Soviet Ballet: The Bolshoi And The Kirov

In 1847 ballet arrived in Russia in the guise of Marius Petipa, a Frenchman. As Emissary-of-all-things-Western to Alexander II, Petipa choreographed most of the war-horses of classical ballet, including "Swan Lake", "Giselle", "La Bayadere", and "The Sleeping Beauty". Successive czars proceeded... [more]

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PERFORMING ARTS
11.21.09
PERFORMING ARTS, Ballet, Soviet Ballet: The Bolshoi and The Kirov, intimate, political, intense, beautiful , complex, inspiring
Recently I've been obsessed with documentaries... Although I would not consider myself an avid ballet follower, the film "Ballerina" charmed me from the start. Directed by French filmmaker Bertrand Normand, the documentary profiles five Russian ballerinas - Alina Somova, Svetlana Zakharova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Diana Vishneva, Ulyana Lopatkina - each at a different point of her career. Consider the film an insider's pass into the fantastical, and intensely political and hierarchal, world of the Kirov Ballet, including interviews, rehearsals and performance footage. These ballerinas are elite athletes, struggling to move up in the pecking order from the corp de ballet, to soloist, to everyone's dream, prima ballerina. We meet the youngest ballerina of the bunch, Alina Somova, when she is only 17

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