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Ballet: March 2008 Archives

The Return of Grigorovich

Yuri Grigorovich

Bolshoi's choreographer back

By Tony Halpin
The Australian

He ruled the world's most famous ballet company with an iron fist for three decades until he was ousted in a revolt against his authoritarian style.

Now Yuri Grigorovich is returning to the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow to oversee the Soviet-era repertoire that earned him global fame as a choreographer.

Grigorovich, 81, was the Bolshoi's artistic director from 1964 until 1995, when he was forced out amid accusations that its reputation had stagnated and crumbled with the Soviet Union. His appointment this week as a ballet master by general director Anatoly Iksanov marks a stunning return.

Grigorovich received the invitation to return to the theatre at the funeral last month of his wife, Natalia Bessmertnova, the legendary ballerina whose name means immortal in Russian. She was among 15 dancers who protested against Grigorovich's departure with a one-day strike. They appeared on stage in jeans and T-shirts before a shocked audience expecting to see Romeo and Juliet, the first time that a performance was cancelled by a dancers' protest since the Bolshoi was founded in 1776.

Read more about this at the The Australian website:,,23351747-16947,00.html

Dance Theatre of Harlem Remerges

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Regrouped Dance Theatre of Harlem to focus on education

By Susan Reiter
L.A. Times

The organization's financial picture improved after a hiatus, but not enough to put its company back on tour.

Until a few years ago, whenever Dance Theatre of Harlem was on a tour of U.S. cities, it routinely held auditions for its school's summer program or to spot potential apprentice dancers. But that was before September 2004, when financial realities forced the umbrella organization to put the professional troupe on hiatus.

At the time, DTH founder and artistic director Arthur Mitchell says, he expected an interruption of a year at most. But although the sizable deficit and the grim overall financial situation that threatened the organization in 2004 have diminished substantially, no one will be seeing the professional company in the near future.

Instead, DTH is conducting a 10-city audition tour devoted solely to the intensive student summer program at its spacious Harlem headquarters, which continues to hum with activity. The Los Angeles tryouts will be held Sunday at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre.

"We made up our minds that we wanted to fill that gap that existed because the company was no longer on tour," the indefatigable and eternally youthful Mitchell, who will turn 74 this month, said the other day. Just outside the conference room where he sat hung posters from DTH's foreign tours -- souvenirs of engagements in Monte Carlo, Verona, Germany, Barcelona.

Read more about this at the LA Times website:,1,994856.story