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12 July 2019 (Fri), 19:00 Brilliant Classical Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1887, founded by Stanislavsky) - Modern Ballet "The Seagull" Ballet in 2 acts by John Neumeier based on Anton Chekhov

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (till 21:30)

Schedule for "The Seagull" Ballet in 2 acts by John Neumeier based on Anton Chekhov 2020

Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
Choreography: John Neumeier
Composer: Alexander Scriabin
Music Director: Felix Korobov

Orchestra: Stanislavsky theatre symphony orchestra
Ballet company: Stanislavsky ballet

Premiere of this production: June 16, 2002, The Hamburg Ballet, Hamburg

The Seagull Chekhov, like Shakespeare, is an author who creates characters so complete, so true that they live in the imagination beyond and independent from the text. It is the emotional life behind Chekov’s words that I transform into dance. For me, the central theme and conflict of The Seagull is the relationship between love and art – art and love. John Neumeier Music: Dmitri Shostakovich, Evelyn Glennie, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Alexander Scriabin Choreography, Set and Costumes: John Neumeier


Act 1

Kostya built a stage in the garden of Pyotr Sorin's (his uncle) estate. Nina, a girl from the neighbouring estate, comes to dance the main role in his play "Soul of the Seagull".
Kostya loves Nina. Nina loves Kostya.
Kostya's mother, a successful ballerina Irina Arkadina, comes with her lover, a choreographer of note Boris Trigorin. Among the guests, invited to see the play: Sorin's steward Ilja Shamraev, his wife Polina, their daughter Masha, doctor Dorn and the village teacher Semen Medvedko.
Medvedko loves Masha. Masha loves Kostya. Kostya loves Nina. Nina falls in love with Trigorin. Trigorin loves Arkadina, but falls for Nina. Arkadina loves Trigorin. Polina loves doctor Dorn.
Kostya's play "Soul of the Seagull"
Music from behind the lake - Arkadina remembers one of her famous roles.
Arkadina talks with her son.
Trigorin teaches Nina.
Card games and entertainments.
Jealousy and decisions.
Kostya's Dream Dances.

Act 2

Revue Theatre: Nina dances in the corps de ballet.
Nina meets Trigorin who has changed - the Revue goes on.
Kostya's notebook -Dream Dances.
Nina's polka.
Imperial Theatre: Trigorin's ballet "Death of the Seagull"
Masha decides to marry Medvedko.
Nina's letter to Kostya.
Autumn garden: Sorin faints.
Arkadina's visit - a sad wedding ceremony.
Nina appears - Nina bids farewell.
Kostya's Dream Dances are over…




"The Moscow Times" press review of the "Seagull" Ballet

Dancing 'The Seagull'
Choreographer John Neumeier presents his ballet version of Chekhov's play at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Ballet Theater.

By Raymond Stults
Published: March 16, 2007

Less than a week after St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater brought Noah D. Gelber's ballet "'The Overcoat' after Gogol" to the stage of the Bolshoi, Moscow audiences found themselves treated to yet another dance setting of a Russian literary classic by a U.S. choreographer.

Gelber's ballet was a superb creation in many respects, but John Neumeier's "The Seagull," based on Anton Chekhov's play and restaged for the ballet troupe of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater, where it opened last Friday, seemed nothing short of a masterpiece.

It took considerable audacity to bring "The Seagull" to Russia in dance form, given that the play is familiar here to one and all from their school days. But the audiences at a dress rehearsal on March 8 and a regular performance last Saturday seemed more than ready to accept Neumeier's version. And rightly so, for never once did he go against the grain of Chekhov's play.

Neumeier, like Gelber, has mainly pursued his career in Germany. He is already well known to Moscow balletgoers for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the work he recreated two seasons ago for the Bolshoi Theater that took the top ballet prize at last year's Golden Mask festival. Like that work, "The Seagull" was originally choreographed for Neumeier's own Hamburg-based dance troupe, though a full quarter of a century later, in 2002.

In Neumeier's version of "The Seagull," the clash between tradition and innovation in the world of spoken drama, as portrayed by Chekhov, moves to the world of dance. Arkadina, the famous actress, becomes a prima ballerina of the Imperial theaters; her son, Konstantin (Kostya) Treplyov, an aspiring choreographer rather than a playwright; the successful writer Boris Trigorin, an equally successful choreographer and dancer; and Nina Zarechnaya a young woman who sets her sights on a career in dance, not drama.

To Chekhov's scenario, Neumeier has added a scene of nightclub dancing where Nina is discovered in the chorus line, a classical ballet number choreographed by Trigorin, with strong elements of parody and titled "Death of the Seagull," and three fantasy scenes called "Kostya's Dream Dances."

Neumeier's ever-inventive choreography is superbly partnered with an astutely chosen sequence of music, most of which sounds as if had actually been written with "The Seagull" in mind. Nina and Kostya open the ballet with a carefree romp around a makeshift wooden stage to the melodious second movement of Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2. The rest of the first act, all of it set outdoors by the lake on Pyotr Sorin's estate, plays mostly to the four movements of the same composer's enigmatic Symphony No. 15, which are interrupted only by the clashing sounds of a piece by contemporary Scottish percussionist and composer Evelyn Glennie, as music for Kostya's dance creation, "Soul of the Seagull," and a piano piece by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, to whose notes Arkadina demonstrates how ballet ought to be danced.

Apart from a brief piano Nocturne by Alexander Scriabin, the music of the second act is all Shostakovich. Light-hearted tunes from his operetta "Moskva, Cheryomushki" and his Ballet Suite No. 1 accompany the nightclub revue and Trigorin's classical ballet. The grim Largo from his Piano Trio No. 2 mirrors the writhing movements in the second of Kostya's dream dances. The penultimate garden scenes are danced to the Chamber Symphony for Strings, its final pair of soul-wrenching Largo movements the perfect background for Nina's farewell visit to Kostya. A repeat of the Symphony No. 15's last movement -- with its final, fading taps from the percussion -- brings the ballet to a conclusion as background for the third of Kostya's dream dances.

Following six months of preparation, the ballet troupe of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko displayed an impressive grasp of Neumeier's complicated and often acrobatic dance movements, including his gravity-defying assortment of lifts and carries. In the cast seen at both the dress rehearsal and Saturday's performance, Anastasia Pershenkova and Alexei Lyubimov danced the roles of Nina and Kostya in truly extraordinary fashion, bringing youthful vigor to the opening scenes and a fine sense of tragedy to Nina's farewell. But the entire cast and corps de ballet deserved praise for so wonderfully attuning themselves to Neumeier's dance vocabulary. In the pit, the theater's chief conductor, Felix Korobov, drew a superlative performance from his orchestra.

"The Seagull" represents an important addition to ballet in Moscow, and the dance troupe of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko -- obviously revitalized by its encounter with Neumeier, as well as the accomplished labors of its artistic director, Mikhail Lavrovsky, since his appointment in 2005 -- now seems poised to give serious competition to its neighbors down the street at the Bolshoi.

Schedule for "The Seagull" Ballet in 2 acts by John Neumeier based on Anton Chekhov 2020

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