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'Master and Margarita' Ballet Opens in Moscow

Olga Chelpanova as Margarita in the debut of “Master and Margarita.”

On July 4, the Mariisky Ballet and Opera Theater — not to be confused with St. Petersburg's well-known Mariinsky Theater — debuts a ballet production of Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" at the Russian Academic Youth Theater. "The Master and Margarita" was written and choreographed by Estonian choreographer Mai-Ester Murdmaa with a set designed by Boris Goloditsky. The electronic music, written and performed by Rainer Jancis, lead singer of Metro Luminal, adds to the mad fantasy of the production. The ballet focuses on the struggle of opposites: the Christ figure Yeshua and Satanic Woland, Yeshua and Pontius Pilate, the Master and chaos around him. In the final triumphant scene, "manuscripts don't burn," and the results of human creation are eternal.

This production is part of the Summer Ballet Season, the first time this troupe from the republic of Mari El has performed in the capital. The troupe, established 15 years ago, previously toured Europe, Central and South America. Konstantin Ivanov, the artistic director of Mariisky Ballet and a Bolshoi Theater alum, told The Moscow Times, "For me, our troupe performing in Moscow — next to the Bolshoi Theater — means a tremendous amount and is a very emotional experience."

"The Master and Margarita" plays Sat. at 7 p.m. at the Russian Academic Youth Theater. 2 Teatralnaya Ploshchad. Metro Okhotny Ryad. 495-692-0069. Tickets available through

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