As young Ivan IV is crowned, he has to choose one of the 13 Boyar daughters to be his wife and tsarina. He selects Anastasia, and the two eventually fall deeply in love. When the Boyars plot against him and poison his beloved wife, Tsar Ivan finds himself surrounded by enemies. Haunted by dark thoughts and phantoms, he slowly sinks into madness.
Drawing on the music composed by Prokofiev for the 1944 Eisenstein film, Ivan the Terrible is a work in the true Bolshoi style. Yuri Grigorovich's powerful and fascinating epic dramatises Ivan the Terrible's controversial reign, and portrays events in 16th-century Russia in visually stunning scenes. His choreography, full of vigour, strength and wild jumps, also includes great grace and fragility in the female roles. Sensitive classical and powerful character dance blend to create a lyrical epic, rich in the colours of medieval Russia.
Recently revived, Ivan the Terrible is an essential part of the company's repertoire, a 20th-century classic and a wonderful theatrical experience.