True passion in The Bolshoi
Last weekend all cultural Moscow was dying from excitement. Covent Garden ballet troupe made an appearance in The Bolshoi.
For sure, your curious cultural addicts Aline and I couldn’t miss such a thing. Choosing what to see from their program in Moscow, we’ve made a decision to enjoy the eternal story about love, money, power and true misfortune. Being “classical ballet” kind of girls, we were expecting Kenneth MacMillan’s “Manon” to be too avant-garde for us. But we were absolutely delighted by the Massennet’s music, beauty of the dance, splendid costumes, though choreography sometimes was a bit surprising (especially, when Manon’s brother and lover were dancing…you know what I mean..).
This ballet is for the first time on the Bolshoi stage, but it has quite a history. “Manon” had its premiere in 1974 and celebrates already its 40th anniversary this year. The ballet is inspired by the novel Manon Lescaut (which has also given rise to an opera of the same name) and is set to a score by Jules Massenet. The captivating story takes us from decadent Parisian salons, where two young lovers meet (including our beautiful heroine Manon), to the much wilder swamps of New Orleans, where they are later exiled after a violent brawl involving Manon’s lover, her brother, and the man who paid a high price to buy her affections. Manon is an engrossing ballet though one not for the faint-hearted, with its dramatic tale of bought love, revenge and murder. This ballet is a rare thing − at once a ravishing feast for the senses, and the utterly compelling story of a young girl who forsakes true love for wealth.
This story about a pretty young lady, who teased her enraptured lover to hard-bitten courtesan and finally to heart-broken and dying waif , causes mixed feelings, but we are not here to judge. You have always to face a choice in life. Manon made hers and obviously at that time she just didn’t know The Beatles song “Can’t buy me love”.
Without taking into consideration Manon’s sexual self- indulgence, this ballet is a Kenneth MacMillan’s sweeping vision of decadent 18th century Paris, richly costumed and lusciously orchestrated, is brought to life by the breathtaking artistry of Covent Garden’s company of dancers.
Tags: Ballet, Bolshoi theatre, Covent Garden, Jules Massenet, Manon