‘The Golden Age’ at Palace Cine­plex this Sun­day

Jamaica Gleaner - - 24/7 -

THE BOL­SHOI Bal­let’s 2016-17 sea­son in cine­mas opens with The Golden Age, a com­pany sig­na­ture and trea­sured clas­sic, on Sun­day at 11:30 a.m., at Palace Cine­plex in the Sov­er­eign Cen­tre, Liguanea.

A satir­i­cal take on the po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural change in 1920s Europe the bal­let, com­posed by Dmitri Shostakovich to a li­bretto by Alexan­der Ivanovsky, pre­miered at the Kirov Theatre in 1930. The story fea­tured a Soviet foot­ball team in a Western city, where the mem­bers come in con­tact with de­spi­ca­ble char­ac­ters and fall vic­tim to match rig­ging, po­lice ha­rass­ment and un­just im­pris­on­ment by the evil bour­geoisie.

In the end, the team is freed when the lo­cal workers over­throw their cap­i­tal­ist overlords and the bal­let ends with a dance of sol­i­dar­ity be­tween the workers and the foot­ball team.

Shostakovich was very keen on foot­ball and is said to have coined the ex­pres­sion ‘Foot­ball is the bal­let of the masses’.

De­spite the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect theme of the pe­riod – tri­umph of the pro­le­tariat over the evil bour­geoisie – the work was cen­sored be­cause of its score and in­clu­sion of modern Euro­pean dance styles. As a re­sult, it had only 18 per­for­mances. The work re­mained in vir­tual ob­scu­rity un­til some 50 years later, when Chore­og­ra­phy takes cen­tre stage in ‘The Golden Age’ which fea­tures an ex­plo­sion of dance, from clas­si­cal and folk, to free form and modern.

the com­poser’s widow,

Irina, asked chore­og­ra­pher Yuri Grig­orovich, then direc­tor of the Bol­shoi Bal­let, to restage it.

In a re­vival for the new era, Grig­orovich, along with Isaak Glik­man, a theatre critic, his­to­rian and close friend of Shostakovich, suc­cess­fully re­vived the bal­let with a new li­bretto. Grig­orovich also chose to in­te­grate other works of Shostakovich into the score. In 1983 he cre­ated The Golden Age for dancer Irek Mukhame­dov, who de­fined the role of Boris, the young workers’ leader, for suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions of Bol­shoi dancers.

The reimag­ined setting was the 1920s, when the New

Eco­nomic Pol­icy (NEP) was in­tro­duced to fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate en­ter­prise and trade. The story un­folds at a restau­rant called The Golden Age in a sea­side town in the south of Rus­sia.

1982 PRE­MIERE

The pre­miere took place on Novem­ber 4, 1982, at Moscow’s Bol­shoi Theatre.

Rita (Nina Kaptsova) meets Boris (Rus­lan Skvortsov) in a town square, where he is par­tic­i­pat­ing in a po­lit­i­cal theatre per­for­mance by young fish­er­men. He sets out in search of her after she leaves abruptly and even­tu­ally finds her at The Golden Age restau­rant, a hang­out for Nep­men (busi­ness­men un­der The duets of Rita and Boris are fea­tured in ‘The Golden Age’.

the short-lived NEP.

Jac­ques (Mikhail Lobukhin) and Mar­got are cabaret dancers per­form­ing at this restau­rant, and Boris is sur­prised to find that Mar­got is the same Rita that he has just met. After the per­for­mance, Rita and Boris re­con­nect hap­pily, ob­served by a jeal­ous Jac­ques. Un­be­known to Rita, Jac­ques is in fact Yashka, the leader of a crim­i­nal gang. His friend Lyuska (Eka­te­rina Krysanova) lures two drunken Nep­men to an am­bush, where the gang robs both and mur­ders one.

Upon Yashka’s re­turn to the restau­rant, dressed as Jac­ques, he sees Boris and Rita danc­ing and picks a quar­rel with Boris, but Rita in­ter­venes and Jac­ques leaves. Boris and Rita de­clare their love to each other. Later, Yashka tries to win Rita’s af­fec­tions, but she re­jects him and leaves. Yashka and his gang fol­low her and, when they find her with Boris, they at­tack him. Boris’s co-workers and friends come to his res­cue and the ban­dits are chased away.

Even­tu­ally, Rita de­cides to aban­don her life as a cabaret dancer and join Boris, but a jeal­ous Yashka will have not al­low it. Lyuska over­hears him and, in a jeal­ous rage, at­tacks Yashka with a knife and in the en­su­ing strug­gle, he kills her. Tak­ing Rita as a hostage Yashka tries to es­cape, but is caught by Boris and his friends. Rita is now free and, leav­ing the restau­rant for­ever, she goes off with her beloved Boris to start a new life.

They dance to­gether be­fore join­ing their friends for a cel­e­bra­tion in the town square.

En­core per­for­mances of The Bol­shoi Bal­let’s new 2016-2017 sea­son, cap­tured live from Moscow, will only be shown at Palace Cine­plex in Kingston. The line-up in­cludes The Nutcracker, The Sleep­ing Beauty and Swan Lake, as well as The Bright Stream, A Hero Of Our Time and an evening ded­i­cated to modern chore­og­ra­phy, ‘A Con­tem­po­rary Evening’.

Tick­ets are on sale at par­tic­i­pat­ing box of­fices and via the web at www.palacea­muse­ment.com with a Palace Card. Team Scorch Dem presents Fash­ion Def­i­ni­tion at 2a Chelsea Ave, Kgn 10. Hosted by Ca­malla LaTouche. Ca­malla LaTouche Stage Show is at Watch­well Square. Fea­tur­ing Devin Di Dakta, Ja Glory, Ja Rooti, Jah Ma­son, Kiprich, Sim­ple Touch, Jacks In­ter­na­tional, and oth­ers. Adm: $600 presold, $800 at the gate.

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