MOSCOW, January 2. /TASS/. Outstanding Soviet and Russian choreographer, People’s Artist of the USSR Yury Grigorovich is turning 91 on Tuesday. Russia’s Bolshoi Theater wishes him a happy birthday and further active work in the country’s major music theater, Bolshoi Director General Vladimir Urin told TASS.
"The past year 2017 was very important for us," he said. "We celebrated Yury Grigorovich’s 90th birthday. A festival of his performances, which lasted two and a half months, was organized for his jubilee. The program included 11 ballets staged by Grigorovich at the Bolshoi."
"Today we congratulate Yury Nikolayevich (Grigorovich) on his 91st birthday and thank him for being with us and for continuing to work actively," Urin stressed. He called the fact that the second run of the Nutcracker ballet at the Bolshoi, one of the master’s best ballets, begins on Grigorovich’s birthday symbolic. "The first run was held from December 23 to December 31, 2017, to a full house," Urin noted, adding that all tickets have been sold out for the second run, which will last until January 7, as well.
"I am very glad that this good performance about the eternal search for happiness continues to be highly popular with the audiences," Yury Grigorovich told TASS. "Just imagine, the Nutcracker has been performed on the Bolshoi’s stage continuously for more than half a century. In addition to that, I staged it in twelve different geographical locations all over the world."
The choreographer noted that he is "captivated by this phenomenon." "Tchaikovsky’s (music) is heard simultaneously in various parts of our world," Grigorovich explained, adding that the Bolshoi will give a total of 26 Nutcracker performances. "Meanwhile, my Krasnodar ballet company has just returned from Athens where the Nutcracker was performed 21 times in the Megaron Concert Hall on New Year’s eve."
According to Grigorovich, "the performances were a huge success, they were attended by the Greek president, the Russian ambassador, there were many guests." "Bolshoi soloists Nina Kaptsova, Darya Khokhlova, Eleonora Sevenard, Alexander Volchkov, Artyom Belyakov, Ruslan Skvortsov, Denis Rodkin and Igor Tsvirko took part in the performances," Grigorovich said. "I always recall the days when the Nutcracker was born with great affection. Now it is clear that it was born under a lucky star," he admitted.
"We, children, loved this ballet very much and knew that when we finish dancing and come to a festive table on the stage, we would be sure to find some real sweets prepared for us on it," Grigorovich recalled. Later on, having become a professional dancer, he performed solo parts in that ballet. In 1964, Grigorovich was appointed the Bolshoi’s chief choreographer, and, two years later, he staged the Nutcracker there, which was performed in all parts of the globe and continues to be one of the most popular ballets in the world.
Yury Grigorovich was born on January 2, 1927, in Leningrad. In 1946, he graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School (currently, the St. Petersburg Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet) and joined the ballet company of the Leningrad Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater (now the Mariinsky Theater) and remained its soloist until 1961.
From 1961 to 1964, Grigorovich served as a choreographer at the Kirov Theater. From 1964 to 1995, he held the position of the Bolshoi’s chief choreographer. He has been a staff choreographer at the Bolshoi Theater since 2008. He staged eight original ballets, including the Tale of the Stone Flower, A Legend of Love, Spartacus, the Golden Age and others. He is also the author of the adaptations of practically all classical ballets, which form the basis of the Bolshoi’s repertoire.
Grigorovich is the People’s Artist of the USSR. He was awarded the Lenin Prize, won the USSR State Prize twice, was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation and received the Russian Government Prize twice. He is the recipient of the Order of St. Andrew, the Order of Merit to the Fatherland of the first, second and third degrees and has many Russian and foreign awards.