In 1931, the Moscow Art Theater 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 program is the first video recording of the ballet.
Shostakovich composed a caustically humorous 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
Choreography by Marius Petipa, new scenic version by Yuri Grigorovich. Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Giuliano Carella, Franco Zeffirelli – Maria Guleghina (Princess Turandot), Salvatore Licitra (Calaf), Tamar Iveri (Liù) – Arena di Verona
Rudolf Nureyev – Agnès Letestu (Odette), José Martinez (Siegfried) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris