Romantic mood felt in the air

National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre hosts premiere of Herman Lovenskjold’s La Sylphide, staged by famous Russian choreographer and People’s Artiste of the USSR Nikita Dolgushin

By Valentin Pepelyaev

Mr. Dolgushin once performed the leading role in this ballet, at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg; he now works there as a teacher and tutor. This is the second time that the ballet has featured at the Bolshoi Theatre, the first being in 1983, staged by People’s Artiste of the USSR Oleg Vinogradov.

La Sylphide is an emphatically decorative performance, a predecessor of Giselle, which marked a new milestone in romantic art. The classical Danish choreography of August Bournonville is an aesthetic delight for lovers of legends, ballads and ancient stories. Its abundant romanticism and revival of an ancient story has its own attractiveness and charm, while its emotions awaken our ‘inner child’. Everything is perfect and kind-hearted, with the audience able to empathise; certainly, we all sometimes dream of the unattainable.

The Belarusian ballet has recently witnessed a romantic trend, staging Chopiniana, Paquita, Tristan and Isolde and, now, La Sylphide, which involves three teams of soloists. Before the premiere, some admitted that the ballet is technically challenging, yet everyone has fulfilled their task brilliantly. James, performed by People’s Artiste of Belarus Igor Artamonov, is light and ethereal, complementing his sweetheart and earning great applause from the public. Lyudmila Kudryavtseva and Yuri Kovalev also bring a unique perspective, showing the essence of the hard-working Scandinavian character.

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