Bolshoi Ballet 2007 Summer Season
In a spectacular three-week season at the:
The Bolshoi Ballet returns to London this summer for a three week season at the London Coliseum, presented by Victor Hochhauser.
Last year’s sold-out season of the Bolshoi Ballet in London was a critical triumph, leaving an enthusiastic public clamouring for more. At this year’s National Dance Awards the Bolshoi won the award for the Best Foreign Dance Company of 2006.
The company’s 2007 programme opens with a lavish new recreation of 19th century classic Le Corsaire by the Bolshoi’s Artistic Director Alexei Ratmansky, working with ballet master/restorer Yuri Burlaka. The role of Medora on the opening night is danced by one of the world's greatest ballerinas Svetlana Zakharova, partnered by the fiery Denis Matvienko.
International superstar Carlos Acosta appears as Guest Artist with the Bolshoi dancing the lead role in Yuri Grigorovich’s heroic ballet Spartacus - a work which has become synonymous with the Bolshoi name.
The season also includes the British Premiere of Elsinore, a new one-act ballet by the greatly admired British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, in a triple bill with Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room and Asaf Messerer’s Class Concert, a dazzling vehicle for the company’s leading soloists, here revived by his nephew Mikhail Messerer.
Ratmansky’s rollicking full-length ballet, The Bright Stream, hailed as ‘the best new ballet to come out of Russia in years’ and voted Best Classical Choreography of 2006 by the Critics' Circle, returns by overwhelming popular demand.
There’s also a chance to savour two other pillars of the Bolshoi’s classical repertoire – La Bayadère and Don Quixote whose opening night cast features remarkable 21 year-old Natalia Osipova. Osipova’s exuberant performance as Kitri in last year’s London season was unforgettable. This season she dances opposite the sensationally gifted 18 year-old Ivan Vasiliev, who joined the company only last year – and is widely being compared to the young Baryshnikov.
All the Bolshoi’s finest Principal Artists will dance during the Coliseum season including Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash, Anna Antonicheva, Sergei Filin, Dmitri Gudanov, Yuri Klevtsov, Svetlana Lunkina, Vladimir Neporozhny, Marianna Ryzhkina, Galina Stepanenko, Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Andrei Uvarov.
Other soloists of the younger generation include Yan Godovsky, Nina Kaptsova, Yekaterina Krysanova, Andrei Merkuriev, Yekaterina Shipulina, Artyom Shpilevksy, Ruslan Skvortsov, Alexander Volchkov and Anastasia Yatsenko.
Victor Hochhauser and the Bolshoi Ballet look forward to renewing their association with the London Coliseum, where the company last performed in 1999. Since then the theatre has been handsomely restored. It will offer a fitting frame for one of the world’s leading ballet companies.
Victor and Lilian Hochhauser have been associated with the best of Russian culture for over 50 years. Last autumn their unique role as cultural ambassadors was recognised by the Russian Government with the award of a special medal for promoting a positive image of Russian culture in the Britain.
Le Corsaire UK Premiere
The Bolshoi Ballet opens this eagerly awaited season with a stunning new staging of Le Corsaire by the Company's Artistic Director, Alexei Ratmansky.
Set on the banks of the Ionian Sea against a climate of political unrest between the Greeks and the Turks, this exotic ballet contains all the ingredients of a traditional Russian spectacular - love, intrigue, deception, a splendid shipwreck, a harem and a kidnap.
Petipa's enthralling masterpiece is a drama of passion, intrigue, betrayal and redemption.
The tale of the temple dancer Nikiya's doomed love for the warrior Solor unfolds in scenes of magnificent spectacle, set against the exotic backdrop of legendary India and culminating in the breathtaking choreography of the 'Kingdom of the Shades'.
Yuri Grigorovich's sensational staging of Spartacus first took London by storm in 1969.
