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Classical Ballet Evening of one-act ballets: Serenade. Rubies. Herman Schmerman
World famous Bolshoi Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1776) - Small Stage

Schedule for Evening of one-act ballets: Serenade. Rubies. Herman Schmerman 2022

Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Conductor: Igor Dronov
Choreography: George Balanchine
Light Designer: Alexander Rubtsov
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Choreography: William Forsythe
Costume Designer: Barbara Karinska
Composer: Thom Willems
Costume Designer: Gianni Versace

Orchestra: Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra

Ballet in one act, music by Peter Tchaikovsky

Choreography by George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust
Production of George Balanchine Ballet © SERENADE prepared in cooperation with the George Balanchine Fund © and executed in accordance with the standards of Balanchine Style © and Balanchine Technique ©, as stipulated and made available by the Fund.
Staged by Francia Russell, Suzanne Schorer
Costume Designer: Barbara Karinska
Original Lighting by Ronald Bates
Music Director: Igor Dronov
Adaptation of the Lighting Design: Alexander Rubtsov

Serenade was first danced by the Bolshoi Ballet in 2007 since when the Company has virtually never been parted from it. It is lyrical ballet, evoking the play of moonlight on water, though it derives, to all intents and purposes, from a lesson in ballet class. Serenade was the great George Balanchine's first American ballet (1935). America became for him a promised land where he would find his feet and his talent would burgeon. George Balanchine: "As part of the school curriculum, I started an evening ballet class in stage technique, to give students some idea of how dancing on stage differs from class-work. Serenade evolved from the lessons I gave. <…>… many people think there is a concealed story in the ballet. There is not. There are, simply, dancers in motion to a beautiful piece of music. The only story is the music's story, a serenade, a dance, if you like, in the light of the moon" (from the book 101 Stories of the Great Ballets). The Bolshoi's new (2010) stage version of the ballet is by Sandra Jennings.

World premiere took place in New York (Adelphi Theatre) on March 1, 1935. Then the piece was danced by American Ballet
Was premiered on February 13, 2007.
For the first time was presented with In the Upper Room by Twyla Tharp and Misericordes (Elsinore) by Christopher Wheeldon.
Running time: 35 minutes.



Herman Schmerman

Ballet in one act, music by Thom Willems

Russian Premiere

Choreography, Scenography, Lighting and Costumes - William Forsythe
Costumes (Pas de deux): Gianni Versace

The second item on the triple bill is Herman Schmerman, a work by William Forsythe whose name has never figured before on Bolshoi Theatre playbills. William Forsythe is one of the most - in all senses - contemporary of choreographers, a bold investigator into the potential of the human body, taking it to its furthest limits in the 'field' of classical ballet or, at any rate, not rejecting on point dancing or other characteristic 'features' of the classics. What is Herman Schmerman? A phrase, taken by Forsythe from Carl Reiner's marvelous American comedy film Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. A selection of sounds (suspiciously reminiscent of the name of a famous American jazz musician) - it is as simple as that. And, in general, not a bad - even suitable - name for a ballet in which, in a technically complex way, with all the wit that ballet can muster, classical pas and devices are turned inside out. True, it needs a trained eye to discern this. The general public, however, should appreciate just how refined the ballet dancer's muscle-work can be - indeed, from Forsythe, one expects nothing less. They should revel till their head spins in the precision of the execution, for this is Forsythe's gimmick, how he achieves his goal. Herman Schmerman was danced for the first time (talk about an on-going link between periods and names!) by a company founded by Balanchine - the New York City Ballet, in 1992. Ever since the piece has been famous, and attracts the attention of reckless virtuosos, including the illustrious French ballerina Sylvie Guillem for whom technical obstacles do not exist. The Bolshoi artists learnt the unusual to them choreography under the guidance of Noah Gelber, a former dancer with the William Forsythe Company, who stages the latter's ballets and choreographs his own (two of his ballets, for instance, are in the Maryinsky Theatre repertoire).



The Rubies

Ballet in one act, music by Igor Stravinsky

Choreography by George Balanchine (1967)
Costume Designer: Barbara Karinska

The sparkling Rubies, brings the evening to a close. This is again Balanchine. The second part of his three-part ballet Jewels, premiered by New York City Ballet in 1967. It is considered that one of the sources of Balanchine's inspiration here was the collection of a famous jeweler who gave him the idea of reinforcing the brilliance of the ballerinas' parallel lines with precious stones, whose scintillating radiance he mounted to quite different, in terms of character, music. Each part of the ballet is a tribute to one of the three countries in which Balanchine lived (Emeralds - France, Rubies - USA, Diamonds - Russia). He, himself, denied this: "Others seem to have found the second part Rubies, representative of America. I did not have that in mind at all. It is simply [dances set to] Stravinsky's music, which I have always liked, and which he and I agreed to use…" (101 Stories of the Great Ballets). However that may be, if one is to associate each of the three ballets with one of the three countries mentioned above, then the reckless, temperamental, sparkling Rubies 'corresponds' of course to the northern states of America. The ballet demands of its dancers great spirit and courage. Rubies is staged for the Bolshoi by Sandra Jennings.

World premiere: 13 April 1967, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater

Running time: 20 minutes



Schedule for Evening of one-act ballets: Serenade. Rubies. Herman Schmerman 2022

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