mon 22/09/2014

Moscow

Diaghilev Festival Gala, London Coliseum

Bakst’s harem drapes and Roerich’s smoking, steaming Polovtsian camp may not have had the most lavish of recreations. But the rest of this homage to Diaghilev shone with an exuberance and even a precision one would not have thought possible from...

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Blood brothers on film

“We are not politicians – we are artists.” It’s the familiar cry of creatives all around the world, but it came with an added, rather surprising accent when uttered by Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) president Nikita Mikhalkov at the event...

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Uncle Vanya/Three Sisters, Wyndham's Theatre

London has had its fair share recently of Chekhov productions from Russia, though none anywhere near as quietly truthful as these from Moscow's Mossovet State Academic Theatre. Veteran film and theatre director-designer Andrey Konchalovsky...

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10 Questions for Director Dmitry Krymov

Dmitry Krymov (b 1954) is one of Russia’s most groundbreaking and celebrated contemporary theatre directors and set designers. Performances by his “Theatre Laboratory” are renowned for combining multimedia with art installation techniques to...

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Prince Igor, Novaya Opera, London Coliseum

Had this Moscow production any serious ideas in its head until its suddenly effective epilogue, much might have been pertinently said about an opera in which an imperialistic campaign ends in disaster, and where the Polovtsian “enemy” shows far more...

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Britten 100: Death in Moscow

“A cold coming we had of it,” grumble the three kings in T S Eliot’s poem “The Journey of the Magi” later set by Britten as his Canticle IV. “Just the worst time of year for a journey,” they complain, carried onwards by the ungulate bass notes of...

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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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DVD: Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer

Access and trust are the key issues facing any documentary director, especially when the film concerned touches on questions that arouse controversy in society. It’s a long time since I've seen a work that achieved so much on those two fronts as...

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The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Bolshoi left it till last to be most itself, to dance a ballet that is truly of its blood, its seed - its closing on Alexei Ratmansky's The Flames of Paris will leave much happiness in the memory to override the problematic productions of...

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The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Bolshoi Theatre reopened in late autumn 2011 after a problematic six-year refurbishment said to have cost a tidy billion dollars, many times its original estimate thanks to corruption - it needed a corker of a ballet premiere to pop the eyes of...

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La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

It’s unspeakably bad for so many reasons that the injured Bolshoi Ballet director Sergei Filin cannot be in London to see his company perform, and one is that he can’t see his protegée Olga Smirnova revealing herself to us as destined to be one of...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Everyone must be wishing the Bolshoi Ballet a swift return to company health after the tragic events of this year, as well as a return to physical health by their horribly injured artistic director - in the circumstances it’s heroic that they have...

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