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The following was posted by julip on another thread. I'm copying it over here for discussion:

"Dirac (or anyone else),

I was wondering if you could tell me why you think Grigorovich is a great choreographer. Everything that I have seen by him, with the exception of one male solo in Spartacus, I have not been impressed with at all. It all seems rather unimaginative and well, boring. I have heard alot of people say they consider him a great choreographer, but I fail to see why. Maybe I'm missing something. Thanks in advance for replies."

Actually, I do not think Grigorovich a "great" choreographer in the sense that I actually like his work, odd as that sounds. I'll explain myself more clearly when time permits.

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I'd rank Grigorovich on the same level as MacMillan and put him in the top rank by default (much as, I think, dirac did; forgive me if I'm misinterpreting you). This is based on seeing very little, and disliking some things intensely. But I think he's more varied than he seems. One of the advantages of being a critic is that you often must see things more than once. I saw "Golden Age" four times because I had to review alternate casts, and each time I saw it I saw more in it -- at first I'd seen "jumps"; there are many different jumps, they're not all alike. I also realized the differentiations he was making among the corps -- different groups were characterized differently through movement. I think often one doesn't see these things at first when the choreographer is using different rules, or is from a different aesthetic. Corps dances looked less like filler the more I saw him.

I've vied the film of "Sparatacus" (Vasiliev) several times and think the story telling is very clear -- and it's told through movement. I think Grigorovich was trying (often quite successfully) to tell stories without using mime, and is part of the dramballet tradition. While the upside down running lifts aren't always to my taste, they certainly are inventive smile.gif

If I'd watched his ballets night after night for 30 or 40 years, and saw how he developed dancers, I'm sure I could say much more. I know he is highly revered in Russian, and perhaps some of our Russian lurkers or occasional posters might comment.

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