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Olga to art, I am not democratic.” Just like Grigorovich.

Smirnova, After Moscow, Yuri Grigorovich moved to
Denis Rodkin Krasnodar, in southern Russia, where he was permit-
– Bolshoi ted to enlarge the pre-existing ballet company to the
Ballet: extent required (thus beefing it up to 110 dancers) with
“Swan Lake” whom he renovated and staged the following ballets
(ph. F. of his: The Golden Age, Swan Lake, La Bayadère and
Christofilopoulou) Raymonda. In 2010 he returned in triumph to the
Bolshoi with a revival of his Romeo and Juliet.
Despite his advancing years he has never neglected
the Prix Benois de la Danse, which he founded and
of which he is president, helped by his faithful aides
Regina Nikiforova and Nina Kudriavtseva-Loory.
Grigorovich’s ballets, often in his own reworkings,
continue to constitute the broad basis of the great
Muscovite theatre’s ballet repertoire; a conservative
choice, perhaps, but a wise one which provides the
company with oxygen on tap.
Roger Salas

Grigorovich’s ballets on DVD
Yuri Grigorovich’s career as choreographer has unfolded over an ex-
tensive period of time and this is reflected in the videos available of
his ballets: thus, we often have the choice between period videos
(mostly dating back to the 1970s and 1990s, in the meantime re-
released on DVD) and recent recordings (the cinema broadcasts from
the Bolshoi, Moscow in recent years having often been released af-
terwards as home videos by BelAir Classiques).
Let us start with Spartacus, Grigorovich’s most famous ballet, of
which several versions exist: a first 1970 ‘live’ film with the original
cast: Vladimir Vasiliev, Ekaterina Maximova, Maris Liepa and Nina
Timofeyeva – is available on a VAI DVD; but the most circulated
film, from a few years later, features the same cast, though with Natalia
Bessmertnova as Phrygia (DVD Arthaus Musik); Irek Mukhamedov
stars in two other versions, alongside either Bessmertnova (Kultur)
or Ludmila Semenyaka (Arthaus Musik); lastly there is a version
starring Carlos Acosta who was guesting at the Bolshoi (Decca).
For Ivan the Terrible we have a choice of three different DVDs: starring
Yuri Vladimirov and Bessmertnova (Kultur), Mukhamedov and
Bessmertnova (Arthaus), or the Paris Opéra Ballet production starring Nicolas Le Riche and Eleonora Abbagnato (also Arthaus).
Romeo and Juliet is available with Natalia Bessmertova either alongisde Mikhail Lavrovsky (Kultur) or Mukhamedov (Arthaus). The
Stone Flower is available with Maximova and Vasiliev (VAI) or Semenyaka and Nikolai Dorokhov (Arthaus); it is also available with the
Kirov Ballet (the company for which it was originally created) in a recent production starring Anna Polykarpova and Alexander Gulyaev
(Kultur).
As far as the 19th-century classics are concerned, Grigorovich’s Giselle is available with Bessmertnova (TDK) or Svetlana Lunkina (BelAir
Classiques); Swan Lake with either Bessmertnova (Kultur) or Maya Plisetskaya (VAI – this is a recording from 1976, not to be confused
with the more famous film from 1957 which, obviously, has nothing to do with Grigorovich), a more recent video instead starring Svetlana
Zakharova (BelAir); The Sleeping Beauty with Nina Semizorova (Arthaus) or Zakharova beside David Hallberg (BelAir); The Nutcracker
(which is, choreographically-speaking, an original ballet by Grigorovich and not a ‘version’ of the traditional Russian ballet) with Maximova
and Vasiliev (Kultur) or, more recently, with Nina Kaptsova and Artem Ovcharenko (BelAir). A DVD of Raymonda starring Semenyaka
and Mukhamedov is available on a Kultur label, while a DVD of the choreographer’s latest reworking of La Bayadère, starring Svetlana
Zakharova, Vladislav Lantratov and Maria Alexandrova, has been released by BelAir.

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