Shostakovich: The Golden Age (DVD) – Bolshoi Ballet

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Shostakovich: The Golden Age (DVD) – Bolshoi Ballet

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Artists: Ballet & Orchestra of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia
Conductor: Pavel Klinichev
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovitch
Format: NTSC
Booklet Language: French, German, English
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Bel Air Classiques
DVD Release Date: July 7, 2017
Run Time: 103 minutes

A modern and visionary work, this ballet, set to music by Dmitri Shostakovich, was created in 1930. Its central theme was the highly moralized battle and triumph of the proletariat against the decadent bourgeoisie, set in Europe during the Roaring Twenties. Surprisingly, the score by Shostakovich raised political controversies, probably because it borrowed much from European dance forms, and consequently, the ballet vanished from the theaters for 50 years.

Yuri Grigorovich restaged it in 1982 with sets by Sion Virsaladze and a completely new libretto, mainly revolving around the love story between Rita, a cabaret dancer, and Boris, a young idealist. The conflict in the original production was also recast as a clash between fishermen - the morally superior workers - and society’s criminal elements.

To bring back on stage The Golden Age in autumn 2016, a few months prior to Yuri Grigorovich’s 90th birthday, was a highly symbolic choice for the Bolshoi Ballet: this work, the last Grigorovich would ever choreograph for his company, hadn’t been staged for almost 10 years. A rare and refined ballet, which ran the risk of falling into oblivion twice, is danced by the new generation of the Bolshoi Ballet.



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History

Ballet

In classic or contemporary ballet, dancing may tell a story, express a mood, or simply reflect the music in movement. Ballet as part of staged performances originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and from there spread to France. The creation of classical ballet as we know it today occurred during the reign of the art-loving French king Louis XIV in the mid-17th century. During the Romantic era, ballet technique evolved to express new ideas, most notably with women dancing en point, or on their toes, allowing them to appear weightless and otherworldly.
 
Among the choreographers who helped bring ballet into the modern age by exploring new visual and dramatic styles are George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and—bridging the worlds of classical dance and Broadway—Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.

 

 

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