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 Post subject: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:18 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Star-crossed - and kitsch
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews Romeo and Juliet and Spartacus performed by Ballet Grigorovich. Touring


Yuri Grigorovich bestrode Soviet ballet like a colossus for 40 years, as chief choreographer of the Kirov and then, mightily, the Bolshoi Ballet. This gives him a titanic place in ballet history, almost the equal of Marius Petipa under the tsars of 19th-century St Petersburg.

But now we look on his works and despair. Here is Ballet Grigorovich, a company from Krasnodar, southern Russia, which he formed after losing his Moscow crown in 1995, and which now tours Britain with Grigorovich's signature work, Spartacus, and his version of Romeo and Juliet.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:47 am 
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Location: London UK
John Percival gives a far more balanced view in todays Independent

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=347583


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 2:49 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Interview from the Herald.

Quote:
Though Yuri Grigorovich was the creative force behind the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet for 30 years, it's only in recent times that he has put his name to a company of dancers. It's only now, five years after its formation, that audiences in England and Scotland are catching sight of a company that has already toured worldwide to considerable acclaim.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2002 4:57 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Sunday Times.

Quote:
The company is attractive, with several strong soloists, and the large ensembles are done with gusto. The goose-stepping, high-kicking and hand-on-hip centurions can’t help looking absurd; ditto the gropers in the orgy scene. But Grigorovich’s big, brash spectacle always wows the audience.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 11:54 am 
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Location: London UK
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see Ballet Grigorovitch as any company associated with such an illustrious name in ballet has got to be worth seeing, so Saturday morning was spent heading north west up a fog bound M40 to Birmingham. I was more than pleased I made the effort. The touring Russian Ballet companies I’ve seen in the UK were liable to disappoint with dubious artistic standards and indifferent dancing but this company is the best of its type that I’ve seen so far

Grigorovitch’s Romeo & Juliet appears to have undergone a number of changes for this company as it has been considerably shortened. Whether this has to do with the practicalities of touring or whether Grigorovitch has re-thought his original ideas I’m not sure, but frankly I had always considered his version of the ballet over-long. He has now excised Paris’s entourage of jesters and rather embarrassing blacked-up dancers from the last act, which allows the tragedy to develop without being held up by an unnecessary danced interlude. The cuts to the first act mean that we go straight into the Montague/Capulet massed melee with only the briefest of introductions to Romeo, Mercutio and the town’s people of Verona and the second and third acts are run together so that we only have one interval. The only cut I seriously regretted was the nurse’s scene with Romeo when she gives him Juliet’s letter agreeing to their marriage.

This is a fast moving production where the young lovers are swept along on the tide of the adults’ blind hatred, so that each scene with Romeo and Juliet comes across as an oasis of tenderness in a desert of anger. These lovers are fuelled less by naked passion than by an idealistic love in the face of hostile adversity. Elena Kniazkova as Juliet was outstanding. She is a tiny fragile looking dancer with a lovely line and faultless musicality, it’s easy to be so enraptured by her dancing that you fail to notice her total immersion in her role, playing Juliet as a gentle, trusting young woman overwhelmed by the consequences of love. Her Chinese partner, Dayong Yin is quite a find, tall and elegant with a soft line and good partnering skills. He was an ardent Romeo, who displayed a heart-wrenching despair in his solo on hearing of Juliet’s death. Among the other roles Sergei Barannikov was a psychotic Tybalt revelling in the opportunities for violence afforded him by his family’s feud.

Altogether this is a well-constructed ballet on Shakespeare’s enduring play and the scaling down I mentioned has little impact on the audience’s enjoyment. Sadly the auditorium was only half full at both matinee and evening performances as industrial action and emergency engineering work meant that Birmingham was virtually unreachable by train last Saturday. A great pity as the ballet deserves to be seen and Elena Kniazkova deserves to be greatly admired by all. If anyone gets the chance to catch this company in Edinburgh this week I strongly advise them to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:57 am 
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Review in The Scotsman.

Quote:
IF Yuri Grigorovich was British rather than Russian, the chances are that he would be on Cameron Mackintosh’s payroll. One of the greatest choreographers of the late 20th century he may be, but at times Grigorovich’s work is more Busby Berkeley than ballet. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just a little surreal at times. Created in 1968, Spartacus is very much a child of its time, with semi-erotic party scenes carrying a real swinging Sixties vibe.
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And in the Edinburgh Evening News.

Quote:
BALLET fans are in for a rare treat this week with this production of Spartacus, choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, who is perhaps the Bolshoi’s most famous modern choreographer.

If the name of the ballet does not sound familiar, then the long sweeping themes from the music by the Russian composer Aram Khachaturian certainly will. And the whole production itself is a delight to watch and listen to.

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And also a preview article from the Scotsman.

