Renewing The Bolshoi

The Bolshoi Ballet has had a tough few years. Long-time director Yuri Grigorovich was forced out in 1995. Four artistic directors in five years, a “disintegrating theatre, slipping artistic standards, appalling financial worries, and the rise and rise of St Petersburg’s Kirov under the dynamic leadership of Valery Gergiev. Then there was the Affair of the Overweight Ballerina. “Now things look brighter. The Moscow theatre is undergoing a massive redevelopment. The government has upped its funding, providing 55% of the Bolshoi’s £18m budget. And on January 1 a new artistic director took up his post: the 35-year-old St Petersburg-born, Moscow-trained dancer and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky.”