The most famous theater in the world is the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Masha has a nice time in Moscow. Masha was at the Bolshoi theater on february 2012.
Masha " When I was young, my mother took me to many ballet performances, but this was another level of skill."
Russia's Bolshoi Theater reopens on october 28, 2011 with a star-studded gala performance after a more than six-year, $700-million restoration dogged by delays and financial scandal to reclaim its place as one of the world's cultural jewels.
The theater, which has survived three fires, a World War Two bombing and at one time was perched over an underground river, has been restored to its opulent Tsarist beginnings, doused in gold leaf, while embracing the new with cutting edge acoustics.
In what has been billed as a thoroughly Russian evening of music and dance, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will preside over a show that will be broadcast live in Russia, Europe and the United States.
"This will be a truly national celebration," Anatoly Iksanov, the Bolshoi's general director, told a news conference. He said foreign guests were likely to include German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Full details of the show are being kept secret but it will feature the top Bolshoi dancers such as Svetlana Zakharova and Maria Alexandrova, as well as guest opera singers including Frances' Natalie Dessay and Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana.
Founded as a private theater in 1776 by Empress Catherine the Great to "decorate the city and also serve as the premises for public masquerades, comedies and comic operas," the theater was rebuilt in 1825 after a fire.
After years of neglect and heavy use during Soviet times, the grand cream-colored, eight-columned building close to Red Square and the Kremlin closed for repairs in 2005. The troupe continued performing on the neighboring New stage.
"By the time we closed the theater for renovation, there was a 70 percent chance of the building collapsing. That is very high. We had reached a critical point," Iksanov said.
With just days to go, workers in blue overalls are still putting the finishing touches to the theater as rehearsals continue, with opera music competing with the sound of backstage drilling.
"The troupes are working without weekends, production staff are on 24 hours a day and nobody grumbles. We all have a common drive, and that is to get back to our home," Iksanov said.
Iksanov put the reconstruction costs at about $700 million although infrastructure analysts and construction companies have put the sum at almost twice that, embarrassing Russia's cultural authorities who said endemic corruption had reached the stage.
A criminal investigation was opened in September 2009 into the high expenditure and allegations of misuse of funds, but Iksanov has denied any wrongdoing by the Bolshoi.
SCRAMBLE FOR TICKETS
The Bolshoi had world-class acoustics before the Communist era, when sound-reflecting gold was scraped off and stolen and the hollow cylinder underneath the orchestra, thought to be impractical, was filled with cement.
"This pushed the theater below 50th position in the world opera house rankings. Now we've returned the theater its original 19th century acoustics," said Mikhail Sidorov, a spokesperson for Summa, the company in charge of the renovation since 2009.
The chairs are covered with a red Italian fabric that has been tested for sound-absorption and gold leaf has been placed on carved moldings. A rare pine on the walls also helps improve the quality of the sound, which has won praise from leading opera singers.
Even two of the nearest stations of Moscow's sprawling metro will be soundproofed.
"I have no problem with the sound here ... although rehearsing to the constant drilling sound makes it difficult," said Albina Shagimuratova of the Houston Grand opera, struggling to be heard above the drilling.
She will be playing the main role in Ruslan and Ludmila, the opera by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka which will open on the Bolshoi's revamped historical stage on November 2.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet Sleeping Beauty then has its premiere on November 18. Squeezed between will be a single performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem by Italy's La Scala, the first foreign guests to perform on the main stage.
American Ballet Theatre's David Hallberg has also joined the Bolshoi, though also continuing to perform with the New York-based company.
Tickets for the La Scala performance have reached 12,000 roubles ($390) at the official box office, an unusually high price in Russia, signaling the huge interest in the re-opening of one of the world's great theatres.
"We normally sell tickets in the stalls for 3,000 roubles ($98). But it's a market economy, and demand dictates the price," Iksanov said.
(Writing By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
MASHA HAD A GOOD TIME IN MOSCOW. Let's keep this picture.
Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater has published a list of its ballets to be broadcast online on YouTube next season. The first to go online on March 11 will be Adam’s Corsair on the theater’s revamped historical main stage.
YouTube is the world’s biggest video hosting with more than 20 million Russian visiting it every month.
Ten years ago, a French company began recording Bolshoi’s ballet productions. In 2010, it joined a project designed to bring opera and ballet performances to movie goers live from the world’s leading stages. The idea was a great success with the project now comprising more than 1,000 movie theaters in France and other countries.
Bolshoi’s Deputy General Director Anton Getman hailed the initiative:
"Our audience has expanded by dozens of times over the past two years. The audience of an online broadcast is 70 times that of the Bolshoi’s seating capacity. The enlightenment purposes, humanitarian values and integration interests we have been pursuing have fully justified themselves. When we were launching this project, I was asked: ‘Aren’t you afraid that people will stop buying theater tickets because they can now watch a performance live on a movie screen?’ But nothing of the sort has happened. The trend is just the opposite. Last March, we broadcast the Flames of Paris live to France. Two years later, we showed it in Paris, while on tour, and the tickets had been sold within a couple of days."
