Shostakovich’s 1930 ballet The Golden Age explores a satirical yet politically-charged scenario: a Soviet soccer team visits a Western capitalist country and allies itself with the native working class to overthrow the decadent and corrupt bourgeoisie.
Drawing on Western dance and music styles (including a carbonated Can-Can, an energetic Polka, and a humorous arrangement of Tea for Two), the work was initially censored by the Soviet regime. By the time the legendary director of the Bolshoi Theater’s Corps de Ballet Yuri Grigorovich created a new choreography for it in 1982, the ballet had cast off its earlier scandalous reputation, enabling him to refashion the work as an homage to a past golden age of Soviet glory. The filmed 2016 revival of Grigorovich’s 1982 version recreates this ambiance, with colorful roaring 20’s style flapper costumes and communist aesthetic-style sets featuring backdrops draped in glorious red fabrics.
Svetlana Zakharova (Nikiya), Vladislav Lantratov (Solor), Maria Alexandrova (Gamzatti) — Corps de Ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia
The Hamburg Ballet