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The Stars of the White Nights 2020
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03 March 2019 (Sun), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783 - Stars of the Stars  World Ballet Star Diana Vishneva Classical Ballet Evening of One-Act Ballets: Marguerite and Armand.The Seasons. Le Reveil de Flore

Schedule for Evening of One-Act Ballets: Marguerite and Armand.The Seasons. Le Reveil de Flore 2020

Dancer: Diana Vishneva
Conductor: Alexei Repnikov
Dancer: Xander Parish

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Ballet company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet

The absolute standout work of the evening "Marguerite and Armand" ballet set to Franz Liszt’s famous Piano Sonata in B Minor.
It depicts the burgeoning love between Marguerite and Armand, movingly expressed through passionate lifts.
An absolutely stunning performance -  miraculous moves and beautiful musical choreography. Real romantic rapture! 

"Marguerite and Armand"


Music by Franz Liszt (Piano Sonata in B Minor)
Orchestrated by Dudley Simpson
Choreography by Frederick Ashton

Production Coach at the Mariinsky Theatre: Grant Coyle
Set Designs and Costumes: Cecil Beaton
Original Lighting Concept: John B. Read


The ballet Marguerite and Armand was created at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1963. Eye-witnesses recollect that following the premiere there were twenty-one curtain calls.
Frederick Ashton staged the ballet for Margot Fonteyn. Rudolf Nureyev, who had recently arrived in London, was all but unknown to Ashton at the time, but the charismatic young dancer’s partnership with the forty-three-year-old grande dame of British ballet – the incomparable Margot Fonteyn – provided a suitable theme for the production in which the choreographer was afforded the opportunity once again to present his darling in all her glory.

Ashton and Fonteyn emerged as great artists together – she as a ballerina and he as a choreographer. He created ballets with her in mind and dedicated them to her. And if Ashton had not had such a responsive performer who so inspired him over the course of more than a quarter of a century with her ease, emotionality and perfectionism his achievements in British choreography may well have been rather different. In the early 1960s, Margot Fonteyn was planning to retire from performing and Ashton’s vision of a stage version of the story told by Alexandre Dumas fils in La Dame aux camélias happened to find resonance with her stage career. In the ballet, the heroine appeared at the end of her life’s journey: dying from consumption, she recalled moments of her former life and her passionate love. It suited Fonteyn to remember the past days of former artistic triumphs. And for Ashton, this production was a deeply personal dedication. At the time, in spring 1963, no-one could have imagined that the method chosen to depict the story in the ballet would foretell the scenario of the ballerina’s own subsequent stage life, where events would not be regarded in retrospective but would look into the future. Her greatest triumphs were yet to come and her partnership with Nureyev was to be not a matter of nostalgia but rather the beginning of a new stage life.

Other amazing coincidences are connected with this production: having heard Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor on the radio, Frederick Ashton considered it to be a suitable musical basis for his future ballet based on the plot of La Dame aux camélias. And how surprised he was when he discovered that Franz Liszt and Marie Duplessis, the prototype of Marguerite Gautier, the female protagonist of Dumas fils’ novel and stage play, were linked by a romantic relationship at the end of her short life and that the sonata was composed several years after her death!

Ashton did not create the ballet taking into account the individual characters of the performers, and neither did he tell a story about his dancers; he created their story – it was in this ballet that the legendary duo was born. This was why the choreographer categorically forbade any other dancers to touch this incredibly providential masterpiece. If, at first, during rehearsals, Fonteyn and Nureyev had understudies, over time Ashton came to consider that the ballet Marguerite and Armand was not a vehicle where the performers could be replaced. The only possible content of the ballet was the personalities of its protagonists and the magnetism of their relationship on the stage.
But one by one the creators of the ballet all died – first Ashton in 1988, then Margot Fonteyn in 1991 and, two years after that, Nureyev. And the idea arose of reviving this “lost” wonder.

The first dancer with whom the guardians of Ashton’s legacy entrusted Fonteyn’s role was Sylvie Guillem, a ballerina with unique physical abilities and, which is more important here, a rare charisma and incredibly powerful individuality. In 1984 the nineteen-year-old Sylvie had been named an Étoile of the Opéra de Paris by Rudolf Nureyev, while some years later he took her to London for a co-performance and personally introduced her to Margot Fonteyn. Soon she became the brightest star of British ballet, as Fonteyn herself had once been, the unchallenged darling of London audiences. It is quite possible that she, more than anyone else, saw the obvious pointlessness of following the path taken by her mentor Rudolf Nureyev and his eternally adored Margot Fonteyn. Probably that is why Sylvie Guillem turned down the role on two occasions. And when she accepted it in 2000 she looked for the key to the image not in Fonteyn’s Marguerite but in the literary source.

