realise its been a while since I’ve written on here, but I finally got some inspiration. So here it goes…
Last week I had the opportunity of travelling to Moscow, Russia with English National Ballet to perform at the Chekhov Festival in the new Bolshoi Theatre stage. To say it was a dream come true would be a lie because even in my wildest dreams I never would have thought performing in Russia as a Puerto Rican was possible. But there I was with the British company I dance with performing in one of the most important theatres in Russia. A real “pinch me” moment.
Moscow is one of a kind, it has a life of its own, I would say. It’s grandeur all around, so much so that you can find museum style supermarkets and metro stations. History books fall short in the splendour of this city.
My first day there started with a metro ride to the center of the city from our hotel. My friends and I were in such awe of the stations that we had to take a few minutes to absorb all the beauty that sorrounded us. We were asking ourselves if we were in a museum rather than on the tube.
When we got to the city center, we went to see the Bolshoi Theatre and from there visited the famous Red Square.
While in the Red Square we saw the State Historical Museum, the Mausoleum of Lenin, the Kremlin (from the outside), and St. Basil’s Cathedral. I would recommend visiting the square more than once, since there is so much to take in. I forgot to mention that in the square you can also find GUM (ГУМ), a massive Disneyland-like department store. My friends and I spent a couple of hours in there just wondering around and admiring how nice and beautiful it was.
After our visit to the Red Square it was time for some coffee and my friend suggested we went to Cafe Pushkin, which is made to look like if you were walking into a house that was inhabited in the 1800’s and has kept the same décor. I absolutely loved it there, and the desserts were delicious.
Our last stop of the day was a historical supermarket called Gastronomia Eliseevsky. It was founded in 1901, and it’s another building that you enter and wonder if its a museum. I had never seen such an ornate supermarket. I felt like I had stepped back in time, I mean have you ever been to a supermarket with chandeliers and statues inside it? I hadn’t either. Russians take their art, culture and history very seriously and I think other countries in the world should learn a little from them.
The next few days were spent doing what we went there to do: rehearse and perform. After opening night we had a lovely cocktail party in the atrium of the theatre, so most of us went there to celebrate.
During our breaks in between rehearsals and performances, we took advantage and visited the city. We also went and saw the historical Bolshoi stage, got to watch one part of a show from the wings, and even got to take class with a few people from their company.
After our last show in Moscow, we had an amazing after party on the rooftop of the Ritz-Carlton. It was such a thoughtful gift from a couple of sponsors of the company, and a wonderful setting to celebrate the end of our season.
It was a great honour and privilege to get to visit Moscow and dance in their Bolshoi theatre. I really enjoyed my time in Russia, and have a feeling I will be visiting it again in the future.
Until next time,