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THE BOLSHOI BALLET TO OPEN 2005 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

by Explore Dance staff
May 2, 2005

THE BOLSHOI BALLET
TO OPEN 2005 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE
ON JULY 18

Engagement features four full-length ballets:
North American premieres of "The Bright Stream" and "The Pharaoh's Daughter," as well as performances of "Don Quixote" and "Spartacus"

THE BOLSHOI BALLET, Moscow's world-famous ballet company, opens its 2005 North American Tour on July 18 with a return to the Metropolitan Opera House for a two-week, 14 performance engagement, featuring the North American premieres of "The Bright Stream" and "The Pharaoh's Daughter," as well as performances of "Don Quixote" and "Spartacus." The company of over 200 includes the full Bolshoi Theater Orchestra. This will be the company's first performances at the Metropolitan Opera House since 1987 and its first New York appearance in five years.

Joseph Volpe, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera commented, "I am pleased to welcome to the Metropolitan Opera House the return of one of the world's greatest ballet companies. The Bolshoi Ballet is justly famous for its grand traditions and on this visit the company has chosen four ballets that are uniquely Bolshoi, two of which have never been performed anywhere in North America. This engagement is an extraordinary opportunity for ballet lovers in New York to see this wonderful company in exciting new repertory."

"Don Quixote" opens the New York engagement on Monday, July 18, and is followed by three additional performances (July 19, 20, and 21). The work, a showcase of bravura dancing, has been the calling card of The Bolshoi since its world premiere in Moscow on December 26, 1869. With choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, and music by Léon Minkus, The Bolshoi has revived the work in a new choreographic version by Alexei Fadeyechev.

Yuri Grigorovich's definitive 1968 staging of "Spartacus" receives three performances at the Met (July 22 and matinee and evening performances on July 23). This tale of the slave-gladiator who led a rebellion against the Roman Emperor Crassus and his fight for freedom features the company's male soloists and corps de ballet. With its exuberant, muscular dancing, and expansive music by Aram Khachaturian it is a signature ballet of The Bolshoi.

"The Bright Stream" (performed at the Metropolitan Opera House on July 25, 26, and 27) joined the repertory of The Bolshoi in 1936. Set in a Soviet era collective farm, this comic ballet was soon attacked and suppressed by the Soviet authorities as not being representative of Socialist reality, with the result that the composer Shostakovich was never to write another ballet. The original choreographer, Fyodor Lopukhov, was fired as director of The Bolshoi; and the author of the scenario, Adrian Piotrovsky, disappeared into one of Stalin's gulags. This important historical work received its European premiere in Paris in 2003 in The Bolshoi's recreation with choreography by Aleksei Ratmansky, and its performances at the Met will be the first in North America.

"The Pharaoh's Daughter," never before seen on this continent, closes out The Bolshoi engagement at the Metropolitan with four performances (July 28 and 29, and matinee and evening performances on July 30). From its creation in 1862, Marius Petipa's grandiose ballet with music by Cesare Pugni was a sensational success. With an exotic flavor, it is filled with romanticism, drama, and virtuoso dancing. The Bolshoi's production has been lavishly reconstructed by Pierre Lacotte and tells the tale of a young Englishman who dreams he elopes with the daughter of a Pharaoh.

Tickets for The Bolshoi Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House go on sale at the Met Box Office, online at www.metopera.org, and by telephone (212) 362-6000, on May 1.


Belogolovtsev performs "Spartacus" with The Bolshoi Ballet
Photo courtesy of The Bolshoi Ballet



The Bolshoi Ballet performs THE PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER
Photo courtesy of The Bolshoi Ballet



The Bolshoi Ballet performs "Bright Stream"
Photo courtesy of The Bolshoi Ballet




See Bolshoi Ballet reviews.

  • Extra! Extra! The Bolshoi's in Town! (The Bright Stream) - 8/9/2005 - by Suzana Stankovic. - Article sponsored by Tutus Divine.

  • The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia: The Pharaoh's Daughter at the Met - 7/28/2005 - by Roberta E. Zlokower. - Article sponsored by Freed of London.

  • The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia: The Bright Stream at the Met - 7/25/2005 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by Tutus Divine.

  • The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia: Spartacus at the Met - 7/22/2005 - by Roberta E. Zlokower. - Article sponsored by Freed of London.

  • The Bolshoi Theatre of Russia: Don Quixote at the Met - 7/18/2005 - by Roberta E. Zlokower. - Article sponsored by Tutus Divine.

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