This week the Bolshoi Theatre's ‘New Stage' will host the Paris Opera Ballet for a mixed programme, and next week they will present Preljocaj's Le Parc. It is the first time the company has been in Moscow since the fall of communism. Lifar's Suite en Blanc, Petit's L'Arlesienne and Béjart's Bolero form the triple bill.
“Over the past decade, it was mostly the Bolshoi travelling to Paris,” said Anatoly Iksanov, general director of the Bolshoi. In fact the Bolshoi has visited Paris three times over the last ten years, and will return again in May of this year.
The Bolshoi's main stage closed in 2005 for three years of renovations. However various financial scandals which have embarrassed Russia's cultural authorities have delayed its completion. It is now expected to open in October of this year.
The Paris Opera Ballet has chosen these four ballets because they will fit in the smaller space theatre in an adjacent building to the Bolshoi's famously vast stage. “The works we picked are more intimate to suit the New Stage of the Bolshoi,” Brigitte Lefevre said before a final dress rehearsal at the Bolshoi on Thursday.
Jose Martinez, who first danced on the Bolshoi stage in 1990, says, “I think the advantage of our work is that ballet is an international language, which has no borders and we can draw inspiration from works of different nationalities and personalities. The Russian public not only loves ballet, it understands ballet, which gives us motivation to perform at a maximum here.”
Photo: The New Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.