Bolshoi Ballet: Live: The Bright Stream

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Music: Dmitri Shostakovich

Choreography: Alexei Ratmansky

Libretto: Adrian Piotrovsky and Fyodor Lopukhov

Cast: Svetlana Lunkina (Zina), Mikhail Lobukhin (Pyotr), Maria Alexandrova (the Ballerina), Ruslan Skvortsov (the Ballet Dancer)

The Bolshoi’s production of the Bright Stream has been described as one of the funniest ballets ever seen on stage, when a big city dance troupe visits a collective farm to perform for the bemused workers. During a harvest festival on a collective farm in the Russian steppes, a Moscow dance troupe arrives from the big city to entertain the workers, causing all manner of hilarious trouble when they interact formally and informally with the locals in the process. With a sparkling and witty score by the great Dmitri Shostakovitch, The Bright Stream is a rich, comedy of errors love story with mistaken identities, hilarious deceptions and happy resolutions. Taken to be an over-the top mocking parody of the collective farms in Stalinist Russia, it landed its creators in enormous trouble with Stalin’s regime shortly after its hugely successful opening, and was not performed again until its enormously successful revival at the Bolshoi in 2003, and subsequent international acclaim. (2h 30m)

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