The Bolshoi Ballet has visited Britain more than 20 times. The same couple of British theatrical agents - Victor Hochhauser and Lilian Hochhauser - has been the guest tours’ organizers in the United Kingdom for all these years.Lori/Legion Media
The Bolshoi Ballet is starting its "diamond jubilee" guest tour to London on July 25 that will last for three weeks until August 13 on the stage of the Royal Covent Garden Theatre, Bolshoi’s Director-General Vladimir Urin told TASS.
"The forthcoming guest tour is special. It is devoted to the 60th anniversary of the Bolshoi Theatre’s first foreign guest performances at the Royal Covent Garden Theatre. Sixty years on the Bolshoi Theatre will mark the ‘diamond’ jubilee of its first foreign guest tour on the same stage. The receiving party’s website calls the forthcoming tour "Bolshoi Ballet Diamond Jubilee," Urin said.
Urin recalled that the Bolshoi ballet’s very first guest performance took place in London exactly 60 years ago in 1956. The British press wrote in those days that the troupe had performed on the Covent Garden stage; storms of applause accompanied each performance and all the tickets had been sold out.
"That legendary tour opened the art of Russian ballet dancers, the great Russian dancer Galina Ulanova in particular, to the British audience. It was then that the Bolshoi ballet troupe became world famous and firmly established itself as the Bolshoi Ballet," Urin said.
Since then the Bolshoi Ballet has visited Britain more than 20 times. It is noteworthy that the same couple of British theatrical agents - Victor Hochhauser and Lilian Hochhauser - has been the guest tours’ organizers in the United Kingdom for all these years.
"Back in the period of the ‘cold war’ and ‘the iron curtain’, the Hochhausers organized the Bolshoi Theatre’s first visit to London. This year’s guest tour has been organized by the same couple," the Bolshoi Theatre’s director-general said.
"Our invariable theatrical agents organized a full-scale guest tour for the Bolshoi ballet ten years ago to mark the golden jubilee of the historical 1956 performance. This year…the Bolshoi Ballet troupe, our permanent theatrical agents and the Covent Garden Theatre will celebrate the ‘diamond’ jubilee in London," Urin said.
According to Urin, the program will include Don Quixote by Minkus. "The very first production was staged at the Bolshoi Theatre by Marius Petipa that saw the first night on December 14, 1869," he said. Since then, the ballet and its choreography has been restored and updated many times. Alexey Fadeyechev is the author of the ballet’s latest stage version, which is going to be shown at Covent Garden.
The Bolshoi will certainly show its trump card - "The Swan Lake" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Other ballets include the Corsair (reconstructed by Alexei Ratmansky and Yuri Burlaka in 2007) and a Soviet-era hit called "The Flame of Paris", which Alexey Ratmansky recreated in 2008.
"The Bolshoi showed both performances during the previous visits to London," Urin stressed.
"Taming of the Shrew" staged by Jean Christophe Maillot for the Bolshoi will end the "diamond" program. This production has made only one foreign voyage so far - the Principality of Monaco where the choreographer lives. The British public will see "Taming of the Shrew" for the first time.
The Bolshoi ballet troupe will comprise 270 people, including the leading soloists who will dance the main parts: Svetlana Zakharova, Olga Smirnova, Maria Alexandrova, Yekaterina Krysanova, Anna Nikulina, Kristina Kretova as well as Denis Rodkin, Vladislav Lantratov, Semyon Chudin, Artyom Ovcharenko, Ruslan Skvortsov, Igor Tsvirko, Artemiy Belyakov, Mikhail Lobukhin, Vyacheslav Lopatin, etc.
Urin noted the British public’s everlasting interest in the Bolshoi ballet. The tickets to all the performances have already been sold out, he said.
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