The Bolt directed by Vincent Bataillon (Russia, 2005, 87 min.). 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 captures the original’s caustic dissection of Socialist Realist fantasy. Shostakovich subverts the original (propagandistic) storyline about a rogue saboteur who attempts to impede production and progress in a factory. His reconstruction of the narrative creates a more complex image of the contradictions of life in the early Soviet Union. The composer’s vivid score mashes up popular and elite music, as well the sounds of a factory floor and the doctrinaire of optimism relentlessly trumpeted to the people. Designed by Simon Pastuch, the sets draw thoughtfully upon Constructivism and other avant-garde movements of Soviet art and theater for inspiration.

Introduction and Q&A with Harlow Robinson, Professor of Russian History and Culture at Northeastern University and Anna Winestein, Executive Director of the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative. Presented in partnership with Ballets Russes Arts Initiative and Bel Air Media.