Another of Bolshoi’s ballets to go on YouTube and movie screens live this spring is the “Bright Spring” to music by Shostakovich. It will be followed by the summer transmission of Glazunov’s Raymonda. And in autumn we will broadcast Desyatnikov’s “Lost Illusions” based on Honore de Balzac’s novel of the same name as well as the lavishly decorated historical drama “The Pharaoh’s Daughter” staged by legendary Marius Petipa. Next year, YouTube visitors and movie goers will be treated to two classical ballets – Minkus’s La Bayadere and Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” - and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Even though the transmission time in some parts of the world is not always convenient for the local folks, the house is full. Anton Getman:
"For example in Sao Paulo ballet lovers will have to come to a movie house at 8 in the morning to be able to watch, say, “The Nutcracker”. We always broadcast our ballets on Sunday when most people aren’t working. A strange thing occurs in the movie hall: the audience sort of identifies itself with the audience in the Bolshoi, applauding where Bolshoi’s spectators applaud and standing up and shouting ‘Bravo’ as if they were at the theater. What struck me most was that when we were broadcasting the gala marking the reopening of Bolshoi’s historical stage, many of those who came to watch it on screen were wearing evening gowns and dinner jackets."
The Bel Air Media company that owns the exclusive rights to broadcast Bolshoi’s productions does its best to give the audience an illusion of visiting Bolshoi by showing both the stage and the hall as well as what’s happens behind the scenes during the intervals.
Maria Sharapova: When in Russia, my favorite home cooked food is our traditional dumplings 'pelmenis'.
How to cook Siberian Pelmeni? Ingredients:
4 1/2 c flour3 ea eggs1 ts salt1 c water2 tb butter1 tb vegetable oil1/2 c finely chopped onions400 g lean beef chuck ground twice400 g fresh pork ground twiceSaltFreshly ground black pepper1 c Sour creammeasures conversion [+]
Method:DOUGH: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour & salt then make a deep well in the center. Drop in eggs & water. Now with a large spoon, slowly & thoroughly mix flour into liquid ingredients. Do this until mixture can be gathered into a ball. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface & knead it by folding it end-to-end. Then press it down & pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand. Sprinkle dough with extra flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking to board. Knead for 10-12 mins. or until the dough is smooth & elastic. Next shape in into a ball, wrap it loosely in wax paper & allow it to rest at room temp. for 1-2 hrs.
MEAT-FILLING: In a large & heavy skillet, melt butter in oil over high-heat. Add chopped onions then stir frequently. Cook over moed-heat for 3-4 minutes until soft & lightly colored. Use a rubber spatula to scrape onions into a large mixing bowl then add meat, pork fat, salt, pepper& a 1/2 cup of cold water & mix with a large spoon until ingredients are well combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll reserved dough into a rough rectangle about 1/8" thick. Lift the dough over back of your hands & pull your hands apart, stretching dough carefully until it is almost paper thin.
1. Roll the dough, cut small circles by the mold, stretch the dough over the mold. 2. Then load a piece of filling in the defined space and press the mold together. 3. Pelmeni or vareniki are ready! 4. Enjoy Russian food festival!!!
MARIA SHARAPOVA SPEAKS RUSSIAN
Half a billion people worldwide now know the Russian language, according to Lyudmila Verbitskaya, President of St. Petersburg State University and International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL). She mentioned these statistics when speaking at the opening ceremony of the IV World Congress of Compatriots on October 26.
Since the early 2000-s the interest to the Russian language has been constantly growing. This can be attributed to the fact that anti-Russian sentiments and prejudices are passing. Besides that the knowledge of Russian is becoming an advantages when it comes to employment. However the situation differs per country, Verbitsakaya says.
"There are only few countries where the status of the Russian language does not give any cause for concern. They are Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Belarus is the only post-Soviet state where the status of Russian as a state language was confirmed at the referendum by the overwhelming majority of the population. In Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Russian is the language for international communication."
Ukraine take up a special position with regard to the Russian language. On the one hand the new law allows the regions where the Russian speaking population predominates to use Russian on equal terms with Ukrainian. On the other hand, the law has not influenced the position of the Russian language, Chairman of the Russian community in the Poltava region Viktor Shestakov says.
"Officially there are 117,000 ethnic Russians living in the Poltava region and the actual number is even higher. Despite this fact the region has no Russian schools."
Maxim Kramarenko, leader of the Lad Slavonic movement in Kazakhstan, says the situation with the Russian language is not as good as it may seem.
"The number of hours for learning Russian in school is being cut. The trend for rejection of Russian is felt. For example, the project is underway on translating scientific works from Russian into Kazakh. New Kazakh scientific terms are being artificially made up."
According to the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL), in Europe, both in the east and in the west, the demand for the knowledge of Russian is high. Germany is the leading country with almost 150,000 children studying Russian in secondary schools. In Asia, which accounts for the biggest part of the global population, the Russian language is not so wide spread. However, since recently some educational institutions in Indonesia and Philippines included Russian in their programs. The Russian philology has made progress in China too.
In the US about 4.5 million people speak Russian. Recently, voting bulletin in the state of New York state were for the first time printed in Russian, which is now one of the official languages of the state. About 3,000 American schools have included Russian in their curriculums. In total according to the MAPRYAL Association the Russian language is taught in one way or another in 100 counties worldwide.