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XIX International Ballet Festival MARIINSKY The Stars of the White Nights 2020
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10 February 2018 (Sat), 19:30 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783 - Stars of the Stars  Modern Ballet The evening of ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps. Petrouchka.

Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes (till 21:00)

The performance has 1 intermission

Schedule for The evening of ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps. Petrouchka. 2020

Conductor: Alexei Repnikov
Dancer: Alexandra Iosifidi

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Lighting Designer: Vladimir Lukasevich
Musical Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Andrei Petrov
Revival Designer: Batozhan Dashitsyrenov

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

Modern Ballet in 2 act

World premiere: 13 June 1911, Les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris


Choreography: Vladimir Varnava
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Costume Designer: Galya Solodovnikova
Lighting Designer: Igor Fomin


Petrushka is a ballet burlesque in four scenes. It was composed in 1910–11 and revised in 1947. Igor Stravinsky composed the music, and, with Alexandre Benois, fashioned the libretto. Michel Fokine choreographed the ballet; Benois designed the sets and costumes. Petrushka was first performed by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 13 June 1911. Vaslav Nijinsky portrayed Petrushka with Tamara Karsavina as the Ballerina. Alexander Orlov portrayed the Moor, and Enrico Cecchetti the Charlatan.

Petrushka tells the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets. The three are brought to life by the Charlatan during the 1830 Shrovetide Fair (Maslenitsa) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Petrushka loves the Ballerina, but she rejects him. She prefers the Moor. Petrushka is angry and hurt, and challenges the Moor. The Moor kills him with his scimitar. Petrushka's ghost rises above the puppet theatre as night falls. He shakes his fist at the Charlatan, then collapses in a second death.

Petrushka brings music, dance, and design together in a unified whole. It is one of the most popular of the Ballets Russes productions. It is usually performed today using the original designs and choreography. Grace Robert wrote in 1946, "Although more than thirty years have elapsed since Petrushka was first performed, its position as one of the greatest ballets remains unassailed. Its perfect fusion of music, choreography, and décor and its theme—the timeless tragedy of the human spirit—unite to make its appeal universal




scenes from pagan Russia in two parts


Musiс by Igor Stravinsky 
Scene plan: Igor Stravinsky and Nicholas Roerich
Choreography by Millicent Hodson (1987) inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky (1913)
Décor and costumes after Nicholas Roerich
Revival of the sets and costumes and supervision – Kenneth Archer 
(Revived sets and costumes © 1987 Kenneth Archer) 
Set Revival Designer – Boris Kaminsky 
Costume Revival Technologist – Tatiana Noginova 
Lighting Designer – Sergei Lukin
World premiere of the ballet choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky: 29 May 1913, Les Ballets Russes de Serge de Diaghilev, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 9 June 2003
Premiere of the revival: 13 July 2012

Running time 40 minutes

”I came up with the idea for Le Sacre du printemps while I was still composing The Firebird. I pictured a scene of some pagan rite in which a girl who was to be the sacrifice dances herself to death. But this vision came with no specific musical idea at all <…>. I told Diaghilev of Le Sacre du printemps even before he came to see me in Lausanne in late 1910 <…>. In July 1911, after the premiere of Pétrouchka, I travelled to the estate of Princess Tenisheva near Smolensk in order to meet Nicholas Roerich there and compile a stage plan for Le Sacre du printemps. I began to work with Roerich and in a few days’ time the plan of the action onstage and the names of the dances had been worked out. Roerich also made sketches of his famous backdrops, Polovtsian in spirit, as well as sketches for the costumes based on actual examples in the collection of Princess Tenisheva. Apropos, our ballet was called Sacred Spring in RussianLe Sacre du printemps which Bakst came up with is only suitable for French. In English, the title The Coronation of Spring was closer to my original idea than The Rite of Spring.

