Nina Kaptsova (Нина Капцова) and Denis Savin (Денис Савин) in The Golden Age (Tango), music by Dmitri Shostakovich, choreography by Yuri Grigorovich. Dance Open 2017 Gala, shot 24.4.2017 in the Alexandrinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia.
The Golden Age (Rus.: Золотой век), is a ballet in three acts and six scenes by Dmitri Shostakovich to a libretto by Alexander Ivanovsky. Choreographed by Vasili Vainonen (first act), Leonid Jacobson (second act) and V. Chesnakov (third act), it premiered on 26 October 1930 at the Kirov Theatre. The work was performed eighteen times and was initially censored due to its inclusion of modern European dance styles. The ballet is a satirical take on the political and cultural change in 1920s’ Europe. It follows a Soviet football team in a Western city where they come into contact with many politically incorrect bad characters such as the Diva, the Fascist, the Agent Provocateur, the Negro and others. The team fall victim to match rigging, police harassment, and unjust imprisonment by the evil bourgeoisie. The team are freed from jail when the local workers overthrow their capitalist overlords and the ballet ends with a dance of solidarity between the workers and the football team.
In 1982, Yury Grigorovich and Isaak Glikman revived the ballet with a new libretto. Grigorovich also chose to integrate other works of Shostakovich into the score. In 1983, he created The Golden Age for Irek Mukhamedov, who defined the role of Boris, the young workers’ leader, for successive generations of Bolshoi dancers. They moved the action to the USSR in the 1920s to a restaurant called “The Golden Age”. Conflict unfolded between the Soviet Komsomol and the gang. The premiere took place on 4 November 1982 in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.
Photos by Jack Devant Ballet Photography with kind permission of the Dance Open, special thanks to Ekaterina Galanova and Kristina Proku.