Age of romanticism reigns at New Year Ball

National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre hosts main New Year Ball, with black tie dress code for each guest
By Polina Yevmenova

The 2013 ball gathered a record number of guests: over a thousand to celebrate the Old New Year. As the theatre’s General Director, Vladimir Gridyushko, tells us, “Most tickets were sold by October, as our event was so kindly spoken of.”

This year’s event enjoyed a diverse programme, every minute filled with fun: formal dancing was followed by Broadway hits and operettas. “We’re always searching for new entertainments so that our guests can feel themselves transported in time. They have modern comforts and conveniences alongside historical amusements,” explains staging director Galina Galkovskaya.

In 2012, the theme was a 15th century knights’ tournament but, this year, the atmosphere was that of the elegant 19th century. Russian polonaises and Viennese waltzes were danced, with lessons offered to those who bought tickets well in advance. “For the past two months, 350 people have been having lessons,” smiles Mr. Gridyushko. The Khoroshki Folk Dance Company provided a dazzling display also.

Lobbies were used to host the various styles of dancing — Russian and Viennese — while each floor offered its own entertainment — a custom introduced last year. Meanwhile, two performances were given on the main stage.

Among the amusements enjoyed by guests were palm reading and a concert programme, a ‘Poetry Salon’ peopled by ‘famous poets and their ladies’ and an Eastern fairy-tales room where guests became Aladdin and Scheherazade. 
The bravest took part in making a film of the ball, which shows fragments of the party and the unveiling of guests as fairy-tale characters. Ms. Galkovskaya tells us, “Fairy-tales are wise and optimistic, since good always defeats evil. I think we may feel the lack of fairy-tales in our modern times.” A quiz also offered a prize to whoever best remembered stories from their childhood: ‘Best Fairy-tale Expert at the Ball’. 

The theme of miracles was the focus of the festive night and the main gala-concert was even magically entitled ‘Cinderella New’. Variations based on Yevgeny Shvarts’ script — in old film style — were a pleasant surprise for the theatre’s staff and guests.

Awards were given for ‘Best Newcomers to the Ball’, ‘The Most Romantic Couple’, ‘The Merriest Couple’ and ‘Best Carnival Costume’. The fourth main New Year Ball ended in the small hours of the morning.
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