Bolshoi Ballet

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The Bolshoi Ballet

The Bolshoi Ballet is a Russian ballet company based at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow . With more than 200 dancers, it forms the largest ballet troupe in the world.

The time of the tsars

The Bolshoi Ballet emerged from a dance school founded in 1773 in a Moscow orphanage. The year 1776 is considered the year the company was founded. She supplied dancers for the Petrowski Theater, founded in 1780, and after its fire in 1805, temporarily for the Arbat Theater.

The new Bolshoi Theater opened its doors on January 19, 1825 . The Bolshoi Ballet was always in competition with the Mariinsky Ballet , during the Soviet era the Kirov Ballet , from Saint Petersburg, and more strongly than this continued the national Russian ballet tradition. In 1850 the company had 155 dancers. Not least because of the standardized choreography of the Bolshoi Ballet, the premiere of the later world-famous ballet Swan Lake in 1877 was not very happy. Around 1900 Alexander Gorski reformed the ballet style, which later earned him the reputation of a pioneer of the revolution.

Soviet ballet

After the October Revolution of 1917, Gorski restructured the ballet company with the support of the People's Commissar for Education Lunacharsky . The three-year ballet course so far became a seven-year course, and in 1934 a ten-year course. Virtuosity and dramatic expressiveness could be increased significantly, so that the Bolshoi Ballet already acquired an excellent reputation in the 1920s.

After Gorski, Rostislav Sacharov and Leonid Lavrovski directed the ballet from 1924. In 1954 it made its first guest appearance in the West in London , and in 1958 the first guest appearance in the Federal Republic of Germany. Numerous ballets were premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Under the leadership of Yuri Grigorowitsch from 1964, the troop continued to gain importance, also internationally. Galina Sergejewna Ulanowa , Alexander Godunow , Nina Ananiashvili and Maja Michailowna Plissezkaja danced here . The most spectacular success was the premiere of the ballet Spartacus in 1968 . Then Grigorowitsch turned more to classical ballet with a new emphasis on dance elements. In the Kremlin Palace regular performances were held.

Post Soviet time

In 1995 Grigorovich gave up the direction of the Bolshoi Ballet. His successor was the dancer Vladimir Vasilev. In 1998 Alexei Fadejetschew took over the artistic direction, in 2000 Boris Akimow and in 2004 Alexei Ratmanski . The new production of the drambalet The Flames of Paris , a revolutionary ballet from 1932 by Wassili Wainonen in 2011, was a great success. In May 2011 the Paris Ballet gave this performance in the Palais Garnier of the Opera. In 2011 the stage was reopened after six years of total renovation. In the same year, Sergei Filin was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, who was seriously injured in the head, neck and eyes by an acid attack by an unknown masked man outside his Moscow apartment on January 17, 2013. Former prima ballerina Galina Stepanenko , Filin's ex-wife, was in charge of the troupe. Filin himself was treated at the Aachen University Hospital . In early March 2013, the Moscow police announced that they had arrested the perpetrators. The alleged man behind the attack was the Bolshoi solo dancer Pavel Dmitritschenko and the 35-year-old Yuri Saruzki was the attacker. The star dancer Machar Wasiev was appointed the new ballet director in 2015 , succeeding Sergei Filin, whose contract expired in March 2016.


  • Yuri Grigorowitsch: Bolshoi Ballet. Kunstverlag Weingarten, Weingarten 1984, ISBN 3-8170-4000-8 .
  • DANCE / BOLSHOI BALLET - Dear guests . In: Der Spiegel . No. 33 , 1958 ( online ).


  • Bolshoi Ballet , British documentary by Paul Czinner , 100 minutes.
  • Dance at the Bolshoi. The comeback of the Moscow ballet troupe. Documentary, Germany, 2009, 30 min., Written and directed: Reiner Penzholz, production: Eurokick, 3sat , ZDF , first broadcast: August 22, 2010 in 3sat, summary by ARD .

See also

Web links

Commons : Bolshoi Ballet  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. FAZ.NET with dpa / AFP: Moscow: acid attack on the ballet director of the Bolshoi Theater. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) Society. January 18, 2013, accessed January 22, 2013.
  2. Ulf Mauder (dpa): Ballet boss hopes for a quick recovery in Aachen. In: Aachener Zeitung Local. February 4, 2013, accessed February 5, 2013.
  3. ^ AFP and dpa: Russian Ballet. Solo dancer admits acid attack on Bolshoi chief. In: The time online culture. March 6, 2013, accessed March 6, 2013.
  4. Machar Wasiev becomes the new head of ballet at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Cultural news. (No longer available online.) In: WDR , October 26, 2015, archived from the original on October 28, 2015 ; accessed on October 1, 2018 .