Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater has published a list of its ballets to be broadcast online on YouTube next season. The first to go online on March 11 will be Adam’s "Corsair" on the theater’s revamped historical main stage.
YouTube is the world’s biggest video hosting with more than 20 million Russian visiting it every month.
Ten years ago, a French company began recording Bolshoi’s ballet productions. In 2010, it joined a project designed to bring opera and ballet performances to movie goers live from the world’s leading stages. The idea was a great success with the project now comprising more than 1,000 movie theaters in France and other countries.
Bolshoi’s Deputy General Director Anton Getman hailed the initiative:
"Our audience has expanded by dozens of times over the past two years. The audience of an online broadcast is 70 times that of the Bolshoi’s seating capacity. The enlightenment purposes, humanitarian values and integration interests we have been pursuing have fully justified themselves. When we were launching this project, I was asked: ‘Aren’t you afraid that people will stop buying theater tickets because they can now watch a performance live on a movie screen?’ But nothing of the sort has happened. The trend is just the opposite. Last March, we broadcast the Flames of Paris live to France. Two years later, we showed it in Paris, while on tour, and the tickets had been sold within a couple of days."
Another of Bolshoi’s ballets to go on YouTube and movie screens live this spring is the “Bright Spring” to music by Shostakovich. It will be followed by the summer transmission of Glazunov’s Raymonda. And in autumn we will broadcast Desyatnikov’s “Lost Illusions” based on Honore de Balzac’s novel of the same name as well as the lavishly decorated historical drama “The Pharaoh’s Daughter” staged by legendary Marius Petipa. Next year, YouTube visitors and movie goers will be treated to two classical ballets – Minkus’s La Bayadere and Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” - and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Even though the transmission time in some parts of the world is not always convenient for the local folks, the house is full. Anton Getman:
"For example in Sao Paulo ballet lovers will have to come to a movie house at 8 in the morning to be able to watch, say, “The Nutcracker”. We always broadcast our ballets on Sunday when most people aren’t working. A strange thing occurs in the movie hall: the audience sort of identifies itself with the audience in Bolshoi, applauding where Bolshoi’s spectators applaud and standing up and shouting ‘Bravo’ as if they were at the theater. What struck me most was that when we were broadcasting the gala marking the reopening of Bolshoi’s historical stage, many of those who came to watch it on screen were wearing evening gowns and dinner jackets."
The Bel Air Media company that owns the exclusive rights to broadcast Bolshoi’s productions does its best to give the audience an illusion of visiting Bolshoi by showing both the stage and the hall as well as what’s happens behind the scenes during the intervals.