wed 04/05/2016

Moscow

Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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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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War and Peace, BBC One

So, Andrew Davies has bitten off the big one. It may have come as a surprise to some that the master of adapting the British classics for television hadn’t read Tolstoy’s classic-to-end-all-classics until the BBC mooted the idea of a new screen...

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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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Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

Last week the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was rung down with a sigh of relief for the home team, with once again a Russian pianist in possession of the gold medal, Dmitry Masleev following 2011’s Daniil Trifonov. It was all...

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Spooks: The Greater Good

The idea of a movie spin-off from BBC One's spy show Spooks has been lurking with intent ever since the tenth and final series ended in 2011. Finally it's here, helmed by director Bharat Nalluri (who shot the first and last episodes for TV) and with...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Spooks, the movie

During its 10-season run on BBC One between May 2002 and October 2011, Spooks built a lasting reputation as a superior espionage thriller, charting the battle of a squad of MI5 agents to protect the realm against its fiendish and unscrupulous...

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Measure for Measure, Cheek by Jowl/Pushkin Theatre, Barbican

Russia isn’t the only country where violations of personal freedoms and censorship seem to be mounting by the day, but it’s surely the most confused: ask any of the persecutors what they hope to achieve, and you won’t get a convincing answer. Moral...

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Remembering George Costakis

Russia’s national gallery, the Tretyakov, bears the name of its founder Pavel Tretyakov, the 19th-century merchant who bequeathed his huge collection of Russian art to the city of Moscow in 1892. His bust stands proudly overseeing the entrance to...

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theartsdesk in Moscow: A Bewitching Eugene Onegin

As Shakespeare is to these native isles, so Pushkin is to Russia. And Eugene Onegin, Alexander Puskin’s enduring verse novel first published in serial form in 1825, is the most honoured and beloved of all Russian classics. Outside Russia, the story...

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War and Peace, BBC Radio 4

All happy families are alike, Tolstoy declares at the start of Anna Karenina, but this adaptation of War and Peace stresses how the surviving Rostovs and Bolkonskys went through various hells to get to that enviable state. In this one respect...

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Olga Chernysheva, Pace Gallery

Printed large in glorious colour is a row of photographs of Russian women wearing bobble hats (main picture and pictured below). There’s a fuzzy red one, a woolly brown one, one with red stripes against black and another with raised white stripes....

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