The Information on: The Bolshoi Ballet

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

The most famous opera and ballet company in the world - in turmoil for the past decade - has arrived in London for the first time since 1993, performing six programmes over the next four weeks with alternating casts. The season, which opened with La Bayadere and is followed by Giselle and the one-act Paganini, is an attempt by the current director, Vladimir Vasiliev, to forge a new identity for the company and put it back on the map.

What They Say About It

"The Bolshoi's biggest virtue in La Bayadere is the wholehearted way the company as an entirety, performs it. But it deserves a better production... Already there is some sign of the Bolshoi moving back towards former glories - which happily further performances may confirm," John Percival, The Independent.

"Apart from Spartacus, which opens next week, the Bolshoi's unique repertory has evaporated... La Bayadere is a strange choice for an opening night. It is so politically incorrect as to be offensive... most of these group dances are charmless and the dancing is perfunctory," Anne Sacks, Evening Standard.

"It was surely a mistake to open with La Bayadere, which the Kirov perform uniquely well... while the Kirov's pacy, elegant staging allows us to be entranced by the ballet's period charm, the Bolshoi version looks leaden and over-stuffed... the jury remains out on Vasiliev's reforms," Judith Mackrell, The Guardian.

Where You Can See It

The Bolshoi season continues at the Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300) to 31 Jul