This spectacularly monumental ballet displays the Bolshoi Ballet at its most powerful, as well as demonstrating the astounding individual talents of the Company's great stars including on this visit, guest appearances by the mesmerizing Carlos Acosta.
Spartacus leads a rebellion of gladiators and slaves against ancient Rome. This epic portrayal of the uprising, with marching battalions, gladiatorial combat and the heroic death of Spartacus, set to Khachaturian's thrilling music, is now an established classic of the Russian contemporary ballet repertoire, epitomising the Bolshoi's unique style.
The excitement, colour and wit of Cervantes' masterpiece are perfectly conveyed in Alexei Fadeyechev's sparkling production of Don Quixote, which received such acclaim during the Company's last visit to London .
In astounding displays of virtuoso dancing, the plot unfolds merrily as the love between Kitri and Basil is challenged by the fruitless attempts of Kitri's father to engineer his unwilling daughter into a more lucrative match.
Drama, comedy, love and dazzling choreography combine in Petipa's enchanting classic, originally created for the Bolshoi in 1869 and re-staged for the Company in 1999.
Asaf Messerer's Class Concert
UK Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's
In the Upper Room
Eagerly awaited is Elsinore, the first ballet created for the Bolshoi Ballet by Christopher Wheeldon.
Received ecstatically at its premiere in Moscow in February 2007, the collaboration has produced a highly individual and exciting experience.
Together with Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room , it promises to show another facet of the Bolshoi's supreme virtuosity.
Completing the Triple Bill is Class Concert, the iconic ballet by Asaf Messerer not seen here since 1965.
Using all the major dancers in the company, the ballet reaches an exciting climax which only the Bolshoi Ballet's legendary bravura can produce.
The Bright Stream
The Bolshoi's dazzlingly imaginative production of The Bright Stream returns after its sensational success with London audiences and critics at its premiere last year.
In an exuberant homage to the Russian people, Shostakovich's massive, colourful score provides the canvas for this irrepressibly mischievous comedy of life and love in which flirtatious husbands receive their just deserts.
Alexei Ratmansky's vibrant staging combines acrobatics, disguise and farce, in a kaleidoscopic whirl of sparkling virtuosity.
Bolshoi Ballet London Season for 2006 wins two awards at the National Dance Awards
Russia's Bolshoi Ballet was triumphant at the 2006 Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, held on 25 January 2007 at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre.
The company's Artistic Director, Alexei Ratmansky , hotfoot from Moscow, accepted not one but two awards reflecting the huge success of last year's Bolshoi Ballet season at the Royal Opera House, promoted by Victor Hochhauser.
The Bolshoi Ballet won the award for the Best Foreign Company, for its three-week season of performances at the Royal Opera House. The other nominations in the category were the National Ballet of Cuba and Tango Por Dos. The Award was sponsored by Artsworld Presentations.
Alexei Ratmansky also won the award for Best Classical Choreography for his rollicking full-length ballet The Bright Stream, the tale of life and loves on a Soviet collective farm. Set to an early Shostakovich score, the ballet was hailed by British critics 'the best new ballet to come out of Russia in years ' after its UK Premiere in London last summer.
The other nominations in the category were Alastair Marriott's Tanglewood for The Royal Ballet and William Tuckett's The Canterville Ghost for English National Ballet.
Accepting the awards, Mr. Ratmansky acknowledged the importance of balancing the company's historical repertoire — the great classical ballets of the 19th century and the no less significant works of the Soviet period — with the need create new works.
He also paid tribute to dancers in the company - names now familiar to London audiences, such as Svetlana Zakharova, Sergei Filin, Svetlana Lunkina and last year's sensational new discovery, 19 year-old Natalia Osipova - who made last year's season such a success.
He also announced the return of the Bolshoi Ballet to the UK in July and August 2007 for a three-week season at the London Coliseum, with a repertoirethat would include repeat performances of The Bright Stream , as well as a number of brand new Bolshoi productions.