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  Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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The Bolshoi Theatre is ready to premiere several ambitious and unconventional ballets within the new season
Alexei Ratmansky, 36, sensational dancer and choreographer, now in charge of the Bolshoi Ballet, is producing Dmitry Shostakovich's obscure "Bolt". This dancing hymn to industrial workers first appeared on stage in St. Petersburg, then Leningrad, 1931. It shared the doom of Shostakovich's other topical ballet, "The Limpid Stream", about a collective farm-Communist bosses condemned the two for an allegedly primitive and unattractive portrayal of proletarian and peasant life. Joseph Stalin himself came down on both productions, and they disappeared quite soon. Alexei Ratmansky produced "The Limpid Stream" for the Bolshoi New Stage two years ago. Faithful to Shostakovich, he now offers a colorful picture of the socialist years, with many striking characters. A factory manager appears side by side with shopfloor workers, dashing boys and girls of the Young Communist League come to fisticuffs with hoodlums and tease pious Christians, and Red Army soldiers make merry passes on cleaning girls. St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre, the Bolshoi's eternal rival, is also reviving "Bolt". Here, revered maestro Yuri Grigorovich, 77, has made true his old dream of staging Shostakovich's ill-starred endeavor. The Bolshoi Theatre carries on its practice of re-creating gems of Western dance. Superb John Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet chief, is now reviving for Moscow his 1977 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to the Mendelssohn-Ligety music. Its filigree dancing is within the Bolshoi classic mainstream. The season will see a spectacular finish with a premiere of revived one-act ballets by Leonid Miassin, one of the most memorable choreographers of Sergei Dyagilev's opera and ballet enterprise, whose Russian Seasons left Europe gasping early in the 20th century. Russian ballet-goers have neverbefore seen his sensational "The Three-cornered Hat" to Manuel de Falla's music, "Foreboding" to Peter Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, and "Parisian Merriment" to a Jacques Offenbach potpourri. The season will see another sensation-guest performances by Vladimir Malachov, world-renowned dancer of Russian extraction, naturalized in Austria.
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