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Arts Calendar / March 22 / Ballet
19:00 Romeo and Juliet
Choreographic fantasy in three acts. Staging and libretto by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilev based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy and Sergei Prokofiev’s script. Designer: Iosif Sumbatashvili. The fantasy premiered in the Moscow Classical Ballet theater in 1981. The principal dancers were people’s artist of Russia Ekaterina Maksimova, merited artist of Russia Stanislav Isaev and Hans Christian Andersen Prize holder Irek Mukhamedov. This fantasy is rather a neoclassic ballet than a purely classic performance. Prokofiev’s music is different from the one in the famous Bolshoi theater play staged by Lavrovsky featuring Galina Ulanova. World famous orchestra conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky did a great job and restored Prokofiev’s original sheet music. In 1971, Kasatkina and Vasilev were the first ones to play this music in their ballet performance at the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater. The choreography is inspired by medieval Italy and combines both Renaissance motifs and XX century culture. “We tried to be as close to the original as possible. We didn’t want to miss a single detail when translating Shakespeare’s work into the language of dance. We were fascinated by romantic images of the protagonists, by servants’ characters and grotesque carnival people. We were fascinated by Verona itself. Our Romeo and Juliet are not extraordinary. What is extraordinary are their feelings, their spirit, and their passion. This legendary Shakespeare’s play is always relevant. Every character deserves to be loved but established traditions lead to the tragedy. People have to find a way to escape this trap of misconceptions.”
State Kremlin Palace 
19:00 The Winter's Tale
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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