Since Vasiliev and Mukhamedov ,each of them creating unforgettable Ivans,no dancer had so powerfully portrayed on stage the character of Czar Ivan IV,the Terrible .
Now the Opera National de Paris offers a formidable performance of Grigorovch's Ivan ,recorded live in 2003,Vello Pähn conducting Prokofiev's great music,composed as film score for Eisenstein's 1942-44 masterpiece. Grigorovich had choreographed it,in his vigorous style,in 1975, for the Bolshoi and his wife Natalia Bessmertnova,recently deceased, who had danced Anastasia with Mukhamedov ,helped as assistant choreographer,in this Paris production.
Nicholas Le Riche gives an impressive,electrifying Ivan ,his prodigious "jetés" memorable,his presence as an actor extremely convincing,performing with great technique this 17 year-old sombre, cruel and tormented Ivan. The world had taken notice of him in 1993,dancing Auber's Pas de Quatre with Elisabeth Platel,in Tokio,as Nina Ananiashvili's guest.Since then,as "étoile" of the BNP,he has become the epitome of the great dancer,along with Manuel Legris.On DVD,one can watch him in Balanchines'Jewels,Neumeier's Sylvia,and Albrecht in Giselle ,appeared now.
His beloved Anastasia is young and beautiful Eleonora Abbagnato who convinces with her subtle,moving dancing.
Karl Paquette,already seen in Lacotte's revised Paquita(2003) and Nureyev's Swan Lake(2006),is an intense,fiercing Kurbsky,more than deserves to become an "étoile".
This luxurious production ,beautifully filmed,is a must.