Greetings from Moscow. After a long trip (bus, plane, bus) we finally arrived at our fabulous hotel and in spite of the rain and cold many tour members went out to eat the local food.
Today is gloriously sunny: but the dancers are in the studio and the technik onstage building the set and the costume staff is busy unpacking the costumes so no sightseeing yet!
From Russia with love!
Your Stuttgart Ballet!
Photo Diary Part 01: Off to Moscow!
Our first day is almost over … first we all had to find our way in this huge and extraordinary theater! The building which houses the stage is connected to the administrative building by a glass “bridge” and there are many hallways and many, many stairwells. The dancers took class and rehearsed Romeo and Juliet and pieces for the gala. One of the studios has a rake of 5%!!! This is a big challenge for our dancers, who are used to working and performing on a flat stage.
Now it is time to explore a little and eat … the sun is shining and it stays light very long so that ought to be fun.
Regards to all in Stuttgart!
Photo Diary Part 02: Arrival at the Bolshoi
Photo Diary Part 03: Impressions from Moscow
On Monday evening we had glorious weather and everyone used this opportunity to do a little sightseeing after rehearsals were over as it stays light so long here. Wandering across the Red Square small groups of dancers met up and marveled at the sights before moving on.
On Tuesday work resumed with the dancers becoming a bit more used to taking class in a studio with a raked floor. This is in preparation for the gala on Saturday because in the “new” theatre the floor is raked. The newly renovated “traditional stage” boasts a state of the art system by which the stage can be set either flat OR raked. So for Romeo we will be using the stage flat. The technical crew and especially the lighting crew are still hard at work for many long hours to continue setting up and to input all the lighting cues. Tonight is the first rehearsal with the orchestra so we will all be hard at work until late tonight. It is a “goosebumps” moment to stand on this stage and look out at this magnificent theater which houses so much history.
Lots of love to all our fans in Stuttgart!
Photo Diary Part 04: Tonight is the premiere!
Last night was the incredible premiere of John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet at the Bolshoi Theater – the first time this famous ballet was danced in Russia. The premiere was attended by the German Ambassador to Russia and the Generalintendant of the Bolshoi Theater.
The entire company poured their hearts into the performance and delivered a spectacular show in which everything was just perfect. Especially Alicia Amatriain and Friedemann Vogel danced at the very top of their form and used every inch of this grand stage! The audience responded with cheers and ovations and the whole company went to bed very tired but happy.
Photos will come tomorrow! All the best to all of you from all of us here in Moscow!
Photo Diary Part 05: Romeo and Juliet Premiere at the Bolshoi
The second performance of Romeo and Juliet took place last night and once again we were performing for a sold out house! Maria Eichwald and Jason Reilly took the audience by storm and received tremendous applause as did the whole company which once again poured their entire emotions and abilities into their roles. Especially moving was the applause for Alexander Zaitsev as Mercutio who – as a native of Moscow and a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet School – returned to the stage on which his dancing career began. He received cheers and long applause.
For our tireless technical crew- the unseen heroes of this tour! – yesterday was another long day as they began setting up in the “New Theatre” for the Gala on Saturday during the day, ran the performance of Romeo on the “Traditional Stage” in the evening and began the load out of the Romeo set immediately following the performance. Today they continue the set up in the New Theatre and tonight we have the first stage rehearsal for the Gala! The wardrobe department is also very busy, carefully packing up all the Romeo costumes and preparing for the Gala.
And through it all, the staff and crew of the Bolshoi have been absolutely wonderful, helpful and supportive and – which is truly inspiring – very admiring of the Stuttgart Ballet. Spasibo bolshoi!
Today – Saturday – the weather is rainy and cool …
The dancers and stage crew are up very early for the dress rehearsal of the gala which takes place tonight on the “new stage”.
This stage was built for use during the 6 years the “traditional” stage was closed for renovation and is still used by the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera for performances. As opposed to the traditional stage which can be placed either flat or raked, the new stage is raked. This is a big challenge for the dancers but they have mastered the rake and the stage beautifully.
Now everyone is resting for the gala and we are all very interested to see how the audience will react to the modern pieces on the program!
We’ll let you know tomorrow!
Photo Diary Part 06: Second Performance of Romeo
Photo Diary Part 07: Preparations for the Gala
Finally it was time for the big gala last night – 3 acts, 3 hours of dance ranging from classical to modern. The audience particularly loved the modern pieces and cheered the dancers again with great enthusiasm. The dancers once again performed at the top of their abilities and didn’t let the raked stage affect them one little bit.
Today the second gala takes place and then the company has a well-earned week off to rest from all the excitement and hard work. We had a wonderful time here and are especially grateful to the staff and crew of the Bolshoi which was so supportive and fun to work with.
See you soon in Stuttgart!