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Arts Calendar / June 18 / Ballet
The Winter's Tale
12:00, 19:00. Christopher Wheeldon after the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. Music by Joby Talbot. Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon. Music Director: Anton Grishanin. Set and Costume Designer: Bob Crowley. The Winter’s Tale is a quite complicated play to make successful performance. However, Christopher Wheeldon has found his right approach to it and demonstrated an ability to follow the age-old ballet traditions, successfully refracting them in a modern way. He refused of naive pantomime – peculiar to old-time ballet performances and being a stumbling block for modern narrative ballet – and replaced it with more precise and significant gestures. He managed to tell this story (omitting some plot twists, of course) in a simple and clear language. Perhaps, today the image of Leontes, king of Sicilia, is more relevant than the simple-minded Othello (if the latter does not want to believe the suspicions, the first, an evil neurotic, persists, not wanting to dispel them, and as if he draws some perverted delight in them). Wheeldon shapes this character with classical choreographic language and broken spider-like plastic, finely transmitting the growing mental stress of the sadist king. The Bohemian second act highlights a young loving couple (Prince Florizel and servant-mistress Perdita). There is also a dashing mass shepherds' dance that is simply breathtaking, in part because it takes place against a gorgeous giant tree and with accompaniment of a stage orchestra, equipped with such rare music instruments as bansuri and dulcimer. As for personal approach, Christopher Wheeldon demonstrates it in the most effective way in the finale – in gentle and very touching duet of penitent Leontes and his wife’s statue, which comes to life. She descends from her pedestal alone, her little son will forever remain a marble sculpture and will become a real loss and payment for unforgivable sins. And after all, it is the young Prince (as you'll see by reading Shakespeare) who explains why this tale is a winter’s tale - it's a sad story.
Bolshoi Theater 
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