Bolshoi Babylon Review

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Nick Read and Mark Franchetti’s peek into Moscow’s Bolshoi ballet company starts with higher drama than Black Swan. In 2013, the Bolshoi’s artistic director, Sergei Filin, was attacked with acid in a hit by dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who felt Filin had overlooked his ballerina girlfriend. In talking heads we see how the divided company took sides, though this never squeezes the juice the set-up deserves. Although it’s good on the drive and neuroses that come with such a potentially short career, you yearn for more dancing. More interestingly, it paints the Bolshoi as a microcosm of Russia, in thrall to tradition but beset by greed, backstabbing and corruption.