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Classical Ballet One Act Ballets "Paquita Grand Pas", "Symphony in C", "Chopiniana"
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage

Schedule for One Act Ballets "Paquita Grand Pas", "Symphony in C", "Chopiniana" 2022

Composer: Ludwig Minkus
Composer: Georges Bizet
Composer: Frederick Chopin
Light Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Music Director: Pavel Klinichev

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Paquita Grand Pas

Music by Ludvig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Staging and new choreographic version: Yuri Burlaka
Music Director: Pavel Klinichev
Designer: Alyona Pikalova
Costume Designer: Yelena Zaitseva
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Will be premiered on November 15, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Marc Haegeman @ Bolshoi Theatre

Symphony in C

Ballet by in one act
to music by Georges Bizet

The Symphony of a Palace

Le Palais de cristal, one of the most famous ballets of the 20th century, was presented in June, 1947, at the Paris Opera, and in March, 1948, it was performed in New York, by Balanchine’s own company, as Symphony in C, the title under which it is danced to this day by companies around the globe.

The story of the creation of this Balanchine masterpiece is remarkable and comes close to being improbable. In l947, the Paris Opera Ballet was left without a choreographer. So George Balanchine was invited to transfer to the Opera three ballets from his New York repertoire. Having fulfilled his obligations in this respect, Balanchine became so enamoured of the artistic charm of the Paris dancers that he decided to present them with an unplanned work - and this was to be Le Palais cristal. The metaphorical title, an image of the Paris school of clas­sical dance, was not accidental. In addition to which, Le Palais cristal, is a choreographic portrait of the Paris Opera Ballet: its hierarchical structure (which, in his company, Balanchine did away with) is preserved and secured in the structure of each movement. At the cen­ter are the etoile and the premier danseur, slightly fur­ther off are the two soloist couples, while closer to the backdrop is the corps de ballet. All this is a reflec­tion of the entrenched, spatial and professional laws of the Paris Academic Company. Balanchine had no intention of infringing these laws, he admired them and brought out their artistic wisdom.

The seventeen-year-old Georges Bizet had written his 1st (Youthful) Symphony as a diploma work in the year - 1855 - that he had completed his studies at the Conservatoire. Having won the Grand Prix de Rome, Bizet went off to Italy and was to write no more symphonies, while the score of Symphony in С gathered dust in the Conservatoire library until 1935, when it was given its first public performance - which, incidentally, was not a great success. Balanchine heard about this from Stravinsky. The former read the score, adapted it for the stage, and only after this did he begin to appreci­ate the musical world of the symphonic Bizet as much as he did that of the operatic Bizet.

By giving each of the four movements its own contingent of dancers and bringing all the partici­pants together in an exultant finale, Balanchine too achieved an exemplary ’reading’ of the music. Balanchine’s text follows that of Bizet, repeating the flow of the music and the pattern of the musical form in a skilful design and exquisite configurations. Theme, elaboration, recapitulation, general intonation, dynam­ic play and, finally, the very sound of the orchestra, its instrumental color, its agility - all this is translated into the language of choreography with a truly hypnot­ic skill.

Balanchine has made a ballet about ballet. If one was to attempt to answer the question, what is its signifi­cance, in a single word, this word would be genius. The genius of the ensemble, the structural genius of the grand classical pas, each of the four sections of which - entree, adagio, variations, coda - Balanchine embellished choreographically and developed symphonically, deploying them in space and uniting them in time - into the flow of the dance. Le Palais de cristal is an ode to the dance logic of the grand classi­cal pas and, at the same time, an ode to the dance genius of the classical ballet company.

Vadim Gaevsky (text from the handbook, abridged)

  • Characters and performers


    Ballet in one act
    to music by Frederic Chopin

    Premiered on October 31, 1958.

    From the History of the Ballet

    Chopiniana is the first of Mikhail Fokine`s masterpieces. The twenty-six-year old choreographer composed it for one of the usual charity performances, which were organized in Petersburg in their hundreds, in order to add novelty to a classical repertoire that set the teeth on edge. But if today we were to see the Chopiniana that was presented on February 10, 1907, we would not recognize it: it consisted of four little genre scenes to the music of a polonaise, nocturne, mazurka and tarantella, orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov.

    In the Polonaise, Poles danced with great verve in a ballroom. In the Nocturne, Chopin himself wrestled with his nightmares and met his muse amidst the ruins of a monastery. In the Mazurka, a girl, who was being forced to marry an old man, eloped with her sweetheart. The Tarantella was danced in Italian costume against the background of Vesuvius. At Fokine`s request, Glazunov orchestrated, specially for the occasion, one more piano piece by Chopin, the 7th Waltz.

    Anna Pavlova, whose exquisite appearance brought to mind the age of romantic ballet, danced in this waltz the role of the Sylphide, a sublime dream, eluding The Youth`s grasp. The choreographer-revolutionary who had spent his entire life fighting against absurdity in ballet, found in the romantic age a model of spirituality and poetry. Inspired by the images of the great romantic ballerinas of the XIX century and by Anna Pavlova`s dancing, a year later he created a new version of Chopiniana.

    The premiere took place at the Mariinsky Theatre on March 8, 1908. In it the brilliant Polonaise served but as an overture, forming a counterpoint to the elegiac mood of the overall ballet which consisted of: the Nocturne, 11th Waltz, a Prelude, two Mazurkas, 7th Waltz and 1st Waltz, forming the coda. The work had no plot. It just conveyed the mood of reverie and light melancholy, condition, veering between dream and reality, of The Youth-poet, who had found himself in the world of the Sylphides. The choreographer found an ideal cast for the premiиre: the main roles were danced by Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, Vaslav Nijinsky. And in 1909 they conquered Paris in this ballet during the first of Diaghilev`s Russian Seasons.

    Chopiniana at the Bolshoi Theatre

    In the hundred years of its existence, only very rarely Chopiniana has been performed by dancers with enough sensitivity to convey its stylistic nuances. The ballet occupied a very special place in Galina Ulanova`s career: she chose Chopiniana for her examination performance at the Leningrad ballet school, an occasion which introduced a unique lyrical dancer to the world of ballet, and it was in this same work that she gave her farewell performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.

    Chopiniana had its Bolshoi Theatre debut in 1932, but soon after this it was dropped from the repertoire and it was not until 1958, thanks to the Leningrad choreographer, Yekaterina Heidenreikh, that it was returned to the Theatre on a more or less permanent basis. Since then not one outstanding Moscow ballerina or lead male dancer has passed the work by.

    A real sensation was the 1961 debut in the ballet of Natalia Bessmertnova who, several years later, was to acquire an ideal partner in Alexander Bogatyrev. The following are among the dancers who have given acclaimed performances in Chopiana: Raisa Struchkova, Marina Kondratieva, Yekaterina Maximova, Lyudmila Semenyaka, Nikolai Fadeyechev, Maris Liepa, Boris Khokhlov, Alexander Godunov, Nina Ananiashvili, Alexei Fadeyechev. And today too Chopiniana remains a much desired work with the new generation of Bolshoi Theatre soloists.

    Anna Galayda (text from the handbook, abridged)

  • Characters and performers

  • Schedule for One Act Ballets "Paquita Grand Pas", "Symphony in C", "Chopiniana" 2022

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