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The sexes battle it out in ballet

Sundays are usually reserved for the movies and K Cineplex theatres in Nicosia (Strovolos), Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos will bring a screening that will set the scene for all ballet and Shakespeare lovers.

As part of the K Cineplex cine event series, the movie theatre will present the ballet The Taming of the Shrew as presented by the Bolshoi ballet tomorrow at 7pm. Named as the Bolshoi’s boldest ballet to date, the adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy was specially choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot for principle dancers of the Bolshoi Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov.

This funny, fast-witted and joy-filled version of the ballet shows the battle of the sexes in a new light. Talking about the ballet, the choreographer said “it’s not Shakespeare’s play. It’s a ballet about the play.”

It is well-known that taking the Shrew from traditional theatre to dance is a very difficult task, so the fact that Maillot has been praised for managing to pull it off with flying colours is testament to the actual performance itself.

The ballet, which concentrates on the story of a man who is struggling to marry off his tempestuous daughter Katharina – a shrew who denies that any man could possibly be her match – comes at a time when women’s rights are very much in the headlines. Katharina is being forced to marry Petruchio and her constant rage at the fact, until she falls in love with him of course, echoes of the inequality between men and women throughout time. In this story, the woman makes her husband realise that for him to be a man he does not have to force his will or ideas onto her. It is this strength in Katharina that Maillot admires.

“This woman is the most beautiful character for me because she has the strength, the will, the sense of independence. She has no desire to compromise. She is just looking for someone as extraordinary as she is, and I wanted to put the piece more on that angle and use the other couples to reveal the mediocrity of relationships and show that sometimes what appears in society to be extreme might be more respectable than what appears to be respectable,” the choreographer said.

The score for the two-act ballet, by Dimitri Shostakovich, was originally written for the cinema. Transposed to the ballet, the music of rare intensity opens new doors for the dancers to explore the theatricality of their characters. “It’s part of my life” says Krysanova, who performs the shrew.

The Taming of the Shrew
Screening of the ballet from the Bolshoi Ballet. October 22. K-Cineplex Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. 7pm. €8/10. Tel: 77-778383

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