fri 27/04/2018

Bolshoi

Best of 2017: Dance

With forelock-tugging celebrations of a choreographer who died 25 years ago and a summer visit by the Mariinsky the highest-profile events in the calendar, 2017 may not be remembered as a vintage year for British dance. But there were striking...

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Bolshoi's controversial Nureyev ballet opens – to ovations and bans

Nureyev, the most notorious new production at the Bolshoi Ballet’s modern history, premiered last night in Moscow to a 15-minute standing ovation and exclamations of official approval even by Putin’s press secretary – but the ballet’s creator and...

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Sergei Vikharev, master ballet-reconstructor, 1962-2017

Just as the 200th anniversary is about to be celebrated of the great genius of 19th-century classical ballets, Marius Petipa, the creator of The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, half of Swan Lake, and many other masterpieces, his oeuvre's...

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The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Flames of Paris, in Alexei Ratmansky's 2008 reworking, is a ballet of contrasts. Between the first and second acts, so different in pace and quality, between the naturalistic intimacy of certain pas de deux and the stylised posturing of the...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Exactly 60 years have passed since this company made its first London visit, an unlikely triumph of art over geopolitics. For 1956 was the year Britain was rocked by the Suez crisis and the year the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. British spies...

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Bolshoi Babylon, BBC Four

Here’s a paradox. Just as the words “new Cold War” were beginning to form on the lips of political commentators in the West, two British film-makers, former TV newsmen no less, were being granted uncensored access to the Bolshoi Theatre – just 500...

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Ex Kirov ballet chief takes not-so-Bolshoi job

The great Bolshoi ballerina Ludmila Semenyaka once told me that you need the claws of a tiger and the hide of a rhinoceros to survive at Moscow's iconic theatre. Her bitter words came to mind yesterday morning when I saw the Twitter feed of the...

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Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will lose his job when his contract expires next spring. Bolshoi Theatre chief Vladimir Urin announced...

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Dear White People

US films about and aimed at African Americans broadly fall into two categories: gangsta life in the ‘hood action flicks and broad comedies, the latter niche dominated by Tyler Perry, who does for Black Americans what Mrs Brown does for Irish women....

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre

Geoffrey Rush has done it, Gyles Brandreth has done it, Stephen Fry came close to doing it, and now David Suchet is giving it a go – donning drag and a perpetually disgusted expression to play everyone’s favourite drawing-room gorgon, Lady Bracknell...

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