Oct 282011

What an extraordin­ar­ily unre­spons­ive crowd to greet the open­ing of the newly restored Theatre. Ten seconds of timid clap­ping and then the tele­vi­sion dir­ector honed in on bored faces, while bangs and scrapes came from the unlit stage dur­ing the scene changes.

The whole approach, from light­ing to graph­ics, was rather like that of a child dis­cov­er­ing a room full of sweets and want­ing to try them all: the dir­ector just couldn’t hold back. Just as the dan­cers went for a lift so the cam­era lurched towards the stage from under a violinist’s armpit. While Svet­lana Zakhar­ova was emot­ing touch­ingly as a white swan, we were treated to another drunken remote-controlled shot from behind the chan­delier. And the back pro­jec­ted anim­a­tions wore a little thin.

The dir­ector didn’t get it all wrong how­ever. After Angela Ghe­orghiu, clutch­ing her score which she stared at through­out, fin­ished Liza’s aria from The Queen of Spades, he zoomed in on the dis­ap­prov­ing face of Galina Vish­nevskaya. There was also a beau­ti­ful close-up of 85 year-old Maya Plis­et­skaya look­ing regal and radi­ant. The cho­reo­graphed flower-basket car­ri­ers, yes the real ones who bring on the floral trib­utes at the end of a per­form­ance, man­aged to wake up the audi­ence more suc­cess­fully than the inter­na­tional artists.

The défilé on a giant white stair­case was glor­i­ously effect­ive with chorus, corps, orches­tra, and soloists all together in black and white, with a styl­ised image of the Bolshoi’s façade crown­ing the final pose.

  2 Responses to “Bored at the Bolshoi?”

  1. Reu­ters have dif­fer­ent ears: “rap­tur­ous applause from the 2,000 guests.”

    They also say, inter­est­ingly, “The Bolshoi’s prin­cipal dan­cer Nikolai Tsis­karidze has repeatedly told local media the old theatre’s interior has been replaced with even cheaper material.”

  2. So who cares what non­sense that Tsis­karidze is sprouting.…anyone who has seen the doc­u­ment­ary of the renov­a­tion knows otherwise.…..he also made some stu­pid remarks about David Hall­berg being invited to the Bolshoi Theater .. Quote : “I like David very much and respect him as a dan­cer, but it is an insult to the entire Rus­sia bal­let, a demon­stra­tion of indif­fer­ence to the rich Rus­sian tra­di­tion and cul­ture,” Nikolay Tsis­karidze, a Bolshoi premier dan­cer said in an inter­view Fri­day.… He said that the company’s man­age­ment, in hir­ing Hall­berg, pro­jects a cer­tain atti­tude, and because of that, among other things, “Rus­sian dan­cers see no future for them in the Bolshoi.”.…Tsiskaridze is not even a Rus­sian ! Which French cho­reo­grapher men­tioned some­thing about the “stu­pid­ity” of dan­cers ? Tsis­karidze is a liv­ing example of it .….

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