<…> I made haste to complete Le Sacre as I wanted Diaghilev to stage it in the 1912 season. <…> The fact that the premiere of Le Sacre du printemps was surrounded by scandal is a fact probably known by everyone now. Although, however strange it may seem, I myself was totally unprepared for such an explosion of passions. The reaction of the musicians to orchestral rehearsals had not foretold this, while the plot unfolding on the stage didn’t really seem to justify causing such a riot. The ballet dancers had rehearsed for months and knew what they were doing, although what they were doing often had nothing in common with the music. “I will count to forty; in the meantime you can play,” Nijinsky said to me, “and we’ll see where we become separated.” He couldn’t understand that if, indeed, we became separated in one particular instance it didn’t mean that the rest of the time we had been together. The dancers chose to follow the counts that Nijinsky beat out rather than the musical tempo. Nijinsky, of course, counted in Russian, and in as much as in Russian numbers after ten are made up of numerous syllables – vosemnadtsat (eighteen), for example – at a fast tempo neither he nor the dancers could follow the music.

After 1913 I saw only one stage production of Le Sacre du printemps – that was Diaghilev’s revival in 1920. Then the accord between the music and the dance was better than in 1913, but Massine’s choreography was too gymnastic and in the style of Dalcroze for meto like it. 
It was then that I understood that I preferred Le Sacre du printemps to be performed in concert. Twice I reworked a few sections fromLe Sacre du printemps – in 1921 for Diaghilev’s production and then in 1943 (only The Great Sacrificial Dance) for a performance (which never took place) by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. <…> But I could rework my own music endlessly <…>. When composing Le Sacre du printemps I was led by no specific system. <…> It was only my sense of sound that helped me. I heard and wrote down only what I heard. I was the vessel through which Le Sacre du printemps passed.”

Igor Stravinsky. Dialogues

Age category: 12+

I discovered the wondereful music for this ballet once it had already been completed by Stravinsky and the ballet's plot, created together with Alexandre Benois, was completely ready. I entered a collaboration with the composer and the designer when they had already created the plot's protagonists and the main line of its development. Nevertheless, when I say "my ballet Pétrouchka", when I say that it is one of my most successful achievements, one of my most significant productions, I feel I have every right so to do. 
The ballet Pétrouchka may be spoken of as a dramatic musical opus by Igor Stravinsky which holds an exceptional place in new music. The ballet Pétrouchka may be spoken of as one of the very best works by the designer Benois. The ballet Pétrouchka may be spoken of as a Fokine production that is one of the fullest embodiments of ballet reform. In this case there was no collaboration in the sense of us all working together at the same time, the joint work of the composer, choreographer and designer. It was not at all like working on The Fire Bird, when Stravinsky played the music for me at the very outset of its creation and I tried to convey to him every instant of the ballet and excite his imagination with the scenes that I saw so clearly. Here the work followed an entirely different scheme. The composer dealt with his task, and only then did I approach my own. (…) We both spoke of the sufferings of Pétrouchka in our own language: Stravinsky through sounds and I through gestures. (…)
The thing that touches me in the music of Pétrouchka is the characters of Pétrouchka and the Moor. Not because the cries of the oboe so closely resemble the nasal voice of puppeteer who accompanies the movements of Pétrouchka the puppet through silly cries through his nose. Mozart said that the most dreadful situations should be conveyed in such a manner that the music soothes the ears. Pétrouchka is an example of how, tormenting the ears, one can caress the soul. It sits well with me. I can't express how wonderful it is for me that the composer found those sounds, those combinations of sounds and timbres that depict before my eyes the image of the loving, downtrodden and forever miserable Pétrouchka. Now, when I choose these words to describe what Pétrouchka is, I feel how inadequate words are and how helpless I am, and value all the more the eloquence of the music and the gestures. 
The entire image of the Moor embodies blunt self-satisfaction. A voluptuous lucky man. A favourite child of Fate. Everything in him is foolish. The sounds that Stravinsky do not caress the ears. There is no melody that provides pleasure. No-one would ever think of singing the Moor's melody for their own pleasure. To a large extent it is barking, snorting or bass pizzicatos. But each integral image is formed in the imagination. It is such a joy that the character is so accurately expressed. 

Michel Fokine. Extract from the book "Against the Tide"

Schedule for The evening of ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps. Petrouchka. 2020

Extract from the ballet "Petrouchka"
About This Video
Extract from the ballet "Petrouchka"
Mariinsky theatre, St.Petersburg, Russia

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