Prokofiev: Ivan The Terrible (Eleonora Abbagnato/ Karl Paquette/ Nicolas Le Riche/ Vello Pähn) (Arthaus Dvd: 107247)
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Arthaus presents one of the most fascinating choreographies to have emerged from Russia during the last decades: Yuri Grigorovich's original ballet dramatizing Ivan the Terrible's reign as Czar of Russia. Choreographed to Sergei Prokofiev's score for Eisenstein's famous film on the same topic, this ballet in two acts was premiered in Moscow in 1975 at the Bolshoi Theatre. Greeted with enthusiasm in New York in the same year, it continued its success with Western audiences when Grigorovich was invited to stage Ivan the Terrible at the Paris Opera in 1976, making it an essential part of the company's repertoire. This production features the amazing star of the Paris Ballet, Nicolas Le Riche, one of the foremost dancers of today, in the title role. Famous all over the world for his elegant strength, the beauty of his expression and the musicality of his movements, he has created leading roles for choreographers such as Rudolf Nureyev, Mats Ek and John Neumeier. Using the music composed by Sergei Prokofi ev for the celebrated two-part film epic by Sergei Eisenstein entitled"Ivan Grozny" as a starting point, Yuri Grigorovich choreographed a fresco on the life of the Russian people and lent it inspiration with the deadly love story of the tsar and his first wife, Anastasia, beneath the dark gaze of the traitor Kurbsky. In this work sensitive classical and powerful character dance blend together to create a lyrical epic, rich in the colours of medieval Russia.