Monday, February 15, 2010

Russian Ballet Theatre 16 Times Over Budget

The world famous Bolshoi theatre says it will finally open its doors in 2011.

The major reconstruction has intensified after a chain of delays and allegations of corruption.
The Bolshoi's ballet dancers are arguably best in the world but the company has not performed on its home stage for five years.
Swathed in scaffolding, their own stage is currently a building site but work started in 2005.
It was supposed to be completed last year on a budget of around £500m.
The tough, icy working conditions are insignificant compared to the sub-standard contractors, corruption and inefficiency that have dogged the project.
Bad accounting makes it impossible to calculate the cost so far but reports claim the reconstruction is costing 16 times more than its initial budget.
Whether or not this astonishing figure can actually be true - it is a situation that had clearly spiralled out of control.
The construction company is keen to point out that things are moving forward and that the precision required was always going to make this a lengthy project.

Corruption's dogged the project
Mikhail Sidorov is its spokesperson - he says the nature of the project would always make it a lengthy one.
"Five years ago no one knew how complicated this process would be but now finally, we are making real progress.
"This will be an incredible building."
Many of the Bolshoi's younger dancers have never performed on the world famous stage.
Each of their recent ballets have been rehearsed for them only to be consigned to the new smaller theatre next to the building site.
The company's principal dancers are keen to return to the original stage.
Dmitry Gudanov, lead dancer in their current production of Esmerelda, said: "We all want to get back to the old stage.
"This new smaller one is a completely different dancing experience. The dimensions are so different."
If its significance was measured by the amount of money spent it would surely be the country's most important building.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls the Bolshoi Russia's "symbol of culture". Such status makes it more incredible that it's still waiting for a home.

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