The Bolshoi Ballet returns to cinema screens with The Taming of the Shrew

The Bolshoi Ballet returns cinema screens around the country on Sunday January 24 with a live screening of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot’s adaption of Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew.

Sergei Filin, director of ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre and close friend of Maillot, had long been trying to convince the French choreographer to set a new ballet on his dancers. It finally happened when The Taming of the Shrew was created in Moscow, premiering in July 2014.

The collaboration between the Bolshoi and Maillot is another step in recent opening of the company’s repertoire to more modern ballet pieces. The ballet is packed with dance as Maillot portrays the Bolshoi dancers’ outstanding technique and energy in new ways as only he can. The ballet has only been seen live in Monaco and Moscow.

The French choreographer worked very closely with the dancers and set the choreography very specifically on individual abilities and personalities. “It is important that I choose you and that you choose me,” he told them. Some dancers pressed hard to be in the new balled. Ekaterina Krysanova, for example, was not initially chosen for the role of Katherina but pushed for it and Maillot eventually created his Katherina around her. Krysanova called it “the role of her life.”

Maillot describes the ballet as, “An encounter between two forces of nature, Katherina and Petruchio, who recognise one another at last. If they are abrupt, obnoxious, it stems from their solitude; they are fundamentally different from the society they live in, albatrosses among sparrows, and their excesses signal that they have yet to find a man (or a woman) who can measure up to them. Their love is out of the ordinary: while Petruchio could appear to be interested only in Baptista’s fortune, once the ink is dry on their marriage certificate, he doesn’t let go of Katherina.”

Appropriately for a Russian ballet, the music is by Shostakovich, mostly from his film scores.

The Bolshoi Ballet in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s The Taming of the Shrew is in cinemas nationwide at 3pm on Sunday January 24.
See for a full list of venues.
To see the short trailer, click here.

Casting (subject to change)

Katherina                    Ekaterina Krysanova
Petruchio                     Vladislav Lantratov
Bianca                          Olga Smirnova
Lucentio                      Semyon Chudin
Hortensio                    Igor Tsvirko
Gremio                        Vyacheslav Lopatin
Baptista                       Artemy Belyakov
The Housekeeper      Anna Tikhomirova
Grumio                        Georgy Gusev
The Widow                 Anna Balukova