Last summer, “Moscow Ballet” began a new life. This is not the first time: the history of the company, created at the height of perestroika, is dramatic. In recent years he has found his own face, divided into modern and classical, has created an interesting original repertoire and has earned an excellent reputation. But the changes in the situation again demanded transformations, and in the summer the Moscow Ballet became part of the Novaya Opera theater, which is also undergoing transformation under the new director Anton Getman.
The eternal homeless drifter, who never had his own stage, finally found a hospital. But the changes were not limited to this: the troupe, which has long been famous for its charismatic performers, has significantly updated its lineup. It was assembled by the new artistic director Anastasia Yatsenko. A former soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre, she is best known to the general public as the person who was in charge of the young choreographers competition at the Diana Vishneva festivals. Among them, she chose the creators of the “Dance Nuvo” presentation program.
Ten years have passed since the victory of Konstantin Keikhel in the first “Context. Diana Vishneva.” Since then, the choreographer has not stopped working hard, making a name for himself in the narrow circle of modern dance. His new work “Monkey” is beautifully presented: it is based, as the author says in a press release, on the concept of the unconscious monkey, taken from Japanese culture, “the sad charm of things”, which “has a lot of to do with the awareness of the fluidity of time”. The costumes, with their strict black conciseness reminiscent of Yohji Yamamoto, the minimalist music by Konstantin Chistyakov and, above all, the beautiful lighting by Ksenia Koteneva help the choreographer to immerse the room in a trance. The dancers now strictly trace the stage with straight lines, then lose themselves in a clot of energy in the center, then step on the proscenium, then concentrate in its depths. During the first fifteen minutes, he will be happy to dedicate himself to the search for parallels and perpendicularities between the choreography and the story, the director and the performers. But “Mono”, contrary to the established thirty minutes, shifts the theme to forty, forcing the enthusiasm to dilute along with the choreography.
After that, the beginning of Irina Kononova’s “This Magnificent Century” looks like a real explosion of energy: a modern sultan in a canary suit sits on the sofa in front of the TV, waiting for his favorite series. There is so much irony in this picture (artist – Ulyana Eremina) that you begin to move in the theater chair almost with the same impatience as the Sultan on the stage. Only the story of how a modern guy fancies himself the master of a harem turns out to be some kind of boring provincial 1990s dance-pop gig. Even the charm and skill of Viktor Kondakov (Sultan), surrounded by an excellent company of partners, they do not help to withstand the same endless forty minutes.
Anna Shchekleina, whose performance “New Earth” won the previous “Golden Mask”, has become one of the most sought-after figures of our dance scene in the last year. The “lake” designed for “Dance Nuvo” has shown that she is capable of working with transporter continuity. And if necessary, she knows how to wonderfully rely on the partnership of a composer (Vasily Peshkov), an artist (Galya Solodovnikova) and a lighting designer (Tatiana Mishina). The angled circle of the stage, bounded by thistles, diapers, strong lighting, uncompromising sound create a sense of the world after the catastrophe. Shchekleina knows how to fill it with her own warmth even with the help of the slightest movement. But “Lake” is not at all lapidary, the choreographer weaves many recognizable patterns into the structure of his performance: Ivanov’s “swan” hand wings and Bezharov’s “Bolero” rhythm, and many different Pina Bausch are used. The synthesis turns out to be quite independent, but it lacks the simplicity of non-banal solutions that usually distinguish Shchekleina’s representations.
On the other hand, the dancers of the new call have plenty of energy and courage, which was not enough in the choreographers’ presentation program. We are waiting for the next releases.