Quote:
With Scottish Ballet busy dipping its toes into the waters of contemporary dance, ballet fans are having to look elsewhere for their classical fix.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since a ‘big white’ trotted out of our national company’s stable - but any hope of a return to original form was finally shot down earlier this year. And so, we wish them well with their modern endeavours and turn, open-armed, to visiting companies ready to thrill us with their crisp, twirling tutus and scurrying pointe shoes.
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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 6:40 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ballet Grigorovich
By Alice Bain for The Guardian


Spartacus is a Soviet-style historical ballet that looks like a Hollywood epic. Choreographed in 1968 by Yuri Grigorovich, master of the Bolshoi for 30 years, it tells the story of a gladiator's bid for freedom in Imperial Rome. Now this sweeping giant in two acts has been revived by the choreographer's namesake company, Ballet Grigorovich, for its first visit to Britain.

The show dares to be dated, arriving here in its original guise: Up Pompeii meets Ben Hur, with
hand-painted stone backdrops, skimpy frocks and crazy Roman wigs. After two hours of goodies and
baddies chasing and smooching to the syrup-and-thunder score by Khachaturian, an unprepossessing weeknight felt like an upbeat Saturday.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 7:04 am 
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Hitting the heights of Roman camp
Spartacus - Festival theatre, Edinburgh run ended ***
By Ellie Carr for The Sunday Herald


As gaudy as a Christmas bauble and about as subtle as Jordan's prime assets, Ballet Grigorovich's Spartacus is nevertheless a hoot of a night out. Pivoting rather oddly around balletic 'monologues' by two couples -- Spartacus and his lover Phrygia versus Roman commander Crassus and his feisty sex-pot concubine Aegina -- this is an unintended (one presumes) triumph of high camp.
Originally created by Yuri Grigorovich of the esteemed Bolshoi, Spartacus was bound to be a shadow of its former self. But, as the evening wears on, it seems clear this is no glamorous old lady gone to seed. This, it would appear, has been a curiously kitsch ballet from its inception.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:23 am 
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An action-packed romance
Romeo and Juliet reviewed by Mary Brennan in The Herald.

A programme note informed us that, when it came to choreographing Romeo and Juliet (in 1978), Yuri Grigorovich sensed that the Prokofiev score called for extreme economy and concentration of action. Ballet Grigorovich, his own company, showed us what he meant by that: a narrative that focused on conflict, duels, and deaths, with scarcely any of the details - comic subplots, introspective musings, characters like Benvolio - getting in the way of the cut-and-thrust rivalry between Montagues and Capulets. This means it's all done and dusted in two short acts - lasting a mere two hours, including interval.

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NB. This link will have to be revised in a day or so.

**************************************

A very short review:

Ballet Grigorovich - Romeo & Juliet
By Kelly Apter in The Scotsman - Edinburgh Festival Theatre ****

CHOREOGRAPHING a ballet like Romeo and Juliet is much like cooking an egg - there are many ways to do it, but unless you add something special into the mix, the results are much the same. Yuri Grigorovich is a straight down the line man, taking Prokofiev’s score and Shakespeare’s narrative at face value and turning them into an easy on the eye, easy on the brain ballet. This may not be the best Romeo & Juliet in circulation, but it’s certainly one of the most entertaining and, in the hands of this talented young company, beautifully presented.

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<small>[ 11-12-2002, 02:00: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 1:58 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Orchestra is out of step with the dancers
By Thom Dibdin for The Evening News (Edinburgh)

THE dancers of the Ballet Grigorovich leapt, danced and pirouetted through Shakespeare’s great tragedy with grace, confidence and a sense of the drama of the piece.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the musicians of the company’s touring orchestra, or its conductor Alexander Lavrenyuk. Their feel for Prokofiev’s music was, at best, leaden, and their execution excruciating.

This was never going to be the most rewarding production for the dancers. Grigorovich’s choreography for Spartacus - which they performed in the first part of their stay in Edinburgh - is the best that there is. His Romeo and Juliet is not up to the same standard, even though it was also originally created for the Bolshoi.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Grigorovich
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:58 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
LEGENDARY BALLET MASTER ONCE AGAIN IN DEMAND
From RIA Novosti

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti political commentator Anatoly Korolyov) - The acclaimed performances of the provincial Krasnodar Ballet at the celebrated Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg have put ballet master Yuri Grigorovich back in the limelight. A star of European choreography, who the world applauded during his thirty years as the Bolshoi Theatre's ballet master, now works at the opera and ballet theatre of provincial Krasnodar, a two-hour flight from Moscow.

Grigorovich, 77, is one of the world's oldest working choreographers. It was precisely the age problem that caused him to leave the Bolshoi-the age of the dancers not himself. Grigorovich was loyal to the tenets of the old imperial theatre, which held that any dancer that had already danced for 20 years was obliged to leave. There were no exceptions. Even the emperor's unruly favourite Matilda Kshesinskaya retired on a pension without a word when her day came.

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<small>[ 26 August 2004, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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