The Bolshoi’s A Hero Of Our Time Dances Its Way Across The Big Screen

”It is a quintessentially poetical and inwardly musical work. And where there is poetry, there is ballet.”

A Hero of Our Time, a riveting new production from the Bolshoi Ballet company, seen for the first time in cinema, dances its way onto the Nouveau screens from Saturday, 13 May, for limited shows.

BOLSHOI

The lead roles in the three stories are danced by Igor Tsvirko (Pechorin) and Olga Smirnova (Bela) in Bela; Artem Ovcharenko (Pechorin) and Ekaterina Shipulina (Undine) in Taman; and in Princess Mary, Ruslan Skvortsov (Pechorin), Svetlana Zakharova (Mary) and Kristina Kretova (Vera). The soloists are accompanied by the Bolshoi Ballet’s principal dancers and the corps de ballet.

The Bolshoi Ballet is the quintessential ballet company, presenting works of astounding skill, daring and bravura that leave audiences the world over spellbound. This season of ballets broadcast in cinemas is no different, with the company’s incredible productions set to feature some of the world’s greatest dancers.

A Hero of Our Time is based on the larger-than-life hero, Pechorin. The ballet has been adapted from Russian Mikhail Lermontov’s literary masterpiece in three separate stories – Bela, Taman and Princess Mary, that each recount his heart-breaking betrayals. Is Pechorin a real hero, or is he just a man like any other?

This brand new production for the Bolshoi Ballet company, choreographed by Yuri Possokhov with music composed by Ilya Demutsky, is a tragic poetic journey on pointes.

The ballet’s director, designer and author of libretto is Kirill Serebrennikov. A Hero of Our Time is one of Serebrennikov’s favorite books. But however much one might love a book, not everyone is capable of bringing it alive in ballet. “I find it surprising no one thought of doing it before,” says Serebrennikov, “as it is a quintessentially poetical and inwardly musical work. And where there is poetry, there is ballet.”

Pechorin, a young officer, embarks on a journey across the majestic mountains of the Caucasus, on a path set by his passionate encounters. Disillusioned and careless, he inflicts pain both upon himself and the women around him…

In each one of the three parts of the ballet, Pechorin is quite different. He is changed by circumstance, age, the way in which he is presented — in Bela he is seen through the eyes of another character, while in Taman and Princess Mary, he ’speaks’ for himself, via the chapters of his diary.

In all these different guises, there can be no question of Pechorin being an integrated character. Each Pechorin has his own character, as revealed in his opening monologue or his own musical characterisation, as conveyed to the audience by a particular solo musical instrument, positioned directly on stage.

Each ballet also features musical solo performances on stage. In Bela, the two solo voices are mezzo soprano Svetlana Shilova and tenor Stanislav Mostovoy, with a bass clarinet solo by Nikolai Sokolov. Taman features a cello solo by Boris Lifanovsky, while Princess Mary features soprano Nina Minasvan, with a piano solo by Nadezhda Demyanova and an English horn solo by Vladislav Komissarchuk.

A Hero of Our Time releases on South African screens on Saturday, 13 May for four screenings only – on 13, 17 and 18 May at 19:30, and on 14 May at 14:30 – only at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Bookings are now open. The running time of this ballet production is 2hrs 45mins, including two intervals.

For booking information on the Bolshoi Ballet’s A Hero of Our Time at Nouveau, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za or www.sterkinekor.com. Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz or on Facebook at Cinema Nouveau. For queries, call TicketLine on 0861 Movies (668 437).