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Monday, June 11, 2007

Ballet in Moscow

On the last day in Moscow, our host, the Ministry of Trade and Finance took us to see a ballet performance. It was held at Tchaikovsky Theatre and we were presented with the Dance of the Nations choreographed by Monceef. I tried to read the program book but it was purely Russian, so I had to rely on the explanation of the liaison officer accompanying us, Margarita (she said hers was an unusual Russian name) and everything I write today is purely from memory.

According to her description of the program, this ballet was first shown in 1930s where the ballet performed pure Russian dances. In the late 1940s, the ballet incorporated other nationalities' cultures into the dance. By 1960s, the group was doing their first performance outside Russia. So the performance we are watching is about 70 years old but it keeps getting updated. I was told that since the dance incorporated other cultures, you have to keep coming to watch the new dances being incoporated.

Anyway, here are the photographs starting from outside the theatre to the dances of the ballet. I stopped taking photographs towards the end for two reasons - one the dancers were getting a little bit too sexy for my liking (skin coloured tights and were in rather suggestive positions) and two, a Russian man behind me objected loudly in Russian towards me taking photographs even though cameras without flash was allowed (I could not speak Russian to explain to him that my modern camera takes photos without flash and can do so even with candlelight compared to the Russian model cameras).

The first part of the performance was a collection of dances but after the interval it turned into a proper story about how the devil and his collection of women (the skin coloured tights) in hell doing interesting things. At the end, everything turned rosy again. Russian women love some of the male dancers and a few actually brought flowers and waited for the male dancers to come and give it to them personally.

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