Literally meaning ‘Big Ballet’ in Russian, the Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet is one of the world’s oldest dance companies – although its reputation has been tarnished by a string of recent scandals. Gwen Pew reports.
13 Nov 2013: Literally meaning ‘Big Ballet’ in Russian, the Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet is one of the world’s oldest dance companies. First established in 1776, they gained international fame in the early 20th century with their highly successful, masterful performances, which, true to their name, were some of the biggest spectacles in the world of dance.
Despite its prestige (or perhaps, because of it), the company has been plagued in recent years by a series of scandals and rumours of internal rivalry between dancers and the management team. The in-fighting reached breaking point in January this year when one of the principle dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, became upset that his girlfriend Anzhelina Vorontsova was denied a leading dance role, and hired a man to throw acid in the face of artistic director Sergei Filin.
Filin has since undergone surgery to save his eyesight, and while he is still recovering and has yet to return to the company full-time, the Bolshoi seems keen to move on and turn over a new leaf with its new season under the direction of ballet manager Galina Stepanenko, maintaining the classic style with which the company made its name.
The current touring production of Swan Lake received unanimous acclaim in London, and the show will be coming to Singapore this month. This will be the only appearance Bolshoi makes in Asia, and also marks the company’s debut here on our Little Red Dot.
Catch their performance of Tchaikovsky’s stunning love tragedy and judge for yourself whether the company can regain its former reputation as one of the best ballet troupes around.