In early July, the Bolshoi Ballet will introduce to its repertoire a new work, commissioned from Jean-Christophe Maillot of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

The Taming of the Shrew will premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, marking the first time, since his appointment in 1993, that Jean-Christophe Maillot has choreographed a ballet for a company other than the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, of which he is Director-Choreographer.

It is rare for the Bolshoi to invite a foreign choreographer to create a work for its dancers, however J-CH Maillot and Sergei Filin – Ballet Director of the Bolshoi – share a close friendship, having worked together on a number of artistic projects over the past three years.

For the 250 artists of the Bolshoi, Maillot wanted to create a ballet which would highlight their theatrical skills, as well as the brilliant dancing for which this company is renowned. This, he realised, would require a work with a strong narrative theme, and he turned to the greatest playwright in the English language, William Shakespeare, for his inspiration – selecting the battle of wills between the flamboyant Petruchio and the quarrelsome Katharina on which to base his creation.

The Taming of the Shrew by the Bolshoi Ballet

Maillot has put together a production team drawn from a group of artists with whom he has developed a relationship built on trust and experience. Dramatisation is by author, Jean Rouaud, set design by Ernest Pignon-Ernest and lighting by Dominique Drillot. Bernice Coppieters, Prima Ballerina of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, brings her own special expertise to the role of Assistant Choreographer.

The score is drawn from a selection of works by Dmitri Shostakovich – mainly those written for the cinema – and the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra will be directed by Igor Dronov, Professor of Conducting at the Moscow Conservatory, conductor of the Russian Philharmonia, and guest conductor for a number of Russian and international orchestras.

The Bolshoi Ballet presents Jean-Christophe Maillot’s The Taming of the Shrew at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, from the 4th to the 9th of July.

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Gilly Lloyd is a journalist, copy and creative writer, and editor of Preview, as well as a regular contributor to the Arts section of Examiner.com

 

Lead image – Jean-Christophe Maillot in rehearsal for the Taming of the Shrew © M Logvinov

 

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