Sky Arts is to premiere six archive Bolshoi Ballet performances re-mastered for their first ever broadcast outside of Russia.
The recordings from one of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies include Swan Lake, Adam and Eve and Nutcracker.
The name Bolshoi is synonymous with excellence; it’s one of the most iconic ballet powerhouses in the world, so when I heard that there were unseen classic performances, and that Unique and RTR could use technology to restore them to their life-like glory, I just had to pinch-myself,
Performance is at the heart of Sky Arts and ballet is one of the genres our customers are most passionate about. Being the first arts broadcaster to transmit this rare collection of Bolshoi Ballets outside of Russia is not only a privilege but an honour. – James Hunt, Director of Sky Arts
Swan Lake will be the first performance to be broadcast on Sky Arts 2 on 11th August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bolshoi Ballet’s first visit to Britain.
Discovered in the giant state archive, the Gosteleradiofond, the performances of Swan Lake, Adam And Eve, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet date from the 1970s and 80s. The recordings have been in the Moscow vaults ever since their original airing on USSR state television. Sky Arts has commissioned an accompanying documentary telling the intriguing story of their discovery. Presented by Deborah Bull, former principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, the programme will be broadcast at a later date on Sky Arts along with the five other re-mastered ballets.
Swan Lake was filmed during the 1976 production which marked the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet by the artists of the state academic Bolshoi Theatre. Directed by current Bolshoi Ballet Master Yuri Grigorovich, the ballet features legendary dancers including Maya Plisetskaya and Alexander Bogatyrev, with the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre conducted by Algis Zhuraitis. Deborah Bull will also introduce the performance, with an interview with impresario Lilian Hochhauser, who first brought the Bolshoi to London in 1963.
From the moment I first saw these rare recordings, despite the original quality, I knew that there were some amazing performances that deserved to be restored and brought to a new audience. Working with RTRWorldwide and Sky Arts, we have been able to bring new life to 40 year old video tape and film, enabling ballet fans of today to enjoy watching some of the world’s greatest dancers. Simon Cole, Executive Producer for Unique
Bolshoi Unseen: Swan Lake – Sunday 11th August 8pm on Sky Arts 2, on the move with Sky Go and On Demand