Images from Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt – in pictures

With bold designs, a gripping story of industrial sabotage and a vivid musical score by Dmitri Shostakovich, it isn’t hard to see why this 1931 ballet was such a threat to the Soviet authorities. The Bolt’s first performance in Leningrad in April 1931 was met with a severe backlash by critics and was promptly pulled. The ballet tells of the exploits of Lenka Gulba (‘Lazy Idler’ in Russian), an indolent worker who persuades Goshka, a gullible young boy, to sabotage the production of the local factory by throwing a bolt into a machine. A new exhibition in London has brought the story of the production to light and here we see photographs and Tatiana Bruni’s original costume designs. The Bolt marked the last Constructivist ballet, closing an era of unparalleled innovation in Soviet dance and performance.

The Bolt runs at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design until February 28

Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM