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A fairy tale goes Russian: Meet Goldilocks and the Three Bears in a ballet

Mumbai-based Indian Academy of Russian Ballet has been prepping for a year for their first public show, and it’s an all-girl production.

mumbai Updated: Aug 19, 2017 11:16 IST
Dipanjan Sinha
Dipanjan Sinha
Hindustan Times
Kiyara Munim, who will perform as Goldilocks, strikes a pose.(Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Goldilocks & the Three Bears - A Ballet Musical
  • When: Aug 19, 8 pm
  • Where: St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra West
  • Tickets: Rs 500
  • Call 2641-0926

While ballet is enjoying a renaissance abroad, Mumbai fans have had to make do with screenings and the occasional performance by an international troupe. There are few serious schools locally, few accredited teachers to offer lessons. And the punishing nature of the form means hardly any students continue dancing into adulthood.

Apeksha Bhattacharyya wants that to change. She founded the Mumbai-based Indian Academy of Russian Ballet (IARB) in October 2015, the only school for Russian-style ballet in Mumbai.

There are three major schools of ballet that academies across the world follow: the Italian school, the British school and the Russian school. “The differences are so intricate that only experts can distinguish one school from another. But we chose the Russian school as it is the most updated with influences of both the British and the Italian school,” she says.

Two years in, the academy has over 170 students, and will be staging their first major show, a musical.

Apeksha Bhattacharyya, founder of the Indian Academy of Russian Ballet, says they rejected stories such as Romeo and Juliet because they only have girls students so far. (Satish Bate / HT Photo)

Goldilocks & The Three Bears follows the familiar tale of a girl who finds the empty house of a family of bears (Papa Bear’s porridge is too hot, Mama Bear’s is too cold, Baby Bear’s is just right!). Some 95 students from the academy, aged four to 20, will perform. They’ve been preparing for the show for a year.

“We initially considered stories like Snow White, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet,” says Bhattacharyya. But that caused some unique problems. “We have only girl students till now, so stories with male roles are hard to perform. Some stories like Swan Lake also take more.”

Bhattacharyya is excited by the response. “We have already sold 800 tickets. It is very encouraging to see that there are so many people in the city who are interested in the performance. This event should make the form popular in the city,” she says.

Among the performers, she says that ten-year-old Kiyara Munim, who is playing Goldilocks, is someone to watch out for. “Many of our other students are very promising too,” she says.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 21:16 IST