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Paris welcomes Bolshoi’s Lost Illusions with ten-minute-long standing ovation

January 05, 2014, 10:57 UTC+3 PARIS
The ballet was shown on the legendary stage of Grand Opera
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

PARIS, January 05, 10:50 /ITAR-TASS/. Lost Illusions, the first ballet to be shown on the legendary stage of Grand Opera on Bolshoi’s Paris tour, gained a thunder of applause on Saturday. It was for the first time that Bolshoi showed the ballet based on the novel by Honorй de Balzac in Paris, and it received a ten-minute-long standing ovation, which neither the dancers nor the organizers of the tour had expected.

“For the first time in many years we brought not the time proved repertoire of Swan Lake, Don Quixote or Spartacus, but a new ballet specially staged for the Bolshoi Theatre by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and composer Leonid Desyatnikov,” Bolshoi’s Director General Vladimir Urin said. This was the first guest performance for Lost Illusions and besides Paris was the first to see it, he stressed. “Of course, it is very prestigious but risky at the same moment, as we have brought a ballet based on Balzac’s novel. In La Scala for example, spectators were sometimes sitting with score checking how exactly it is performed,” he explained, saying he could not have forecasted the reaction of the audience. “It is impossible to predict success,” he said.

Art director Sergei Filin, for his part, had tried to play down fears. “Don’t worry, the dancers are ready and will show their worth,” he was saying. As for composer Leonid Desyatnikov, he was ironical as usual. “We have carried coals to Newcastle,” he said smiling. “I personally think first of all about the orchestra - it is hired and consists of local musicians, we must see that they play decently,” he added. Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky said nothing, as he was in the midst of a rehearsal.

The director of dance at the Paris Opera, Brigitte Lefevre, was the only person to predict success to the ballet. It was her to initiate the invitation of Lost Illusions to Paris. She herself fell in love with the ballet she had seen in Moscow and wanted her fellow countrymen to see Russian artists “putting Balzac on points”.

“Exactly ten years ago we invited the Bolshoi Theatre to Paris with the ballet Bright Stream choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, and it was then that we discovered that talented choreographer,” Lefevre said. “Since then we have been following works of that ballet master who I personally like very much,” she added. “On the whole, all that is new and unusual is interesting in ballet, it continues the life of this greatest of arts. I am sure Lost Illusions will be ‘found’ for us,” she added.

Lost Illusions will be shown five more times during the tour, but the cast will be changing. All tickets are long sold out. Besides, a concert of Leonid Desyatnikov’s compositions will be held on Sunday within the framework of the tour.

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