Splendid performance full of acting and beautiful dancing
Famous ballet inspired by Chekhov’s story staged at Belarusian Bolshoi Theatre for the first time
The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre recently premiered its Anyuta — based on Anton Chekhov’s Anna on the Neck. Known as the ballet ‘most inspired by Chekhov’, it was prepared by world famous dancer and choreographer Vladimir Vasiliev. The People’s Artiste of USSR and Russia and a laureate of many prestigious awards, including the State Awards of the USSR and Russia, was even named ‘Best Dancer in the World’ by the Paris Dance Academy.
Curiously, the first performance of Anyuta took place in May 1982 — not on stage but for Soviet TV. Outstanding ballerina Yekaterina Maximova took the lead role of Anna. The film was a great success, purchased by 114 countries, and was widely broadcast. The film was the joint work of Vladimir Vasiliev and director Alexander Belinsky, who also wrote the script, using Leningrad composer Valery Gavrilin’s score.
In 1986, at the request of the Royal Theatre of St. Charles, Mr. Vasiliev created a stage version of Anyuta, which premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow several months later. It has been a success there ever since, going on to be staged in Riga and across Russia, appearing in most repertoires.
On the eve of the premiere in Minsk, Mr. Vasiliev told journalists that Anyuta is unique in always being accompanied by success. As the years pass (this May, it celebrates its 30th anniversary of being premiered on TV) interest only grows.
“This performance boasts the main thing: acting and dancing inspired by Chekhov’s characters. These images are wonderful,” adds Mr. Vasiliev, hoping that Anyuta’s premiere on the Belarusian stage won’t break the pleasant tradition. Audiences are sure to leave enlightened — as happens in all theatres where the ballet is performed.
Mr. Vasiliev is joined by Honoured Artist of Ukraine and Russia Victor Ploskina, the conductor-director, and Honoured Figure of Arts of Russia Rafail Volskie; they are responsible for set design and costumes. The show features leading soloists from the Belarusian Bolshoi ballet company.