by Paula Citron
Ballet Jörgen Canada is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the new full-length production of Bengt Jörgen’s Anastasia. The company’s modus operandi is touring the country. Thus, the repertoire conforms to traditional ballet. Not surprisingly, Anastasia is lyrical, attractive and accessible.
Jörgen’s inspiration is the great 20th century myth that Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, survived the execution of the Imperial Family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Jörgen’s own scenario has reduced the Russian Revolution to a simple love story between Anastasia and her childhood peasant companion Dimitry.
The choreography is as advertised. Jörgen is able to manipulate ballet vocabulary to tell a story. He also tailors his movement to music very well. The choreography may seem formulaic, but it does the job in good measure.
Nonetheless, Anastasia, if on the simplistic side, is a what’s-not-to-like ballet performed by a company that brings high professional standards to its craft.
From the Toronto Centre for the Arts, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.