News: Judith Mackrell: How Shostakovich’s The Bolt changed ballet history

Friday 2 January 2015 by Clare Evans

'Tatiana Bruni, Olga, Costume Design for ‘The Bolt’, 1931, gouache and watercolour on paper. Courtesy GRAD and St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music'

Stalin’s brutal state clampdown in 1930s Soviet Russia changed the lives of many burgeoning cultural figures of the time, including some of the most important names in ballet. The Guardian’s Judith Mackrell looks at one victim of these hardening times in Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Bolt.

“The Bolt was judged to have shown a dangerous levity in the handling of serious issues; Shostakovich’s “flippant” score veered too close to western dance music, and the innovative wit of Lopukhov’s choreography was condemned as “grotesque”.

You can currently see original designs, photographs and costumes from The Bolt on display together for the first time in Gallery for Russian Arts and Design’s Bolt Exhibition until February 28th.

Read more: The Guardian, 31 December 2014

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