Jump to content
MadameP

The Stunning Ivan The Terrible! Genius of Grigorovich

Recommended Posts

I am in Moscow for a few days to see  two performances of the Great Grigorovich ballet, Ivan the Terrible.  I have seen this on video, but never live on stage, and it exceeded even my already high expectations. The casting last night was magnificent -  Mikhail Lobukhin as Ivan, with Svetlana Zakharova as Anastasia and Denis Rodkin as Prince Kurbsky.  In a word - EXTRAORDINARY!  This truly is a wonderful piece of theatre - dark in places, yes, but intense, dramatic, compelling.  I was barely conscious of breathing throughout, it held me so enthralled.   It is a ballet that deserves to be seen on this huge Bolshoi stage and it seems so authentically Russian to me, set in 16th century Russia, with wonderful costumes of the time.  Just the opening scene is spectacular with the 8 bells with the ropes hanging down - it really emphasises the sheer vastness and height of the Bolshoi stage.  Grigorovich uses his trademark patterning and shifting of groups of corps dancers to great effect throughout, but the real star of the show clearly is Ivan.  Mikhail Lobukhin was a magnetic, powerful Ivan- literally terrifying in his entrance down the steps from his throne, where his use of his EYES was mesmerising, but his acting throughout was intense throughout -   for me he is the best actor-dancer at Bolshoi.  He performed some thrilling diagonals of grand jetes at the going into battle scene.  Stirring stuff!  I cannot fault his performance.  The scene where he is in torment at the loss of his beloved Anastasia was actually harrowing in its intensity.  The love scenes with Anastasia herself were tender, lyrical and all the many, exhausting lifts were accomplished with ease.  The scene where he dances with the spirit of the dead Anastasia with female candle holding corps members was so beautiful, with the orthodox singing.  Zakharova's lines throughout were exquisite.  Those legs have never looked more beautiful to me.  She was a true representation of purity.  Denis Rodkin was superbly cast - virile, spectacular jumps - the audience loved him.  There were numerous curtain calls with steady handicapping from the moment the curtain went down, and armfuls of bouquets for all the principals.  Unforgettable performance!  Grigorovich is a GENIUS.  Tonight I will see Ivan Vasiliev with Olga Smirnova and Artem Ovcharenko - another exciting evening to some.  

Share this post


Link to post

Hello!

I, too, was in Moscow and I was at the Vasiliev/Sminorva/Vinogradova/Ovcharenko performance. I was so sad when Olga fell and subsequently missed Act II. Did you hear anything about her status? Is she really hurt? She was definitely not herself during Act I... 

The show as a whole was AMAZING!!!

Cheers :)

Share this post


Link to post

MadameP and FireDancer - Wow, I am so jealous!  I'd love to see both of those casts in Ivan!  I'm a huge Grigorovich fan, and love the lead dancers you are both seeing this week.   I saw Ivan the Terrible years ago with Alexei Fadeyechev as Ivan, and would love to see it again with your exact casts!

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/26/2018 at 11:18 PM, FireDancer said:

Hello!

I, too, was in Moscow and I was at the Vasiliev/Sminorva/Vinogradova/Ovcharenko performance. I was so sad when Olga fell and subsequently missed Act II. Did you hear anything about her status? Is she really hurt? She was definitely not herself during Act I... 

The show as a whole was AMAZING!!!

Cheers :)

Olga hurt her knee apparently.  I have to say from what I saw, Olga was even better than Zakharova.   She was LUMINOUS on stage and her expressions and acting superb - and beautiful lines also.  Maria Vinogradova did very well at such short notice, with just a few hiccups not surprisingly in the complex lifts, and Vasiliev so touchingly kissed her hands at the bows but I think the role of Anastasia suits Olga so well.  As far as Vasiliev was concerned, his acting also was excellent, but not in the category of Mikhail Lobukhin, who must be the greatest actor dancer at Bolshoi today.  Of course, Vasiliev's jumps were amazing, but he does rather HURL himself into the air!!!   For me, Ovcharenko as the prince did not have the command and virility and virtuoso jumps of Rodkin.  What an amazing ballet this is.   Grigorovich magic.

Share this post


Link to post

Olga injured her arm. She has an Instagram post where she is running on a treadmill in a sling. 

Share this post


Link to post

Wow.  I'm surprised, because she landed so heavily on her leg/knee,  but since she landed on that side, I guess her arm or hand did take the brunt of the fall then.  I hope she does come back soon.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×