Review by: Jerry Nordquist
Could the Bolshoi Ballet do comedy? I was skeptical until I saw their HD live production of The Taming of the Shrew. I laughed, I chuckled and was highly amused by this marvelous ballet. Created by French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot specifically for The Bolshoi, the ballet was funny, a bit naughty and very exciting. Yes, I knew that Petruchio (Vladislav Lantratov) was going to tame Katharina (Ekaterina Krysanova), but I didn’t expect so much spectacular dancing in the process.
The ballet began with a saucy ballerina coming on stage in front of the curtain. She sat center stage, fixed her hair and applied her make up and then gestured to the conductor (Igor Dronov) to begin the action. I thought the charachter was Katharina, but it soon became apparent after the curtain rose that she was the mother figure and she was going to run the show. Once underway the ballet followed the familiar story line – sweet Bianca (Olga Smirnova) can not marry until her mean sister Katharina weds. To the strains of some of Dimitri Shostakovich’s lighter music, the action moved quickly forward to the happy ending with Tea For Two.
As usual with the Bolshoi, the intermission was as interesting as the ballet. Maillot, a former dancer and long-time director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, told how he put the work together, how he was given a free hand to collaborate with the dancers, set designer, music director and everyone else needed to get it all right. This included a free hand at tweaking the production since its premiere at the Bolshoi in 2014.
I look forward to the two remaining HD live productions from the Bolshoi – Spartacus, March 13 (recorded in 2013 from a live production) and Don Quixote, April 10.
BY Experience presents
The Taming of the Shrew
From the Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow
Special Fathom Features: A special production captured from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Russia.
Fathom Events, BY Experience and Pathé Live are delighted to bring The Taming of the Shrew, performed and broadcast from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, to select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, January 24.
Many suitors dream of marrying the lovely and docile Bianca, including Luciento. However her father will not let anyone marry her before her elder sister, the ill-tempered shrew Katharina, is herself married. French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot lands a coup with his adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy tailored specifically to the Bolshoi dancers, and achieves a magnetic two hours of breathtaking, nonstop dance unlike any other, portraying the Bolshoi’s audacity and energy in a completely new way. This new production was staged exclusively for the Bolshoi and cannot be seen anywhere else!