BOLSHOI POSTMODERN

Innovative Performance in HD


February 20 - March 12, 2016

Production Synopses


THE FLAMES OF PARIS

As Philippe and Jeanne, young lovers caught up in the French Revolution, Ivan Vassiliev and Natalia Osipova defy gravity in Alexei Ratmansky's dynamic reconstruction and reimagining of the classic Soviet ballet. Created in 1932 for the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution, Flames of Paris had a libretto adapted from a book by Provençal author Félix Gras and a score by Boris Asafyev based on French popular songs of the revolution. Only 12 minutes of the original choreography by Vasily Vainonen—performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1932 and the Bolshoi Theatre in 1933—have been preserved; in effect, Ratmansky fashioned a new ballet while staying true to the era and to Vaionen’s blend of classical and character dancing. The optimistically ideological libretto of the 1930s has also been updated, making it more tragic and humane. The boldly graphic sets and costumes channel French popular prints, and Ratmansky's expressive choreography is executed by Vassiliev and Osipova in a tour-de-force performance.
Directed for film by Vincent Bataillon, 2010. A co-production of Bel Air Media, The Bolshoi Theater...
Screening format: Bluray, 98 minutes

THE BOLT

Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich when he was only 25, the ballet The Bolt never reached its premiere, mothballed for 75 years immediately after its 1931 dress rehearsal. An all-new production with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky in splendid sets by Simon Pastuch captures the original's caustic dissection of socialist realist fantasy through stunning dance sequences and inventive staging. Shostakovich’s original subversion of the overtly propagandistic storyline—about an individualistic saboteur who attempts to impede production and progress in a factory—is accentuated further to create a complex image of the contradictions of life in the early Soviet Union. The composer’s vividly cartoonish score manipulates and mashes up popular and elite music, as well the sounds of a factory floor and the doctrinaire optimism relentlessly trumpeted to the populace. Pastuch’s scenography draws thoughtfully upon constructivism and other avant-garde movements of Soviet art and theater for inspiration, and is beautifully integrated with the choreography.
Directed for film by Vincent Bataillon, 2005. A co-production of Bel Air Media, The Bolshoi Theater...
Screening format: Apple ProRes, 87 minutes

WOZZECK

From its premiere in 1925, Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck was the first truly avant-garde opera of the 20th century immediately and widely accepted into mainstream operatic repertoire. Produced extensively throughout Europe, especially in Germany and Austria—until it was banned by the Nazis for its anti-militarism and social commentary—it quickly reached Soviet Russia. Premiered in Leningrad in 1927, its gritty and socially critical libretto of exploitation and murder (based on a play by Georg Buchner) fit well with narratives of corrupt capitalism. In the late 1920s its expressionist music, which used atonality to powerful emotional effect, was still accepted by the public. It also greatly influenced and inspired the young Dmitri Shostakovich, who attended the premiere and met Berg. In the Bolshoi’s new production, the talented director and stage designer Dmitri Tcherniakov's film-noir staging brings the production into a modern-day context while preserving the raw power of the original. Conductor Theodor Currenzis leads the Bolshoi orchestra and an outstanding cast that includes the Austrian baritone Georg Nigl as Wozzeck and American soprano Mardi Byers as Maria in a brilliant performance.
Directed for film by Andy Sommer, 2010. A co-production of Bel Air Media, The Bolshoi Theater...
Screening format: Apple ProRes, 100 minutes

EUGENE ONEGIN

Tchaikovsky's warhorse receives an intensely unorthodox staging at the hands of director and designer Dmitri Tcherniakov. Drawing on the traditions of Russian theater where words, movements, and gestures are connected to precise psychological motivations, Tcherniakov shines a spotlight on the characters' neuroses and strips away the layers of cliché acquired in over a century of the opera’s performance. He also uses a cinematic visual style and introduces plot adaptations that further highlight the emotional evolution of the characters. This production of Onegin roused the ire of traditionalists and stimulated much debate about the place of innovation in opera from the time of its 2006 premiere, but was embraced by audiences. Taken on tour throughout Europe after being performed more than 100 times in Russia, it was filmed in Paris at the Opera Garnier. Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecen powerfully interprets the title role.
Directed for film by Chloé Perlemuter, 2008. A co-production of Bel Air Media, The Bolshoi Theater...
Screening format: Apple ProRes, 140 minutes



Washington
February 20
March 12


Boston
March 3 & 6


Washington
March 12


New York
February 24


Boston
February 25
March 5


Washington
February 20


New York
February 21


Boston
March 3 & 6


Washington
February 21


Boston
March 5


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