Bolshoi in the kitchen: Russian ballet is also working from home during lockdown
MOSCOW — This performance doesn’t require a red-curtain reveal.
It begins in a Moscow dining room. Ballet dancer Ivan Vasiliev, a veteran of stages including the Bolshoi, is dressed in a T-shirt and times his moves to pretend he is giving his daughter’s doll a haircut. The scene shifts to the kitchen, where a ballerina is gliding along the counter in pointe shoes.
The informal — but carefully choreographed — video goes on for another two minutes, showing various Russian dancers turning dishwashing, sweeping and cooking into art amid the pandemic lockdowns.
But there is a very sobering message, too.
With no clear end to the pandemic in sight, theaters and their performers across the globe wonder how long they can hold out without the ticket sales and other revenue that sustain them.
In Russia, the performing arts — and ballet in particular — are so entwined in the national identity that theaters are unaccustomed to empty seats, let alone barren buildings. But now even some of Russia’s most storied venues, including the Bolshoi Theater, may be in danger.