Just in: Bolshoi bans children from its ballets

Just in: Bolshoi bans children from its ballets


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2016

The well-informed Graham Spicer reports from Milan that children under 12 have been banned from all shows at the Bolshoi Ballet, following complaints from senior ticket holders.

To see Ivan the Terrible they will have to be 16.

Read more here.



  • Sue says:

    Now this is one decision with which I heartily agree. In Vienna children know how to behave – from my experience – in a concert hall or theatre. Obviously there are many places where they cannot because, for whatever reason best known to them, the parents have been unable to instil discipline into their children so that they can actually sit still. The sad part of this is that it’s really easy if you’ve provided consistent discipline to children through their young lives. So much easier for the parents to blame the arts (or any other) organization.

    Decades ago we all went to mass on Sunday as children and we pretty soon learned to sit still and shut up.

    • Dirk F says:

      Are you trying to say adults know how to behave?

      • Sue says:

        Adults don’t scream and bawl at the top of their lungs, nor run around the venue jumping on seats and talking. At least, that’s not my experience of adults!! Some let their phones ring – the last time I was at the Musikverein and that happened the couple felt so ashamed they left at intermission. Some have talked and been ‘spoken to’ by the others in the audience.

        Nice try, though.

  • V.Lind says:

    Badly behaved kids should be evicted. Fine. But how old do you have to be to get into Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella? The stories you might be reading (or having read to you)?

    Surprised kids want to go as they are probably told before the performance to turn off their phones.

    • Sue says:

      LOL. You are so right.

      Let me recount a memorable experience I had at the Wiener Konzerthaus in 2011. A boy about 8 was with his mother, seated about 5 rows from the front downstairs. The work was Purcell’s Faerie Queen with an English baroque ensemble, if I remember correctly. The boy was wearing a 3 piece suit (!!) and his mother was quietly explaining to him all the way through what was happening; he was absolutely enchanted and you could see him smiling and completely rapt in the proceedings. Occasionally he’d look up to the Balkon Loge, smiling and waving, because somebody he knew was up there. About 10 minutes before the end he simply fell asleep. I was impressed; we all were!!

      And that kind of attention is not by any means unusual, from my experience, in Vienna.

      • Jenny B says:

        I often marvel at the very young children in the audience that I see on the Berlin Phil Digital Concert Hall. They are sitting still and behaving impeccably, really enjoying the music and occasion.

        Now if only my grandson were that well behaved ……………

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        My two sons attended their first classical concert at the age of 5 years, they were there for the music and did not disturb anyone. They were well prepared to what they were to listen to, we had listened together to recordings of the same pieces to be performed (in one case the complete Vespro della Beata Vergine by Monteverdi, in the other case Brahms’ Academic Overture and Dvorak’s “American” Symphony), and they were well motivated to experience a live performance.

  • K Scott says:

    It’s kind to ban them from Ivan the Terrible. I’ve done the same to myself.