The Show Goes On: The matinee performance of the children's ballet "Pinocchio" at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow went on as scheduled Sunday, despite the suspension of some of the Bolshoi Ballet's biggest stars on Saturday. Director-general Vladimir Kokonin suspended--some reports say he outright fired--15 dancers for staging a surprise strike as the curtain was about to rise on a performance of "Romeo and Juliet" Friday night. The dancers began the first dancers' strike in the 218-year history of the Bolshoi because of the resignation of the company's artistic director and master choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich, following repeated clashes with Kokonin over artistic and management styles. Moscow's NTV independent television said prima ballerina Natalia Bessmertnova (who is married to Grigorovich) and several principal dancers--including Yuri Vetrov, Natalia Arkhipova and Marina Bylova--were among those "suspended." Kokonin was quoted by Interfax news agency Saturday as saying the theater management had taken legal action against the dancers involved in the strike. The next scheduled ballet performance, "Giselle," is Wednesday.
Another Musical 'Event': The television premiere of "Mozart's 'Requiem' From Sarajevo," featuring conductor Zubin Mehta leading the Philharmonic Orchestra of Sarajevo--with soloists including tenor Jose Carreras--in the charred shell of the Bibliotheque of Sarajevo, will air April 6 at 10 p.m. on cable's A&E.; The one-hour concert also features the Choir of the Cathedral of Sarajevo and soloists Ruggero Raimondi, Ildiko Komlosi and Cecilia Gasdia, all performing Mozart's Mass for the Dead. Filmed last June, the emotional concert pays tribute to lives lost during the Bosnian conflict. The concert was produced by Mario Dradi, the same man behind the celebrated "Three Tenors" events.
Santa Barbara Honors: The winners of this year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival were announced Sunday. The Dame Judith Anderson Award for best feature film went to "Vukovar Poste Restanta," a Yugoslavian/Italian film that tells the story of star-crossed lovers in the war-torn nation once called Yugoslavia. New Zealand's "Once Were Warriors" was honored with the Bruce C. Corwin Award for artistic excellence. "Jupiter's Wife," from the United States, won the best documentary feature award. The jury award for best director went to Germany's Leo Hiemer for his film "Leni," the story of a Jewish baby raised by two elderly farmers in 1930s Germany. The "Best of the Fest" People's Choice Award was given to Miramax's "Priest," a film directed by Antonia Bird that looks at homosexuality and incest in the priesthood. Despite the rainy weather throughout the festival, the films played to sell-out crowds.
Kind to the Animals: Warner Bros.' "Black Beauty," written and directed by Caroline Thompson, was named the feature film that best spotlights animal issues at the ninth annual Genesis Awards on Sunday at the Beverly Hilton. The awards were presented by Ark Trust, Inc., an animal protection group, to those in the media or artistic community who show sensitivity to animal concerns. "Dr. Dolittle," the 1967 movie starring Rex Harrison, won the best classic film award. CBS' "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," MTV's "Dead at 21" and Fox's "The Simpsons" were honored for episodes dealing with animals. Performance artist Rachel Rosenthal was given the Dolly Green Special Achievement Award for conveying a pro-animal message in her work. The awards show, hosted by Ed Asner, Ellen DeGeneres and Kevin Nealon, will air on the Discovery Channel in July.
Ms. Henner Goes to Washington: Actress and talk-show host Marilu Henner will join Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) in Washington today for a press conference promoting a bill that aims to make the IRS responsible for collecting child support from deadbeat dads. Geraldine Jensen, founder of the child support group ACES, will also attend. Henner increased her involvement in the deadbeat-dad issue when she became co-executive producer of an ABC television movie that chronicles Jensen's struggle to make child support payments mandatory. The telefilm, "Abandoned and Deceived," airs on March 20.
Fox had its best-ever Friday night ratings thanks to the strong premiere of its new sci-fi drama "VR.5" in the 8-9 p.m. time slot on Friday. The network posted a 10.6 rating, 17 share (each ratings point is equal to 954,000 households) in the Nielsens and won the night in Los Angeles.