There's been a bit of a gap for ballet fans, but the Bolshoi at cinemas season has now kicked off, and we have ballet stars such as Yevgenia Obraztsova and Natalia Osipova back in London

It's interesting that such leading dancers seem not to want to be affiliated with just one theatre any more.

“All ballet stars want to develop themselves individually," Gallant said, "but of course all ballet stars actually need to have a home theatre. And so they live this life, where they’re very much part of their theatre, but they also have their independent solo careers. And that gives them the energy and that gives them the freedom to explore other things, perhaps dance in a more modern style, try different things, and then they come back to their theatre, where they’ll probably spend most of their time doing traditional classical ballet. But it’s really great also to see the Bolshoi vibrating so well.”


Anyone who's missing wonderful voices from the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg should head over to the Barbican for the Mariinsky’s opera season there.

Gallant said: “What I’m very pleased to see is that they’re not all singing the bleeding chunks and famous songs of the repertoire, they’re actually singing some of the composers who we don’t know very well.“

"Singing is a very very very fragile art: if people start singing too much too young, the voice can be damaged. It needs very careful nurturing, and that's what the big academies take care of."


"The Wigmore Hall should never be left off the radar," Gallant reminds us. "The Jerusalem Quartet is doing a cycle of three Shostakovich concerts, and the first concert is with Elizabeth Leyonskaya playing the Shostakovich Piano Quintets."

"If you want to get to know Shostakovich's string quartets, you have every opportunity this October and November in London. The cycle is not necessarily played very much. It's Shostakovich at his most intimate."

Russian Art Week and an array of other events are all part of the run-up to the Russia-UK year of cross-cultural events in 2014, when we can expect to see the full spectrum of artists and performers coming over for Russia to Britain.

Russia is very open to culture across the board, says Gallant, whereas in the UK culture has been more pigeon-holed. 

(Voice of Russia)