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press2010-37aBelarusian State Academic Musical Theatre premieres Red Riding Hood. Generation Next, staged by director Anastasia Grinenko

The theatre’s staff have worked hard to create more than a mere children’s performance. The show is more like that of a Broadway musical. The premiere gathered all ages, being suitable for both adults and children; its colourful, universal themes have relevance for all of us.

The performance’s score, by Alexey Rybnikov (familiar to all of us since childhood) is heard from the orchestra pit, creating a feeling of solar energy. Its wonderful sets and costumes are amazing, as is the choreography — explicit and diverse in mood and drama. We can truly believe that ‘Next’ is not a fashionable supplement but the doorway to an eclectic, yet unprovocative version of Red Riding Hood. Like Buratino.by, by Rybnikov, it aims to present an alternative model of behaviour — leaving aside well-known film versions, such as that by Leonid Nechaev. The new premiere is full of humour, with a sophisticated, modern day teenager using the Internet. A whole dynasty of Red Riding Hoods take part: a girl, her mother and grandmother. The mother wears a red hood, perhaps in memory of her youth, and is a successful businesswoman. The fact that she leaves her daughter alone on her birthday (like the character in the film Poor Sasha), travelling to Africa, shows how caught up in her career she is. Our heroine has nothing to do but visit her grandmother, who lives in the magic kingdom. Using computer technologies and magic mirrors, she appears in a parallel world, where time moves at a different speed and where it’s natural to sing of one’s desires.

The libretto brings us unexpected ideas, filled with modern objects. For example, the girl finds out about her grandmother’s illness not from an inscription on a fence but from a computer. Meanwhile, the hunter has his own fan club. The performance is similar to the famous film by Leonid Nechaev not only in its music, by Alexey Rybnikov, but in its optimistic, passionate atmosphere.

Clearly, the production team has poured its love into the project, using its professionalism and mastery, inspiration and passion; theatres often lack such commitment. The level of audience appealis so high that parents have no need to worry about whether the show will run for long. It could be among the theatre’s greatest hits and we cannot but wish it every success. We hope that, after mastering Alexey Rybnikov’s fairytale world, the troupe may create a modern play dedicated to an ‘adult’ topic. Anastasia Grinenko and her company deserve this right.

Vinokenty PORAMONOV.
The Minsk Times. – 2010. – Apr. 22. – P. 10.