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24 July 2019 (Wed), 19:00 Russian National Ballet Theatre - Classical Ballet Pyotr Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 3 acts)

Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes (till 21:00)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Pyotr Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 3 acts) 2020

Orchestra: Symphony orchestra of the Summer Ballet Seasons

Classical Ballet in 2 acts

Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Libretto by Vladimir Begichev and Vasily Geltzer 

Choreography: L. Ivanov, M. Petipa, K. Sergeyev, A. Messerer, A. Shelest, I. Chernyshev.


World premiere: March 4, 1877.


"Swan Lake"

It is difficult to understand these days how it could have happened that the first show of the “Lake” in 1877, in Moscow’s Bolshoi, was a flop and that it took many years for the ballet to achieve its worldwide cult status. The composer, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, never lived to see the ultimate success of his creation.

The story begins in 1875 when Bolshoi commissions a ballet score from the young but already famous composer. It was not yet customary practice –despite Tchaikovsky fame and previous successes, which included four symphonies, the now famous Piano Concerto and “Eugene Onegin” opera, the Imperial Theatres of the time would normally employ the composers on Imperial payrolls, such as Cesare Pugni, Ludwig Minkus, and Riccardo Drigo. Keeping that in mind, Tchaikovsky did not embark on the course of a revolution in the Russian ballet, and studied the classic ballet scores assiduously, planning to produce a score that would be in tune with the established tradition but at the same time would sound new and interesting. The task of composition occupied him from May 1875 to April 1876. The story was a knightly fairy tale, and historians still debate the literary origins –some opt for Heine, some for Musaeus, a German fairy-tale writer, some for Russian folklore fairy tales, some even for Pushkin.

The first show took place on February 20, 1877, and was a flop. The critics reviled the chief choreographer, Wentsel Reisinger, and were short on praise for Polina (Pelageya) Karpakova, the first interpreter of the main female part. The failure of the first show was detrimental for the immediate reputation of the ballet itself, and for quite some time nobody dared to stage it again.

The situation changed after Tchaikovsky’s death. In 1893, Mariinka decided to revive the “Swan Lake”. A new version of the libretto and the music was to be produced by Modest Tchaikovsky, the composer’s brother, Ivan Vsevolzhsky, the director of the Imperial Theatres himself, and by Riccardo Drigo. The latter used the original music as source material for a completely new score. The choreography was supervised by Marius Petipa and his pupil Lev Ivanov. The tradition claims that while Petipa was the father of the unique choreography of the new ballet, its truly Russian singing character is there thanks to Ivanov. The lake and swan scenes, famous for their perfection, are undoubtedly his alone. It was Ivanov who came up with the idea of enchanted ladies with their crisscrossed arms and heads tilted to one side, which every spectator immediately recognized for birds that sit with their wings folded. The very magical world of the swan lake was created by Ivanov. Petipa’s are the scenes of courtly dances and festivities and their intricate lace of waltzes and various dances – Spanish, Hungarian, Polish. Petipa also created an antipode for Ivanov’s White Queen of Swans –its black twin Odile, and its beautiful black pas-de-deux of the second act.

It was this particular stage version that came to be admired as the pinnacle of Russian ballet. This production, like none other, was the perfect setting for many famous dancers to showcase their art. The Swan Lake is a unique and perfect creation, and despite the changing musical and dancing fashions, the performance of Odette and Odile parts is still considered a touchstone for the mettle of any serious dancer. The White Swan is truly a symbol of Russian Ballet, of its beauty and magnificence. 


Music For Ballets Fragment 1 Fragment 2



Act One  

Cinderella’s morning begins with sisters’ angry tricks and quarrels as usual. Only mice in the kitchen feel sorry for the girl, and her Father secretly from her Step-mother gives her wooden shoes. Her mother used to wear them. But peevish Step-mother doesn’t let her husband to spend time with his daughter. Only being alone, Cinderella sees a beggar at the fire-place. Where is she from? The girl feels sorry for the old woman and gives her shoes to her. 
Cinderella’s sisters are getting ready for the ball. They try dresses, quarrelling and envying each other’s clothes. The quarrel is interrupted by the Ball Organizer. The sisters are bad at dancing lessons, but Cinderella repeats all exercises easily and with grace. It causes envy of Sisters and Step-mother’s anger. She demands her money for dancing lessons back from the Teacher. 
Cinderella sees her Father for the ball and imagines herself a princess. Father catches the game and pretends being the prince. But her Step-mother appears and forces her husband to leave. Cinderella stays alone and cries. 
Suddenly the kitchen is filled with strange light and the girl sees old beggar. Funny little people peep from the fire-place – they are dwarves. Old dress falls down from the woman – and Cinderella sees a miraculously wonderful Fairy. There are four more Fairies of the Season with a suite of dwarves-months with her. The Spring Fairy gives Cinderella a wonderful dress, made of golden and silver brocade, decorated with precious stones. The Summer Fairy turns mice and rats into brave postilion and a pair of fast horses. The Autumn Fairy turns a pumpkin into a gorgeous carriage, and the Winter Fairy gives Cinderella a diamond crown and a sparkling cloak. But the best present is made by the main Fairy – it is porcelain shoes. The girl recognizes the Christian Mother in her. 
The Fairy warns Cinderella strictly, that she should return home before midnight. Otherwise her splendid dress will turn into and old dress again, horses will become mice, and the carriage – the pumpkin.

Act Two 

Guests are gathering to the ball at the King’s palace. Noble princes from far off countries – Spain, China and Chukot – are among them. 
There are a lot of beauties at the ball. But the one, who has entered the last, is the most charming. She has a gorgeous dress on, but it’s not the dress, that attracts everybody. It’s a strange girl herself. She radiates kindness and tenderness. Surely, it’s Cinderella. 
All the guests are eager to dance with the beauty and give her rich presents. 
The Prince suggests the girl his heart and sole. Beloved seem to fly into a magic garden – a permanently wonderful garden of the Seasons. 
Suddenly the clock strikes twelve. The ball is over for Cinderella. She rushes from the palace, dropping a tiny shoe. 
Even the Prince, who holds this tiny finding, can’t recognize his vanished beloved in a poorly dressed girl. 

The Prince does his best to find the beautiful stranger. But not a single shoe-maker can say what a skillful master has made this unusual porcelain shoe. 
The Prince leaves for far off countries, hoping to find his beloved there. But one misfortune follows the other – the porcelain shoe is small both Spanish and Chinese princesses. And far off the Chukot prince suggests the Prince marring his bride – according to the ways of his country. He is so sorry for his friend! But the Prince needs the only girl in the world – the one, whom the shoe will match. The Prince makes up his mind to return home. 
A porcelain shoe – it’s the only thing, left to Cinderella after the magic ball. In her dreams she dances again and she is happy again. Her Step-mother and sisters break her dreams. 
Cinderella’s father doesn’t want to suffer his wife’s and her daughters’ cruelty. He makes an attempt to force the sister sweep the floor. A terrible quarrel seems to be inevitable. Suddenly the Prince with his suite appears at the door. He has been to dozens of houses, trying to find his bride. Now it’s the turn of Cinderella’s father. 
The Step-mother and the sisters are out of their minds with the attempts to put on the shoe. The Step-mother is ready to shorten her foot. Trying to stop her, Cinderella drops the other porcelain shoe. The Prince sees his beloved. 
And than the merriest and the most gorgeous wedding was held!

Schedule for Pyotr Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 3 acts) 2020

"Swan Lake" Moscow Ballet “La Classique” (a.d. E.Melikov)
About This Video
"Swan Lake"
Moscow Ballet “La Classique” (a.d. E.Melikov)

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