Hello 'Goodbye'

In a choreographic chronicle in which art does in fact imitate life, renowned Russian dance master Valery Panov brings Adios (Goodbye) to the Israeli stage. The intimate story of the life and love affairs of the former refusenik and star of the Kirov Ballet, Adios is a poignant, passionate piece created by Panov after his divorce from prima ballerina Galina. In the lead role is one of Panov's newest dancers, Kirill Panfilov of Kazakstan, whom Panov describes as being "even better than Baryshnikov." Performed as a tango and set to the rhythm of a beating heart, Adios is "very sexy," says the 70-year-old choreographer and director of the Panov Israel Ballet Theater. But that is just half of the story. While he bids a remorseful farewell to his former life and indiscretions, Panov is bursting with vitality as evidenced in the second part of the program, called Impression. Comprised of five pieces, it showcases Panov's wide range of interests and expertise and the virtuosity of his dancers. Pirouetting from classical ballet to Israeli music to French chansons, the program includes Festival of Flowers, The Corsair pas de deux, three songs of Boaz Sharabi, The Caucasian Suite and Charles Aznavour's "Triste Venise." Off stage too, Panov is filled with vim and vigor. He lives in Ashdod with former dancer Ilana Orlova and their infant son. He plans to build a new theater and ballet center in February and has recently added seven new dancers from abroad to his company. Adios and Impression will be performed in Haifa on Dec. 13 at Rappaport Hall, (04) 840-1057/8, and on Dec. 15 at the Tel Aviv Opera House, (03) 692-7777. Both shows are at 8 p.m.