productions. Nevertheless, it is important the Sequel Story be completed early enough in 2012 so the schedule will be timely met to provide ample time for a Russian producer to consider the production of a full-length Ballet Movie “Pater Olympian II” to be introduced at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in February 2014 (see “Upcoming Projects”).

As of January 1, 2011, Helen (Elena) Roudneva has been appointed “Chief Consultant – Russia” and Tatiana (Tanya) Konstantinova has been appointed “Chief Consulting Artist.” Helen and Tanya will take on the principal consulting management and consulting artistic roles, respectively. The members of the Artistic Team on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have made contributions to the Project in their individual areas of expertise – there are so many contributions it is difficult to single out any one. However, in addition to Helen Roudneva and Tanya Konstantinova, recognition should be given to Julie Petry for her continuous flow of valuable critiques and suggestions in regard to the many varied aspects of the Project. And in regard to education and artistic accomplishment it is a pleasure to announce that Tanya Konstantinova received her Diploma in "Art and Journalistic Photography" in November 2010.

Bob Hoffman has engaged the services of a long-time (beginning in 1981) business colleague and close personal friend in New York as Executive Consultant...and she has agreed to become a Principal Colleague as well. The primary purpose in this regard is to strengthen the core group of Robert G. Hoffman Productions LLC going forward.

Bob has recently completed travel arrangements to Moscow once again. This trip – Bob’s 29th to Russia starting in October 2000 - will begin April 14, 2011 and last until May 5, 2011 and the activities are well into the planning stage in accordance with arrangements being put into place by Helen Roudneva and Tanya Konstantinova. The results of the trip will be reported upon in “Current News” in due course.

 

March 14, 2010

We take great pride in announcing that the Works of Art of the late Fyodor Denisovich Konstantinov (1910-1997), People's Artist of USSR, the husband of Tatiana Georgievna Birukova-Konstantinova and father of Tatiana Fyodorovna Konstantinova ("Tanya") are being exhibited beginning 4:00 PM Friday, March 19, 2010 at the Museum of the city of Zaraisk, Russia in honor of the 100th Anniversary of his birth. This exhibition has been planned for several years and we will make further information available about the exhibition including its length as soon as we obtain it. F.D. Konstantinov was one of the very greatest Graphic Artists of the former Soviet Union and of Russia in the 20th Century. We urge anyone who can to visit Zaraisk and its Museum. Bob Hoffman has been to Zaraisk a number of times and he plans to attend the exhibition during his next trip to Russia now scheduled for May 2010. For your information, Zaraisk is about 2 1/2 hours by car or bus from Moscow. As you can see, Robert G. Hoffman Productions has many artistic sides and in many varied directions and is proud to count among its participants Tatiana Birukova as a "Principal Colleague" and Tanya Konstantinova as a Principal Artistic Advisor of the "Artistic Team."

We are also pleased to let you know that the memorable and historic DVD of the World Premiere of the ballet Pater Olympian is finally available and is now being offered for sale on this website. The same availability holds true in regard to the Blue Book, considered to be a "Unique and Historical Piece of Art" in itself. For a complete understanding of what the Blue Book is, please read the Article about the Blue Book and its accompanying 3-page Letter by clicking on the related menu button. You can be directed to the purchasing pages for the DVD and the Blue Book directly from the Home Page or from various related Menus. Unfortunately, and as we previously had informed you, at the start we can only offer the DVD and Blue Book for delivery to locations within the United States. We are presently working on the most efficient methods to ship to Russia - and beginning with the City of Moscow. We expect this will take at least 30 days to put in place.

And we are pleased to inform you that the Photos and Biographies of Ms. Eurydice Kelley and Ms. Julie Petry have been posted in "Artistic Team." We suggest you take a look at these most recent and valuable additions to the United States Members of our Artistic Team.