Bolshoi Postmodern: Innovative Performance in HD – Screening of The Bolt

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
6:00 pm
CHANGE OF VENUE: Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor Pulitzer Hall (Graduate School of Journalism, 2950 Broadway at 116th St)

Please join the Harriman Institute, The Birch journal, and the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative for a screening of the Bolshoi Ballet's production of The Bolt, followed by Q&A with Katerina Novikova, Press Secretary of the Bolshoi Theatre, and Anna Winestein, Executive Director of the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative (BRAI). This event is part of BRAI's series Bolshoi Postmodern: Innovative Performance in HD, February 20-March 12th, in New York, Washington DC, and Boston.

Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich when he was only 25, the ballet The Bolt never reached its premiere, mothballed for 75 years immediately after its 1931 dress rehearsal. An all-new production with choreography by Alexei Ratmansky in splendid sets by Simon Pastuch captures the original's caustic dissection of socialist realist fantasy through stunning dance sequences and inventive staging. Shostakovich’s original subversion of the overtly propagandistic storyline—about an individualistic saboteur who attempts to impede production and progress in a factory—is accentuated further to create a complex image of the contradictions of life in the early Soviet Union. The composer’s vividly cartoonish score manipulates and mashes up popular and elite music, as well the sounds of a factory floor and the doctrinaire optimism relentlessly trumpeted to the populace. Pastuch’s scenography draws thoughtfully upon constructivism and other avant-garde movements of Soviet art and theater for inspiration, and is beautifully integrated with the choreography. 

Katerina Novikova is historian of theater and performance and the Press Secretary of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. A native of St. Petersburg and graduate of the Leningrade Institute of Theater, Music and Cinematography, she also studied at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, as well as receiving additional training in management and leadership in the arts in France and Finland. Novikova did her doctoral research on the plays of Sam Shepard and questions of post-modern aesthetics. In 1997 she became the first ever Press Secretary of the Mariinsky Theater. Since 2001 she has led the press department at the Bolshoi Theatre. She is an officer of the Order of Literature and Arts of France. In addition to Russian, she speaks English, French and Japanese.

Anna Winestein is a Boston-based historian of art and theater, independent curator, and cultural entrepreneur. She is executive director of the Ballet Russes Arts Initiative, a Boston area arts nonprofit, and previously served as creative director for the Hermitage Museum Foundation, New York. Winestein’s scholarly research interests include Russian art 1850 to today, European modernism, twentieth-century dance and theater history, and cultural exchanges between Russia and Europe in late imperial times. She is the coeditor and coauthor of The Ballets Russes and the Art of Design and has authored or contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogs, most recently in Dance and Fashion and Big Change: Revolutions in Russian Painting 1895–1917. Winestein has curated several exhibitions, including Danser Vers La Gloire: L’Age d’Or des Ballets Russes, for Sotheby’s Galerie Charpentier in Paris, and The Magical Reality of Alexandre Benois, at the Boston Public Library. She has been a cultural envoy for the US State Department and is a former Fulbright scholar. Currently she is a visiting researcher at the Center for the Study of Europe at Boston University.

Film directed by Vincent Bataillon, produced by Francois Duplat (2005, Bel Air Media).

Screening co-presented by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and Ballets Russes Arts Initiative, with the participation of Bel Air Media.

For information on New York area screenings of other productionsthe opera Wozzeck on February 22nd and the ballet The Flames of Paris on February 23rdplease visit:

Please note tickets are no longer required. Seating will be available on a first come first served basis.