The Kremlin Ballet Theatre (Russian: Кремлёвский балет) is named due to its location; its stage is situated in the building of the former Kremlin Palace of Congresses (Russian: Кремлёвский Дворец Съездов). In fact, the theatre itself is administered by the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation. It is one of Russia’s main theatrical and concert venues. People’s Artist of Russia, Andrey Petrov, is the theatre’s artistic director and head of ballet.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, the stage of the Palace of Congresses was used as the second stage of the Bolshoi Theatre of the USSR. Despite the fact that all kinds of productions have been staged here, the auditorium is truly built for staging ballet. In 1990, the troupe of the Bolshoi Theatre’s second stage formed the Kremlin Ballet. Now, the the Kremlin Ballet Theatre successfully competes with the Bolshoi Theatre for both audience numbers and awards. The Kremlin Palace auditorium became one of the world’s best ballet venues following a major upgrade of the theatre’s audio and lighting equipment in 2013. At the same time, ticket prices are significantly more affordable here than they are at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Theatre’s historical background and appearance
The Kremlin Palace of Congresses building was built in 1961. The site and building design were carefully selected so that the building blended in with the historical ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin. The best Soviet architects worked on the design of the palace’s façade, the restricted-access government zone and the 4,000-seat auditorium. The latter was rebuilt in 1969, and was extended to seat up to 6,000.
Designers used red granite, marble, figured tuff and precious woods for interior decoration. The frieze, made of multicoloured smalt, was designed by A. Deyneka, and the ornamental curtain in the auditorium is made of thin, hammered metal sheets. The palace’s huge foyer and auditorium are still as comfortable and beautiful as they were when they were built.
Large-scale operas and ballets, concerts and government events took place on the stage of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses for several decades. These events starred names such as M. Liyepa, V. Vasilyev, M. Plisetskaya, E. Maksimova, L. Semenyaka, and many others. Among the ballet producers were V. Vasilyev, Y. Grigorovich and A. Liyepa, to name just a few, and Russia’s best symphonic orchestras also participated in the performances.
The Theatre’s activities
The development of classical ballet traditions is the artistic creed of the Kremlin Ballet Theatre, and its repertoire certainly reflects its speciality. Among its shows are Don Quixote by L. Minkus, Ruslan and Lyudmila by M. Glink, Giselle by A. Adam, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet by S. Prokofiev, Zeus by D. Arapis, Bolero by M. Ravel, The Thousand and One Nights by F. Amirov, P. Tchaikovsky’s ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Snow Maiden), etc. Choreography work includes both celebrated ballet masterpieces and innovative performances staged by present-day choreographers. One of the troupe’s greatest achievements was the production of The Magic Flute, a ballet based on an opera by W.A Mozart and staged by the theatre’s artistic director, A. Petrov.
The leading dancers in the Kremlin Ballet Theatre – M. Martynyuk, E. Motuzov, N. Balakhnicheva, A. Timofeyeva, D. Uomak and E. Pervushina – have won many professional competitions. The troupe often tours throughout Russia and abroad. The theatre has hosted the World’s Ballet Stars in the Kremlin Ballet Theatre, an international festival directed by A. Liyepa, since 2012.
The stage equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the magnificent foyer, café and historical interiors attract many spectators from both Russia and abroad to the theatre. Shows usually play to a full house. To ensure the safety of the spectators and of the Kremlin staff, the entrance to the theatre is only accessible via a security checkpoint, so make sure you arrive with sufficient time to clear security.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com