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Classical Ballet Arif Melikov "The Legend of Love" (ballet in three acts)
World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783

Running time: 3 hours 5 minutes

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Arif Melikov "The Legend of Love" (ballet in three acts) 2022

Composer: Arif Melikov
Choreography: Maestro Yuri Grigorovich
Set Designer: Simon Virsaladze

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Classical Ballet in 3 acts

Premiere of this production: 23 March 1961, Kirov Theatre, Leningrad (St.Petersburg), USSR

A unique opportunity to experience this splendid tale of forbidden love, self-sacrifice, jealousy and suffering. Featuring dance movements, sets and costumes inspired by the Middle East, this stunning ballet, which uses pure dance to tell the story, is further enriched by the talent of the Mariinsky troupe.

Yuri Grigorovich’s A Legend of Love premiered in 1961 while he was head of the Kirov (Mariinsky) Ballet, with Rudolf Nureyev in the lead role of Ferkhad.

It was Grigorovich's second ballet – the first being the highly successful Stone Flower –and it established his reputation as an innovative new choreographer.

The production was a multi-national collaboration: the choreography by the Russian dancer, the libretto by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, a score by Azerbaijani Arif Melikof, and sets designed by Georgian Simon Virsaladze.


Act I

Scene 1 
The royal apartments of Queen Mekhmene Banu are plunged in mourning - her young sister, Shireen, is dying. The Vizier and the courtiers are full of anxiety. Mekhmene Banu is in despair. A Stranger, who appears out of the blue, says he will cure the Princess but, in return, Mekhmene Banu must sacrifice her beauty. In order to save the life of her sister whom she loves deeply, Mekhmene Banu accepts the Stranger’s cruel terms. Shireen is brought back to life.

Scene 2 
In the palace garden, the young court painter, Ferkhad, suddenly comes across Queen Mekhmene Banu and Princess Shireen who are taking a walk, surrounded by courtiers and the palace guard. The two sisters exchange gazes with Ferkhad and love for the young painter is born in their hearts. The procession moves off. Ferkhad is entranced by the beauty of the young Shireen. In the hope of seeing Ferkhad, Shireen secretly returns to the garden The two young people are greatly attracted to each other. 

Act II

Scene 3 
Mekhmene Banu is overcome by passion for Ferkhad. Nothing can distract her thoughts from the handsome youth. She realizes in despair that now she has lost her beauty, she will be unable to win his love.

Scene 4 
The young Shireen dreams of happiness with her loved one: the thought that they may soon meet gives her great joy and also fills her with anxiety. Ferkhad makes his way into Shireen’s chamber and the lovers elope from the palace. Torn by jealousy, Mekhmene Banu orders that the lovers be seized. The fugitives are caught. The lovers’ pleas that they are granted their happiness are in vain. Mekhmene Banu sets Ferkhad an impossible task: in order to win Shireen, he must first bore a hole through the iron mountain which blocks the way to a water source. For the sake of his love, Ferkhad is willing to attempt the impossible. He bids farewell to Shireen. 


Scene 5 
The populace is tormented by thirst. As each day passes there is less and less water. And without water, there can be no life. In order to attain water, the mountain has to be destroyed.

Scene 6 
Ferkhad, who is in the mountains, dreams that he has gained access to the water and before him, he sees his beloved Shireen.

Scene 7 
Mekhmene Banu is tormented by her passion and love for Ferkhad. She dreams she is beautiful again and that Ferkhad loves her. Shireen breaks into Mekhmene Banu’s reveries. She implores her sister to recall Ferkhad.

Scene 8 
A great hope has brought the populace to the mountains. If Ferkhad manages to accomplish the impossible, their lives will be saved. Queen Mekhmene Banu and Shireen appear surrounded by their suite. Overcome by happiness at their meeting, the lovers throw themselves into each other’s arms. The Queen is prepared to give Ferkhad the hand of Shireen, but the former feels that he cannot go back on his duty. Mekhmene Banu and Shireen are full of respect for the great altruism of Ferkhad who is ready to sacrifice his personal happiness for the sake of his people.

Schedule for Arif Melikov "The Legend of Love" (ballet in three acts) 2022

Ballet "Legend of Love" (2 act) - Tereshkina and Kimin Kim
About This Video
Legend of Love, 2 act.
Music - Arif Melikov,
choreography - Y.Grigorovich.
Shirin - E. Osmolkina.
Ferhad - Kimin Kim.
Mahmene Banu - Viktoria Tereshkina.

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