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A documentary by Irene Langemann (Running time: 60 minutes)


The film shows the dramatic stages and developments of the Bolshoi Ballet's last thirty years, and express the contradictory entanglements of the worlds of art and official politics. World-famous stars, such as the artistic director, Vladimir Vasilyev, the diva Maya Plisetskaya, primaballerina Nina Ananiaschvili reflect the Bolshoi legend. "Just once in our life to go to the Bolshoi!" is the dream of millions of Russian citizens. The Bolchoï Theatre, founded in 1776, is a symbol of tradition and the embodiment of a specifically Russian high culture. As an Imperial showcase, as Russia's dream factory, it was both a political instrument and a temple of superb artistic performances. In the 19th century, it became the greatest ballet theatre in the world with such romantic fairy-tale ballets as 'Swan Lake', 'The sleeping Beauty', and the 'Nutcracker Suite'. This tradition was continued in the Soviet era, too. Indeed. Stalin made the theatre a temple of art, where everything was ordered to be splendid and beautiful. The spoilt darling of the cultural bureaucracy, "the country's most important theatre" never lived by the rules of the country. It was a realm of its own, with direct contact to the Kremlin.

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