5 Video Tutorials for Future Ballet Connoisseurs

5 Video Tutorials for Future Ballet Connoisseurs

A new project by TV Rain (Dozhd) and the Ingosstrakh company tells the audience about classical dance in such a way that you want to schedule a visit to the Bolshoi Theater right away.

Dancing in the Rain is a project by TV Rain and the general sponsor of the Bolshoi Theater, Ingosstrakh. In five dynamic videos, presenter Denis Kataev and representatives of the Bolshoi Ballet Company introduce the audience to the basics and answer key questions about ballet. In addition to succinct and understandable information, every program contains fragments of stage performances and rehearsals. All this allows you to learn and understand more about ballet, get in the spirit of this art and plan a visit to the theater.

Introducing the world of ballet

The video series opens with a commentary by the Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, Makhar Vaziev. The main advice he gives to novice spectators can be summarized as: "Come, listen and watch." Trust your emotional perception first of all and notice the beauty.

“Don’t be afraid: just notice what you feel. I would also advise beginners not to read the synopsis, find out some information about who performs the ballet and who conducts it. It is extremely interesting to look at the stage, listen to the music, perceive and read the synopsis at the end. As ballet is the art of images after all."

What performances should you start your acquaintance with ballet? Makhar Vaziev recommends choosing classical productions, such as Spartacus, Ivan the Terrible, because the classics mean foundations.

Learning about the skill of artists

In the second episode of the project, the Bolshoi Theater principal Artem Ovcharenko talks about the secrets of his craft, getting ready for performances and differences between the classical ballet school and modern choreography.

"Every performance is a small life. You never know what the tempo of the music on stage will be. This is what theater is about: no matter how much we rehearse, we live it anyway.”

Speaking the “ballet language”

The third issue of this digest is dedicated to the ballet vocabulary. Knowledge of the basic terms will help you better understand the meaning of performances. Kristina Kretova, the Bolshoi Theater leading soloist, spoke about how fouetté differs from plié, what arabesque looks like and why ballet dancers believe that battement tendu will save the world.

“We often say that battement tendu will save the world. If suddenly you get hurt during a rehearsal, you just go stand at the barre and do battement tendu - it will help. This movement, in which you extend one leg and point your toes, warms up the foot.”

Exploring the gallery of the Bolshoi choreographers

We say "classics at the Bolshoi" - we mean Grigorovich. We say "Grigorovich" - we mean the classics. All true fans of the ballet art are familiar with these associations. Ballets choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich are the basis for every cultured person: La Bayadère, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty. In the Dancing in the Rain project, the leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theater Kristina Kretova spoke about the master.

“It is in this simplicity that genius is born: everything is so musical, so precise. In almost all of Grigorovich's performances, men play the lead roles, and it is the male dances that are especially powerful. They always mesmerize the audience. Make a long story short, Grigorovich is a genius."

Contemporary ballet performances are another important part of the stage repertoire of the Bolshoi. The productions by Alexei Ratmansky, as well as by foreign choreographers, whom the theater actively cooperates with, certainly deserve attention. Director productions are another type of ballet performances at the Bolshoi Theater. Two striking ballets - A Hero of Our Time and Nureyev - appeared on the repertoire thanks to director Kirill Serebrennikov. Director Alexander Molochnikov is currently working on another production. Viewers will see the premiere of The Seagull on July 1, 2021, on the New Stage.

Studying the playbill of the Bolshoi Theater

In the final episode of the Dancing in the Rain project, the Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, Makhar Vaziev, spoke about the performances that should not be missed. The result is a list of TOP-6 performances that are worth visiting by both the ballet beginners and connoisseurs:

  • Swan Lake
  • La Bayadère
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Spartacus
  • Don Quixote
  • The Bright Stream

“Starting with these performances is a guarantee that you will enjoy it. As we know, the world will be saved by beauty, and in this sense, ballet is an integral part of this idea.”