21 July 2011, 16:52

The Bolshoi Theatre: avant-garde season

The Bolshoi Theatre: avant-garde season

Five premieres and not a single classical ballet, only new avant-garde performances. Such was the latest season of the Bolshoi Theatre ballet company. It comes to an end on the 21st of July with a premiere of modern ballets.

Five premieres and not a single classical ballet, only new avant-garde performances. Such was the latest season of the Bolshoi Theatre ballet company. It comes to an end on the 21st of July with a premiere of modern ballets.

Because of the restoration of the main building of the Bolshoi Theatre which lasted for several years, the Bolshoi ballet company worked on the New Stage all the time, mastering new avant-garde choreography which was practically never allowed into their repertoire in the past.  Thus the Bolshoi Theatre has staged ballets by Angelin Preljocaj, William Forsythe, modern classic of choreography Jiri Kylian, fashionable British choreographer Wayne McGregor (ballet Chroma) and Balanchine’s ballets.

Wayne McGregor himself came to Moscow to work with Russian dancers over his Chroma ballet. The name translates as “colour” but the audience can only see black and white on the stage, the other colours are imaginary.  The Moscow dancers were a success in mastering the British choreographer’s style.  Moreover, McGregor admitted that he also made some discoveries while working at the Bolshoi.

"Well, I discovered that I wanted to come back, it was a good discovery. I discovered I do a dance, I’d really love to making new choreography on. It’s something I really hope to do."

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Symphony of Psalms staged by Jiri Kylian is a meditation ballet. His ideas associated with spiritual substances are expressed even through the setting which uses old hand-made Persian carpets collected specially for the ballet in several countries. Each of them has a history of its own and together they symbolize something beyond time. However, not all the Bolshoi soloists were pleased with the idea of becoming a “carpet thread”, so they refused to dance in this ballet. As a result, corps-de-ballet dancers mostly perform in Symphony of Psalms, says the Bolshoi Theatre ballet artistic director Sergey Filin.

“What they have managed to do on the stage is not only their or the theatre’s success. They have revived this ballet which is many years old, which has been performed by many dancers of the world and which is a classic of modern choreography. This makes me very happy because young dancers are the future of the Bolshoi Theatre and Russian ballet.

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