Bolshoi summer season announced, with prodigals returned | Dance reviews, news & interviews
Bolshoi summer season announced, with prodigals returned
Wayne McGregor's Rite of Spring breaks mould of an all-classics menu
Despite the horror of the acid attack on their director Sergei Filin last week, the Bolshoi Ballet has confirmed its programme for its three-week Royal Opera House season from 29 July to 17 August. Filin's name remains at the head of the page as artistic director, though it is not yet known whether he will be able to come.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Moscow company's first Covent Garden tour with the veteran promoter Victor Hochhauser, the season is as conventional as usual, with brief glimpses of two shows that will have ballet aficionados scrambling for tickets.
One will be the triple bill showing the UK premiere of a new Rite of Spring by the Royal Ballet's resident choreographer Wayne McGregor which is still in preparation for its Moscow unveiling on 28 March - commissioned to mark the centenary of the original scandalous Rite of Spring of Nijinsky and Stravinsky.
The other will be Britain's first sight of Alexei Ratmansky's full-length Flames of Paris, a fascinating part-restoration of a rampant 1932 Soviet story ballet about the French Revolution, with its original stars, the blistering young couple Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev.
The appearance of Osipova and Vasiliev, who raised the roof on the Bolshoi's last London visit in 2010, has been achieved with high-wire negotiation since they spectacularly quit the company two years ago to join St Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Ballet. Followers of the pair will also see them leading the attractions of the Mikhailovsky Ballet itself on its spring tour to the London Coliseum in late March.
While the Bolshoi's familiar stars will be there in strength, new names to note are the rising young ballerina Olga Smirnova and David Hallberg, an American Ballet Theatre star who joined the Bolshoi in late 2011 as its first-ever foreign principal dancer, to amazement on both sides of the world.
The spine of the tour will be the trademark Russian classics in former Bolshoi Ballet director Yuri Grigorovich's personalised productions: Swan Lake, La Bayadère and The Sleeping Beauty, the show with which the Bolshoi's reconstructed grand theatre reopened in October 2011.
- Swan Lake (8 performances): 29, 30, 31 July and 1, 10, 14, 15 August at 7.30pm, and 10 August 2pm
- La Bayadère (3 pfs): 2, 3, August at 7.30pm, 3 August at 2pm
- The Sleeping Beauty (5 pfs): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 August at 7.30pm
- Triple Bill (2 pfs): Classical Symphony (Yuri Possokhov) / The Rite of Spring (Wayne McGregor) / Diamonds (George Balanchine) 12, 13 August at 7.30pm
- The Flames of Paris (3 pfs): 16, 17 August at 7.30pm, 17 August at 2pm
The principal artists listed for London are (female) Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash, Nina Kaptsova, Svetlana Lunkina, Anna Nikulina, Evgenia Obraztsova, Natalia Osipova, Ekaterina Shipulina, Anastasia Stashkevich, Olga Smirnova and Svetlana Zakharova; (male) Semyon Chudin, David Hallberg, Mikhail Lobukhin, Vyacheslav Lopatin, Artem Ovcharenko, Ruslan Skvortsov, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Ivan Vasiliev and Alexander Volchkov.
- McGregor's Rite of Spring is due to be relayed live to cinemas in the UK and worldwide on Sunday 31 March
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Emotion and politics skilfully combine in Ratmansky's old-new ballet about the French Revolution
Unfeminist comedy in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Shakespeare ballet
A peerless Odette almost makes up for production's psychological shortcomings
The Russians are back, marking 60 years since they first took London by storm
Canny brand synergy encourages fans to keep Promming
Serious choreography and lush design make this Surrealist fairytale a visual treat
Visiting Aussies are engaging in lush production, but the plot's not all that
Superstar ballerina and new partner Sergei Polunin lack lustre in self-commissioned contemporary triple
Choreographer du jour Crystal Pite heads up two impressive Canadian cultural offerings
MacMillan revival in a different class to anodyne offerings from McGregor and Wheeldon
Dance version is loud and brash with all the horror and none of the mystery
On his retirement tour, Cuban superstar showcases the young, and proves he's still got it