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http://www.ocpac.org/onstage/Event.asp?EventID=456&EventCategoryID=2

Quotes & Highlights

“A delightful comedy about lovers’ mix-ups and disguises” – The New York Times

Description

The legendary Bolshoi Ballet returns to The Center’s Segerstrom Hall with the West Coast premiere of Shostakovich’s banned ballet The Bright Stream. The Bolshoi Ballet’s orchestra will perform the score under the baton of Pavel Sorokin.

The Bright Stream tells the story of three dancers who meet a group of peasants from a collective farm. All of the characters fall in love with one another, reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden in As You Like It.

Created in 1935 by Shostakovich, The Bright Stream features choreography by Fyodor Lopukhov. Almost immediately the work became part of Russian ballet lore: Stalin himself banned further performances. The dictator was not a fan of Shostakovich, and it was rumored that Stalin personally penned an editorial in Pravda criticizing the composer’s 1932 opera Lady Macbeth of Mzensk as “muddle instead of Music.”

For whatever reason, Shostakovich never wrote another ballet. Lopukhov was fired as director of the Bolshoi, and the author of the scenario, Adrian Piotrovsky, disappeared in one of Stalin’s Gulags. Only now, as Russia looks back to its Soviet past in a more historical context, has this historic work resurfaced. It received its European premiere during The Bolshoi’s 2003 visit to the Palais Garnier in Paris.