Picks of the Week

Originally published in The Moscow Times on April 7, 2000

Satisfy your appetite for ballet this weekend with the Imperial Ballet's three-in-one show. The six-year-old company, founded with the help of one of Russia's most prominent prima ballerinas, Maya Plisetskaya, will perform Maurice Ravel's "Bolero," Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" and the "Polovtsian Dances" from Alexander Borodin's opera "Prince Igor." The Novaya Opera orchestra and chorus will accompany.

It is true that Ravel's repetitive "Bolero" was described in a 1997 article in the British journal Psychiatric Bulletin as "the work of a pathological mind," one affected by "the early signs of Alzheimer's disease," but don't be discouraged by the prospect of sitting through 18 identical renderings of the same melody - the show is actually quite worthwhile.

Imperial Ballet founder and choreographer Gedeminas Taranda has brought new life to both Mikhail Fokine's original version of the sensual "Scheherazade" and the awesome "Polovtsian Dances."

In just 45 minutes, Taranda totally immerses spectators in the richly colored medieval Middle East of Scheherazade, a sultan's wife and the hero of the "One Thousand and One Nights"…

Read the full text at The Moscow Times.