The Bolshoi returns to Australia

The Bolshoi Ballet is returning to Australia in winter with two ballets, George Balanchine’s Jewels and Yury Grigorovich’s Spartacus.

The company will perform at Brisbane’s Queensland Performing Arts Centre as part of QPAC’s annual International Series.

(The Bolshoi was previously at QPAC in 2013 when the company brought Le Corsaire and Alexei Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream).

This year’s two Bolshoi ballets, Jewels and Spartacus, could not be more different from one another but they both premiered within a year of one another – Jewels in April 1967 and Spartacus in April 1968.

There’s only one Jewels but there’s more than one Spartacus.

The best-known Spartacus is Grigorovich’s Bolshoi production, a ballet that’s been an international calling card for the Bolshoi for decades.

Jewels, an abstract ballet, has three acts, Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, each representing Balanchine’s dance life.

Diamonds represents his early years in St Petersburg, Emeralds his time in Paris and Rubies his life in New York where he moved in late 1933.

While Jewels was first performed by the New York City Ballet, within seven years of its premiere it began to be staged around the world, first at the Paris Opera Ballet and then in numerous companies in the United States and in Europe.

Jewels took a long time to be staged by the Bolshoi and surprisingly, it has never been in the repertoire of the Australian Ballet.

This year’s Bolshoi season at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre will run from 26 June to 7 July.

In the first weekend of the tour (29-30 June) audiences will be able to see both productions, Jewels and Spartacus.

Tickets for all performances will go on sale on 24 January.

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Evgenia Obraztsova and Vladislav Lantratov, photo © Elena Fetisova

Rubies, photo © Marc Haegeman

Semyon Chudin and Olga Smirnova, photo © Elena Fetisova

Diamonds, photo © Damir Yusupov

Alexander Volchkov as Crassus in Spartacus, photo © Elena Fetisova

Mikhail Lobukhin in Spartacus, photo © Damir Yusupov