Love watching live opera and ballet transmissions/simulcasts in the cinema, with so many favourites in both mediums and wanting to experience watching a production of those favourites. It's a thrilling experience and have always loved how authentic the atmosphere feels, as if you are actually there. Except in reality, it is the cinema, a more accessible location for many, and at a much cheaper price.
While not one of my favourite ballets, mainly due it being a ballet that was not grown up with, 'The Bright Stream' is very interesting and hugely entertaining, regarding the latter it is much more so than one would expect from a ballet production. There is a lot of charm, grace and nostalgia, yet it is not often you have so much fun and laugh so much watching a ballet (one of the exceptions though being with the step-sisters in Prokoviev's 'Cinderella'), but that was the case with watching 'The Bright Stream'. This is a great production from Bolshoi Ballet and it is always lovely to see a different ballet once in a while.
Occasionally it gets a touch too clownish, personal tastes, but there is nothing else to criticise otherwise.
The charmingly modernist production values are very appealing to the eye and the choreography captures every ounce of the charm and grace one typically expects watching ballet, as well as being nostalgic. It sparkles the most in the comedy though, so many inventive comedic touches here and they range from very funny to hysterical, the mischief never really exhausting apart from the odd over-clownishness here and there.
Musically, there is nothing to fault either, doing so well doing justice to Shostokovich's beautiful music. The orchestral playing has lively energy and nuances, while the conducting keeps the momentum going as smoothly as silk while allowing breathing space. The cast clearly have fun with their roles and the dancing from all is sublime. Was not expecting so funny and mischievous a side to Ruslan Skvortsov, again dancing with technical perfection. Maria Alexandrova also displays more character than she usually does (always was a skillful actress, but she has never looked like she was having as much fun as she does here) and can't fault her dancing either. Mikhail Lobukhin is amiable in the central role, as is Svetlana Lunkina. Anastasia Vinokur sparkles.
In conclusion, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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