Bolt, Shostakovich – Ballet
Alexei Ratmansky – Corps de Ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia

Bolt, Shostakovich's forbidden ballet which was never performed after its premiere in 1931, in a new scenic version by Alexei Ratmansky!

In 1931, the Moscow Art Theatre commissioned the young national hero Dmitri Shostakovich, aged just twenty-five, to compose the music of a ballet that should, according to the rules of the Socialist Realism, depict and glorify the values of the USSR. However, after a first performance of the ballet, Shostakovich's work – composed to a book by Viktor Smirnov – was suspected to be satirical, and was immediately forbidden. In 2006, Alexei Ratmansky created a new version for the Bolshoi Ballet. This programme is the first video recording of the ballet.

Shostakovich composed a caustically humourous ballet, blending popular tunes, serious music, circus music, waltzes, marches, tangos. He had imagined his ballet as a joyful lampoon of proletarian drama. His intention was to highlight the eventful and ambiguous relationship existing between proletarian experience and the representation given of it by the Soviet vanguard.

Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography develops into a true marvel, opening with a ballet of giant robots ans ending in a blood red delirious grand parade.

© Picture: Damir Yusupov

In the press:

« Bolshoi’s dazzling bolt from the blue. A ballet score by Shostakovich received its world première – 74 years after it was written. This is captivating theatrical music by a stupendous young composing talent, full of acid caricature and robust comedy, not yet weighed down with the shadows and storms that were soon to break into his life. »
Telegraph.co.uk

Dmitri Shostakovich composer
Alexei Ratmansky choreography
Viktor Smirnov libretto
Galina Solovyova costumes
Gleb Filshtinsky lightings
Simon Pastukh stage director


Corps de Ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia


Orchestra of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia
Pavel Sorokin conductor

Movie director : Vincent Bataillon
Playlist : Russian music
Music genre : Ballet

Duration : 01 h 27 min
Location : Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow, Russia)
Production date : 2005
Production : © Bel Air Media