wed 28/09/2016

Bolshoi Theatre

The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Flames of Paris, in Alexei Ratmansky's 2008 reworking, is a ballet of contrasts. Between the first and second acts, so different in pace and quality, between the naturalistic intimacy of certain pas de deux and the stylised posturing of the...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Exactly 60 years have passed since this company made its first London visit, an unlikely triumph of art over geopolitics. For 1956 was the year Britain was rocked by the Suez crisis and the year the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. British spies...

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Bolshoi Babylon, BBC Four

Here’s a paradox. Just as the words “new Cold War” were beginning to form on the lips of political commentators in the West, two British film-makers, former TV newsmen no less, were being granted uncensored access to the Bolshoi Theatre – just 500...

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Ex Kirov ballet chief takes not-so-Bolshoi job

The great Bolshoi ballerina Ludmila Semenyaka once told me that you need the claws of a tiger and the hide of a rhinoceros to survive at Moscow's iconic theatre. Her bitter words came to mind yesterday morning when I saw the Twitter feed of the...

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Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will lose his job when his contract expires next spring. Bolshoi Theatre chief Vladimir Urin announced...

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Dear White People

US films about and aimed at African Americans broadly fall into two categories: gangsta life in the ‘hood action flicks and broad comedies, the latter niche dominated by Tyler Perry, who does for Black Americans what Mrs Brown does for Irish women....

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre

Geoffrey Rush has done it, Gyles Brandreth has done it, Stephen Fry came close to doing it, and now David Suchet is giving it a go – donning drag and a perpetually disgusted expression to play everyone’s favourite drawing-room gorgon, Lady Bracknell...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sofie Gråbøl

Sofie Gråbøl as Danish royalty: it hardly stretches credulity. The face of Nordic noir has been a star in her home country ever since appearing in Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror in 1987, but is solely familiar on these shores as Sarah Lund, the...

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Oscars 2014: All that glitters is not Gravity

If ever an Oscar ceremony pointed to the fundamentally schizoid nature these days of Hollywood’s defining love-in, the 86th annual Academy Awards was it. On the one hand, you had an out-gay host in Ellen DeGeneres taking selfies, ordering pizza, and...

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Opinion: How can the Bolshoi rise again?

Money, love, professional jealousy - the three undying motives for personal crime, and all three were present in the Bolshoi Ballet acid trial. An international public that scoffed happily at the OTT ballet horror-show that was the film Black Swan...

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