The Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre in Minsk

The Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre in Minsk

High Standard Ballet

The Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre in Minsk actually houses two independent creative groups. They are the National Academic Opera theatre and the National Academic Ballet theatre. The latter unlike the Moscow Ballet Theatre is really huge. The magnificent building of the Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre towers on the top of Troitsky Hill and is seen from almost any part of the city while Belarusian ballet is well-known all over the world.

Luckily to our country a young ambitious choreographer from St. Petersburg headed Belarusian ballet 30 years ago. His name was Valentin Elizaryev and he was 26 at that time. He was full of ideas and in Minsk he found a prepared troupe ready to put his plans into reality. That is how the high standard ballet was created.

Nowadays there are more than 30 names of dramatic works on the poster of the theatre! The Belarusian Ballet theatre boasts the repertoire which is larger than in any other theatre of that kind. Valentin Elizaryev is the main choreographer and stage-manager of the majority of the plays. The theatre stages contemporary ballets together with classical ballets which are carefully restored on the heritage of the great Frenchman and Russian classical ballet founder Marius Petipa. As if by some magic Elizaryev manages not to overpass the line separating mind-numbing classics and startling vanguard. His contemporary choreography is something unique – a dance which is up to date in its expressiveness and emotionality and at the same time is built according to the classical canons.

The three classical ballets by P. Tchaikovsky “The Swan Lake”, “the Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty” are the most popular, especially with the foreign guests of our country. All of them are well staged with rich decorations and eye-catching costumes.

The ballet “Raymonda” by Glazunov has been restored in the same way. His stage-manager is Yuri Grigorovich who was the former chief ballet master of the Russian Bolshoy Theatre.

On the biggest theatre stage in Belarus one can see a great number of world drama works. “Chisel”, “Sylfida”, “Don Kichot”, “Spartak” are among the most favourite plays. Stage works by Valentine Elizaryev unavoidably draw everybody’s attention. They are always favorably mentioned by foreign critics during numerous guest tours of the theatre. And the most demanding audience of such “ballet” countries like France, Japan, and China is really delighted with these performances.

Among the original author’s works are “Carmine Burans” to the music of the distinguished cantata by Carl Orf, “Romeo and Juliet” by S.Prokofyev, “Holy Spring” by I. Stravinsky, “Bolero” by Ravel and “Carmen Suite” by Bize-Shchedrin (which has been on for 30 years without a break!)

One can’t but mention the recently renewed ballet “Till Ulenshpigel” to the music of the Belarusian composer Eugene Glebov and the ballet “Strasti” (see picture 4). The latter is based on the events that took place in the 10-11th centuries during the Belarusian statehood formation.

To cut a long story short, excellent ballet performances in the Belarusian Opera and Ballet theatre are by all means worth seeing. They are sure to make an unforgettable impression on you. If you are lucky enough to get the ticket.

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