Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema

Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema announces that it will present seven productions in HD at more than 450 movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada during the 2014-15 season. This is the fifth year of the Bolshoi Ballet broadcasts, presented by Pathé Live and By Experience.

Founded in 1776, the legendary Bolshoi Ballet is one of the most celebrated ballet companies in the world. The company is made up of more than 250 dancers including some of the world’s most celebrated artists today–Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Maria Alexandrova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Ekaterina Shipulina, Olga Smirnova, Artem Ovcharenko, Anna Nikulina, Vladislav Lantratov, and Semyon Chudin.

To kick off the season, Bolshoi premier David Hallberg and leading soloist Olga Smirnova star in a new film trailer to be released in cinemas this summer. The trailer, directed by New York-based filmmaker Pierce Jackson, features Smirnova and Hallberg in the studio performing various excerpts of repertoire scheduled to appear on-screen this season:

 

LA BAYADERE

Music Ludwig Minkus
Libretto Marius Petipa and Sergei Khudekov
Original choreography Marius Petipa
New version Yuri Grigorovich

When the beautiful dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor meet in secret, they swear eternal mutual fidelity. However, the High Brahmin, who is also in love with Nikiya, overhears them. He rushes to reveal their secret to the Rajah, who has decided that Solor will marry his beloved daughter Gamzatti. La Bayadere (the word refers to an Indian temple dancer) is a key work in the classical repertoire and this is a magnificent production. The story of impossible love between Nikiya and Solor is set against the backdrop of a lush, mysterious India. Marius Petipa’s choreography, here in a new scenic version by Yuri Grigorovich, is exquisite; the scene known as The Kingdom of the Shades is one of the most celebrated in the history of ballet. Bolshoi principals Svetlana Zakharova and Maria Alexandrova bring the characters of this romantic ballet to life.

“Svetlana Zakharova, the Bolshoi prima, is breathtaking as Nikiya, her hyperextended legs lifting as effortlessly as a helium balloon, her languid musicality filling every phrase beyond the count. She has such a lushly flexible and fluid upper body you would think she has no skeleton — were it not for the midriff-bearing costumes, which revealed the lines of every bone in her chest and ribcage. (I felt I should skip dessert for a week — and send it to her instead.)”

 

 

 

THE NUTCRACKER

Music Piotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto Yuri Grigorovich
Choreography Yuri Grigorovich

 

 

On Christmas Eve, Marie’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a strange toy: a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. At midnight, when the celebrations are over, all the toys magically come to life. The nutcracker grows to human size and takes charge of the tin soldiers, flying to the rescue of Marie, who is threatened by the Mouse King and his mouse army. Based on E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story, The Nutcracker is one of the greatest classics in the world. With iconic music by Tchaikovsky, and enchanting sets and costumes, this beautiful tale explores the universal themes of love, power and evil. This choreographic version, created for the Bolshoi by Yuri Grigorovich, is full of romanticism and philosophical reflections on ideal love. Masterfully interpreted by the Bolshoi dancers, it will enchant the whole family for the festive season, proving that one is never too young or too old to be swept away by The Nutcracker.

 

THE SWAN LAKE

Music Piotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto Yuri Grigorovich
Choreography Yuri Grigorovich

 

 

At the palace, the royal family and their guests are gathered for Prince Siegfried’s birthday celebrations. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is made a knight; young girls try to attract his attention, as he must choose a wife during the ball. Overcome by the sudden awareness of his future responsibilities, he escapes into the night and meets a strange flock of swans by a magical lake. White swan by day, human by night, the beautiful Odette awaits an oath of true love to break the curse. The great legend of the enigmatic swan/woman is one of the most romantic classical ballets, appropriately set in the era of courtly romance and characterized by elegance, style and harmony. With Tchaikovsky’s famous, lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia%u2019s great Bolshoi Ballet. This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must.

“At the start of every dance, my heart would lift again, noting some marvelous feature of Bolshoi style. The communicative generosity of manner! The thick-cream legato flow and keen dynamic sense! The juicy red-meat richness of texture! The unaffectedly erect posture of the torsos and their gorgeous pliancy! The easy amplitude of line! The powerful sweep through space!” 

 

ROMEO & JULIET

Music Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Radlov and Adrian Piotrovsky
Choreography Yuri Grigorovich

In Verona, the rivalry between the Capulets and the Montagues brings bloodshed to the city. When the Capulets organize a masked ball in honor of their daughter Juliet, Romeo Montague and his friend Mercutio attend incognito because of the hatred that tears the two houses apart. Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love, and are distraught when they realize they belong to rival families. William Shakespeare’s timeless story, written in 1595, is brought to the stage through breathtaking choreography and Sergei Prokofiev’s much-loved score. With its famous melodies, rhythmic variety and universal theme, this story of impossible love remains an all-time favorite, and is one of the world’s most popular ballets. Stellar performances by Alexander Volchkov and Anna Nikulina illuminate this masterpiece, making the immortal tale of the lovers of Verona an unforgettable experience. (Ballet recorded live on May 12th, 2013)

 

IVAN THE TERRIBLE

Music Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto Yuri Grigorovich
Choreography Yuri Grigorovich

 

 

As young Ivan IV is crowned, he has to choose one of the 13 Boyar daughters to be his wife and tsarina. He selects Anastasia, and the two eventually fall deeply in love. When the Boyar’s plot against him and poison his beloved wife, Tsar Ivan finds himself surrounded by enemies. Haunted by dark thoughts and phantoms, he slowly sinks into madness. Drawing on the music composed by Prokofiev for the 1944 Eisenstein film, Ivan the Terrible is a work in the true Bolshoi style. Yuri Grigorovich’s powerful and fascinating epic dramatizes Ivan the Terrible’s controversial reign, and portrays events in 16th-century Russia in visually stunning scenes. His choreography, full of vigor, strength and wild jumps, also includes great grace and fragility in the female roles. Sensitive classical and powerful character dance blend to create a lyrical epic, rich in the colors of medieval Russia. Recently revived, Ivan the Terrible is an essential part of the company’s repertoire, a 20th-century classic and a wonderful theatrical experience.

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