Rare treats at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow

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Imagine experiencing pure winter: clear, starry skies, jewelled frosted pavements and sparkling icicles. The adventure of sightseeing in a new environment, indulging your senses and feeding your soul with the most exquisite cultural experiences.

Imagine Moscow in winter, welcoming the New Year with the chimes from the Kremlin clock and joining the festive revels in Red Square. An experience to treasure, and a magical visit to the Bolshoi Ballet Moscow could make it truly complete.

A little bit about the Bolshoi Ballet

© Alyaka

© Alyaka

The Bolshoi Ballet is the world’s largest ballet company with in excess of 200 dancers (the word Bolshoi in Russian means ‘big’).

Following the tradition of all leading ballet companies, it maintains a hierarchical structure, with dancers beginning their nascent careers in the corps de ballet, working up to soloist roles and hoping one day to achieve principal dancer status. One of the private delights of all balletomanes is to watch the progression of a dancer over many years and performances, knowing that you have spotted that certain magical spark early in their careers.

To visit Moscow and see a performance is certainly one of the most delightful ways to see the company perform and spot those elusive stars in the making!

What to expect from the Bolshoi Ballet in 2015

The Bolshoi Ballet will be returning to Moscow in early December following recent tours of Japan and Monte Carlo. Their programme on return will include some delights from the regular repertoire as well as some seldom performed works.

One scheduled performance to look out for is Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’, originally premiered by the Bolshoi in 2012. An unusual work, originally choreographed by Balanchine in 1967, it draws upon the beauty of precious stones as inspiration to celebrate the classic ballet styles: American, French and, of course, Russian.

Using the music of Tchaikovsky, Fauré and Stravinsky, the work is a sublime fusion of the traditional and modern. However, if you are new to the delights of the Bolshoi then the ‘Evening of One Act Ballets’ (scheduled for 29th to 31st January) could be the treat you are looking for.

Including the Russian premiere of Thom Willem’s ‘Herman Schmerman’, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Serenade’ and ‘Rubies’ (from the aforementioned ‘Jewels’) it promises to be an evening of technically brilliant traditional and modern ballet.

A tour of the Bolshoi Theatre itself simply cannot be missed (these take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12.15 for English speakers). Over recent years the main ‘Historic’ stage has been sensitively reconstructed, retaining all the traditional charm and character of the original theatre.

To explore this remarkable space; a stage infused with the grace, elegance and physical bravado of the world’s greatest dancers, is an act of pilgrimage as well as an unforgettable experience. I can’t think of a more marvellous way to begin the New Year.