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Classical Ballet Ballets on the music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: "Les Presages" (Ballet in one act ). "La Dame de Pique" (Ballet in one act by Roland Petit).
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage

Schedule for Ballets on the music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: "Les Presages" (Ballet in one act ). "La Dame de Pique" (Ballet in one act by Roland Petit). 2022

Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Les Presages

Ballet in one act
to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony

The world premiere took place on April 13, 1933, at Opera de Monte Carlo.
The ballet was staged for Rene Blum and Colonel de Basil Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.

Choreographer on his Ballet

Ever since my visit to Sicily I had been pondering over the problem of how one could create a correct ballet interpretation of a symphonic work. I had often listened to Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and I felt now that its theme of man and his destiny could provide me with the right material on which to base my experiment. But I knew that my work ought not to be simply an abstract interpretation in visual form.

For the first time I dispensed with the traditional formula of male and female partnering and the usual balanced interplay between men and women dancers. I decided to avoid all symmetrical compositions and to render the flow of the music by fluctuating lines, and forms both static and mobile. I deliberately chose to follow the movements of the symphony in a logical evolution of choreographic phrases, successively amplifying and regrouping themselves into new shapes and patterns.

I conceived the production in four sections: first, life, with its ambitions and temptations; then passion, and the contest between sacred and profane love; thirdly, frivolity; and lastly, the culmination of man’s destiny through conflict. In choreographing these I drew my inspiration from the ancient ruins of Selinus, Agrigento and Paestum. It was the mass and volume of these structures which offered a challenge. I was interested too in their contrasted blending of rounded and angular forms. In constructing Les Presages, as I named this ballet, I endeavoured to establish the equilibrium between curved and straight lines that I had seen in so many classical buildings.

An excerpt from the book My Life in Ballet.

  • Characters and performers

    La Dame de Pique

    Ballet in one act by Roland Petit
    to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (Sixth symphony)

    musical version by Roland Petit
    Libretto by Roland Petit
    after the story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin

    The world premiere took place at the Bolshoi Theatre on October 26, 2001.


    Scene 1
    Hermann is obsessed with his thoughts of the game. To him, it seems the cards of all suits gather around him and come to him from the gaming table. He, himself, is not playing, but is watching the game.
    The ghost appears - an elderly woman in black. She lays down one card, then another, then a third. Bank notes flow to the stage. She wins and disappears without taking the winnings.
    Hermann remains alone. At his feet are the winning cards - white, without the signs of the suit.

    Scene 2
    Gambling Hall
    Hermann is in the gambling hall. Trying not to miss a thing, he watches the gamblers.

    Scene 3
    The gamblers join the others dancing at the ball.
    Hermann seems indifferent walking about the ballroom. He wants to learn how to win at cards in order to provide for his future.
    The Countess appears. Strangely enough, she reminds Hermann of the ghost of the elderly woman that he saw earlier in the gambling hall. She is followed by a young lady - her ward, Liza. Everybody talks about the Countess and greets her. Hermann also tries to get closer to her. He is aware that she knows the secret of the "lucky" cards.
    Hermann envisions himself talking to the Countess. Everyone leaves; the Countess follows her young escort. Hermann watches them depart. It seems to the girl that he has fallen in love with her.
    She comes back to collect the handbag she left behind. Hermann talks to her, and asks for a secret date, and she gives him a key to her room.

    Scene 4
    The Countess’ room
    Hermann sneaks into the Countess’ house and finds himself in her room. She comes enters, accompanied by her maids and her ward. She takes off her jewelry, dress, corset and wig. She changes her clothes behind the screen, returns and sends her maids away.
    Hermann, who has been waiting for the Countess to be alone, emerges from his cover. He wants to know "the secret of the three cards". The Countess remains speechless, but Hermann insists, he even tries to embrace her - he would "become her lover, should it be necessary", as Pushkin wrote. Finally, he threatens her with a pistol. The Countess drops dead from fear, Hermann runs away. Liza comes. The Countess is dead at her feet.

    Scene 5
    Hermann’s room
    Back in his room, Hermann gives way to despair. He failed to find out the secret of the three cards and his life is forever ruined. He holds the pistol, which was the reason for the Countess’ death…
    But suddenly, she - or her ghost - appears and tells Hermann about the three winning cards: three, seven and queen - hearts, diamonds, clubs, but for the queen of spades. Hermann throws on his coat and runs out.

    Scene 6
    Big gambling hall
    "The Big game" is in full swing. Hermann comes and joins the others in the game… A three wins, a seven wins… but a queen is up - he grows pale - the Queen of Spades. All is over. Hermann falls dead at the old Countess’ feet.

  • Characters and performers

    Schedule for Ballets on the music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: "Les Presages" (Ballet in one act ). "La Dame de Pique" (Ballet in one act by Roland Petit). 2022

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