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A Muslim woman has been allowed to appear in court as a defendant  and enter a plea without removing her full-face veil.

Theatre: DOWNFALL / TELL HIM

Contact Theatre, Manchester

OBITUARY:Alexander Godunov

Alexander Godunov was a dancer of handsome stature and blond good looks. He possessed a virtuoso technique and enjoyed a career of glamorous highlights in ballet and film; but his triumphs were short-lived.

FINAL CURTAIN

For Yuri Grigorovich and the Bolshoi, time stood still. No new productions, same old ballerina - that's his wife, Natalia Bessmertnova, he's putting through her paces. Then enter stage left, his successor Vladimir Vasiliev. LOUISE LEVENE reports on a Yeltsin coup. Photographs by LAURIE LEWIS

ROCK : Goths, weirdos and psychos

ON TUESDAY they cut the power at the Powerhaus. The Islington club closed down, and there to administer the Last Rites were The Damned. Appropriate, really: they played their first farewell gig in 1978 and seem to have been doing them almost soli dly ever since. To make the mood even cheerier, drummer Rat Scabies dedicated the show to Peter Cook. The crowd wore black. But then, they always do.

Out of Russia: Stalin of the ballet ripe for a fall in the Bolshoi revolution

MOSCOW - Russia has been - more or less - a free country for some time now, but little islands of dictatorship persist. One is at the Bolshoi ballet where, critics say, the artistic director and choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich, still rules with a Stalin-like grip. Even here, it seems, the winds of democracy may be about to start blowing.

RECORDS / The IoS playlist the five best sounds of the moment

Tchaikovsky Romances: Olga Borodina (Philips, CD). A seductive recital from the fast-rising Kirov mezzo. MW

The Broader Picture: A Company of Cranes

IN 1925, the Japanese Ministry of Culture raised the crane to the position of a national monument in an attempt to prevent the extinction of one of the country's most sacred birds. By then, what were thought to be the last 12 cranes left in Japan were surviving in the swampy area around Kushiro on the island of Hokkaido, where they had fled to escape being shot and cooked for dinner. (Eating crane was a privilege once reserved for the Emperor on New Year's Day, but gradually it became a widespread delicacy.) Today, some of the descendants of those 12 cranes live on a reservation in the same area, looked after by its director, Ryoji Takahashi, who for the past 37 years has studied their behaviour and mating habits, and in the process has become almost an honorary crane himself.

DANCE / So, how was it for Yuri?: 'You don't like my art? The public's out there so you must be wrong.' At the end of the Bolshoi's controversial London season,

Yuri Grigorovich interviews on autopilot. One more question and you expect him to confine himself to name, rank and serial number. Weary of press criticism and pathologically contemptuous of journalists, he is never the ideal subject. After six weeks of largely hostile reviews, a frosty reception seemed inevitable. I was led into his den in a warm basement bunker below the Albert Hall where he sat flanked by his smiling interpreter and his impresario Derek Block. This was their chance to point out that the Bolshoi's season has been a financial and popular success.

DANCE / Pick and mix: Louise Levene weighs up the Bolshoi

THE Bolshoi is in its third week at the Albert Hall - the critical flak is becoming a memory, the bizarre sightlines are becoming familiar and the dancers are settling down. Who and what should you see?

DANCE / Talent on the treadmill of art: Louise Levene reports on the first night of the Bolshoi Ballet's five-week occupation of the Albert Hall

The day booking opened for the Bolshoi's Coliseum season in 1989 I queued for three hours to be sure of getting the seats I wanted. The entire six weeks were sold out within days. Four years later the Bolshoi is back with what is modestly billed as The Dance Event of the Century. Tickets are still available. Clearly London's appetite for mixed bills of potted ballets is not insatiable. Particularly when there is no new work on display.

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Bolshoi ballet here to make a few pointes

'BALLET is my life,' the genial and slightly overweight Londoner said. 'That's a joke,' he added instantly in case anyone took him seriously. Making money, I imagine, would be a more accurate description. Derek Block is the 50-year-old impresario, agent and promoter who made his fortune in the pop world and who has brought the Bolshoi Ballet to London.

BALLET / A Drastic Step: Times are tough in Russia. So Yuri Grigorovich, the Brezhnev of the Bolshoi, is putting on the biggest ballet season ever seen in London. And giving a rare interview

Yuri Grigorovich is artistic director and principal choreographer of the Bolshoi Ballet. Next year he will have been 30 years in the job; 30 years the most important figure in Russian dance. As artistic director, he is reputed to be a dictator. As choreographer, he is famous for the broad sweep of his work. Neither reputation is likely to be revised when he brings the Bolshoi to London next month.

Out of Russia: Real-life drama takes centre stage at Bolshoi

MOSCOW - The famous bronze horses that prance over the portal of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre have ridden out from behind scaffolding splendidly restored. Unfortunately, the building on which they sit is literally sinking into the ground. The management has launched an appeal to raise dollars 80m ( pounds 53m) to save the opera house but so far the fund stands at virtually zero. Poor organisation which dogs most enterprises in Russia is no stranger to the theatre.

Bolshoi learns steps to capitalism

The Bolshoi Ballet was in London last week, on its quietest but perhaps most important visit ever. Its task was to start the former Soviet Union's most famous arts enterprise on the road to capitalism.
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