Last week I had a chance to see the Bolshoi Theatre behind the curtain. There was pain, blood, intrigue and hard work that is unknown to the general public, but what all artistic people face one day or another, sooner or later. The whole theater resonates with an aura of the great and distant traditions of dancing and operating. The dancing and teaching traditions are more like a family circus – where the teacher is in fact an ex-rope walker himself. An advisory tone is a common teaching method rather than strict instructions. This makes it so appealing to the dancers and staff to return to the theater again and again even after a long retirement. Another important note: the ballet was always a Russian royal family entertainment and was never intended for a large audience. Fully donated and supported by the royals in the past, ballet is now available to a mass audience. Keep this in mind when thinking of the importance of the reverence from the “top.” However, Bolshoi is trying to distinguish themselves from the government and politics, but they probably know much more than it seems.
Moving to the artistic director, with whom I had a chance to speak and who was not so long ago in all the world newspapers, Mr. Sergei Filin is a former ballet dancer of the Bolshoi who knows the balance of the traditional ballet and modern dancing. For my part, I would like to thank him for keeping this balance, as going to the ballet I’d rather see a classic fancy show with bulky costumes and lots of artists on stage rather than a modern minimalistic one.