Moscow:Moscow's renowned ballet group Bolshoi Ballet is taking a leap into the future as the company will be undergoing some big changes on and behind the stage.
Natalia Osipova and Andrei Merkuriev are dancing to the tunes of Middle Duet, a challenging modern piece, something that is not expected from a traditional company like the Bolshoi Ballet.
The company that is essentially known for classics has moved with the times associating itself with cultural icons.
Along with their crumbling 19th Century Theater, which is finally getting renovated, is the Bolshoi Ballets’ classical repertoire is also getting a makeover under artistic Director Alexei Ratmansky.
Like the historic Bolshoi theater, it’s ballet was in serious disrepair when Ratmansky took over three years ago.
Four directors had directed the group in a decade but the group still couldn't find a new direction.
Middle Duet is a reflection of Ratmansky's vision to make a perfect blend of old with new.
"It's a contemporary ballet but the technique, the style is classical. The Bolshoi company has 220 classical dancers. As a director I have to use their classical ability, what they do best," says Ratmansky.
In the Kremlin, Russian president Vladimir Putin working on a personal mission to revive the company, overseeing the theater's restoration, also ordered for the dancers wages to be raised.
"The Bolshoi is my home, my cathedral, my life," says the principal of the Bolshoi Company, Svetlana Zakharova.
Russia is the best city in Moscow for Zakharova because that is where the best theater is, where she works. “I have a lot of offers but I cannot change or be unfaithful to Bolshoi theater,” Zakharova says.
While its reconstruction is underway, Bolshoi's talent is dancing on a smaller stage somewhere close by.
They will finally move back to what they call home next year and dance on the stage where Soviet dancers like Maya Plisetskaya and Galina Ulanova once held audiences in awe.