Thus began the new stage life of Marguerite and Armand. The “ghosts” and destinies of Fonteyn and Nureyev have faded into the background and today’s performers of the ballet – of whom there have been a great many since 2000 – dance the story of Dumas’ characters.
Olga Makarova


World premiere: 12 March 1963, The Royal Ballet of Great Britain, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 8 July 2014

Running time: 30 minutes

Age category 12+


"The Seasons"


Music by Alexander Glazunov 
Choreography by Konstantin Keikhel

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev 
Designer: Sergey Illarionov 
Lighting Designer: Konstantin Binkin 
Video Designer: Maria Feodoridi, Maxim Malovichko 
Librettist: Natalia Chumina


Konstantin Keikhel’s The Seasons was added to the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre in the year marking 200 years since the birth of Marius Petipa. The young generation of choreographers took the mantle from their great predecessor. In the 1900s, Alexander Glazunov’s ballet The Seasons staged by Marius Petipa has a run at the Mariinsky Theatre. In the winter tableau of the ballet, Hoar-frost and Ice danced together with Snow and Snowflakes. The spring tableau included a dance of Rose in the company of Swallows. Summer was the realm of the Spirit of Corn, Faun, Satyrs, and Naiads. Autumn was the perfect time for mischievous Bacchus, Bacchae, and Fauns. That colourful ballet had long been forgotten, so Konstantin Keikhel was offered a new interpretation of Glazunov’s music written back in the day for Petipa’s ballet. The choreographer decided to part with a multitude of characters and elements meant to showcase the beauty of nature. In his version of the ballet, Keikhel, a 21st-century choreographer, decided to focus instead on human relationships and the cycle of life, recreating it through the soloists' duets and corps de ballet dances.


Premiere: 11 March 2018, Mariinsky Theatre

Age category 6+

"Le Reveil de Flore"


Music by Riccardo Drigo 
Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov (1894) 
Set design: Mikhail Bocharov 
Costumes: Yevgeny Ponomarev

(revival of the 1894 production) 
The revival team:
Conductor: Pavel Bubelnikov
Choreography staged: Sergei Vikharev
Sets reproduced: Mikhail Shishliannikov
Costumes reproduced: Irina Korovina
Lighting: Vladimir Lukasevich


Scene 1. Danse de Diane. Night. Flore and her nymphs are in a deep sleep; Diane, the Goddess of the Night, guards their peace. As dawn approaches there is a freshness in the air. Diane hides in the clouds.
Scene 2. Entrée d’Aquilon, Danse de la rosée. Aquilon storms over the stage; his sudden appearance awakes the sleeping maidens and makes them seek refuge among the leafage. The appearance of the cool dew brings despair to Flore and she begs Aurore to come to their assistance. 
Scene 3. Arrivée d’Aurore, Valse. Aurore comforts Flore with tender caresses and declares that she will be followed by the God of the Day – Apollon, who will put an end to their sufferings. 
Scene 4. Entrée d’Apollon, Zéphyr, Cupidon et les Amours, Pas d’action. As the radiant Apollon appears everything comes to life. Enchanted by the beauty of the Goddess of Flowers, he kisses her. At the summons of the God of the Day, the light and gentle breeze Zéphyr flies into the embrace of Flore, his beloved. “You must be his friend,” Apollon tells her, “That is the will of the gods.” All are delighted. Cupidon, the Amours and Nymphs rejoice at the lovers’ happiness. 
Scene 5. Arrivée de Mercure, Ganymède et Hébé. Mercure, the messenger of the gods, announces the arrival of Ganymède. Flore and Zéphyr bring forth a cup of nectar and declare that Jupiter will grant them eternal youth. 
Scene 6. Cortège, Grand pas. Procession. Bacchus and Ariadne’s chariot, accompanied by maenads, satyrs, fauns and sylphs. 
Apotheosis. Olympia. Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Vulcan, Minerva, Ceres, Mars, Pluto, Proserpina and Venus all appear.

Content printed after the Annual of the Imperial Theatres for 1893–1894.


The score of the ballet Le Réveil de Flore has been revived from the manuscript by Riccardo Drigo preserved at the Mariinsky Theatre Central Music Library. 
The choreographic text of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov has been revived from the records of Nikolai Sergeyev, executed in the Stepanov Notation System housed at the Harvard Theatre Collection and from violin répétiteurs retained at the Mariinsky Theatre Central Music Library. 
The sets and costumes have been reconstructed from photos and sketches by Mikhail Bocharov and Yevgeny Ponomarev from the archives of the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music. 
The costumes have been reconstructed from sketches by Yevgeny Ponomarev from the archives of the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music.


Premiere: 12 April 2007, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg 
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 20 January 1895 
The premiere of the revival at the Mariinsky Theatre: 12 April 2007

Running time: 1 hour

The ballet Le Reveil de Flore has been made possible thanks to support from the Stiftung der Freunde des Mariinsky Theaters (Germany).

Age category 12+

Schedule for Evening of One-Act Ballets: Marguerite and Armand.The Seasons. Le Reveil de Flore 2020

03/03/19 Diana Vishneva and Xander Parish "Marguerite and Armand" part V
About This Video
03/03/19 Diana Vishneva and Xander Parish
"Marguerite and Armand" part V

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