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Saturday, March 17, 2018

“The extraordinary adventures of don Quixote in Russia”

With a New scene of the Great historical moved the ballet “don Quixote”. For this event it was completely updated, cleaned, changed the costumes, sets and declared the premiere. Now capital resumed ballet is preparing for one event: live broadcast in over 1,000 cinemas in 50 countries around the world. So soon new old “don Quixote” will be seen in London, Paris, new York and other world capitals…

Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in the ballet “don Quixote”. Photo: Svetlana Postoenko. Courtesy of the press service of the Bolshoi theatre

The ballet “don Quixote” by the Moscow Moscow performances. First of all by right of birth. Because in addition to “Swan lake” this is the only classical ballets created in Paris, London or Saint Petersburg, as in Moscow. So Moscow ballet is proud of this, cares and cherishes him. And the story, naturally, is a love story.

Marius Petipa — sacrifice duel

Note that when creating his ballet in 1869, Marius Petipa had a purpose — to clean up the theater to the hands: in St. Petersburg for nearly 10 years reigned his boss, Arthur Saint-Leon, and the position of first ballet master of the Russian capital then, for Petipa it was impossible, whatever tricks he had tried. When he arrived in Moscow and… in love… 51-year-old choreographer during rehearsals saw the Bolshoi 16-year-old beauty, corps de ballet dancer Lyudmila Savitskaya, which three years later announced his wife… Though officially become the lawful wife of the famous French Savitskaya was able just 10 years later, in 1882, after the death of his second wife, a famous St. Petersburg dancers of the Maria Surikovoy (she died at the age of 48, and Petipa had two children).

The girl Savitskaya reminded the choreographer times of his youth, namely the best young touring to different cities and countries of a dancer in Spain and his crazy romance with a young Spaniard. At the same time for the mother of the Spanish flu, and quite a noble person, not less fervently wooed the first Secretary of the French Embassy, a certain count de Chabrian (Petipa in his memoirs referred to him as “the Marquis.”). Senior compatriot decided that the subject of his and Petipa’s love is the same lady, so of the duel, during which the dancer seriously wounded by the enemy. And as a result: the order to leave Spain in 24 hours. Soon after this incident, Petipa was cold and not very hospitable St. Petersburg. Who knows, no shot would Petipa to a duel, there would be in Moscow “Quixote”?

The plot for his ballet on a Spanish theme Petipa took traditional, because dance plays based on episodes from the novel by Miguel de Cervantes “the Ingenious Hidalgo don Quixote of La Mancha” were already since 1743. Put them such well-known choreographers of the eighteenth century, Hilferding, together with Never Oberbalm, Milon and others. There is such a ballet and August Bournonville. Most of these productions (especially ballet of Milo 1801 at the Royal Academy of music) used 19-th, 20-th, 21-th Chapter of the second part, where Cervantes described the wedding of rich Camacho, which give rustic beauty of the Quiteria, despite the fact that she’s in love with the shepherd Basilio. So appeared on the scene a Barber (not a shepherd) Basile, the daughter of the innkeeper (and not rural beauty), Kitri and Gamache unlucky not accidentally altered in the ballet of a village rich man in nobleman. The music, consisting almost entirely of waltzes, polkas, galops and marches, for Petipa composed by Ludwig Minkus, and it was the first collaboration of composer and choreographer, subsequently continue for many years.

So what was the peculiarity of Moscow’s “don Quixote”? Here, classical dance is given not so much space, although the role of Kitri in a benefit performance was danced by the Moscow prima Anna Camesasca. To show the dancer as a classical ballerina that Petipa specifically put in a scene where there is a troupe of strolling comedians, the “Catching of larks”. In it, the actor Espinoza, armed with a cage for birds, catching Samansky and six coryphees dressed javaruntime. In fact the case, for pure classical dance in the Moscow ballet there has been found only in one picture — “the Dream of don Quixote”, given to Dulcinea — Pauline Kabakovo (in the future the first performer and Odette-Odile in “Swan lake”).

But character dance, which has always been famous Moscow troupe, there was over the edge! And they played in the play the main venue: the “Jota”, “Lola”, Gypsy “Zingara”… and the Central Duo of Kitri and Basilio in the square also treated the dance is characteristic and was called “Morena”. And in crowd scenes enjoyed great popularity, “the Quadrille of bikadorov”: a high yield of Kolosov, banderillos and picadores, point a bullfight. And much to the delight of the male part of the audience in the dance of the bullfight and colosov banderillos portrayed women’s chorus led by Mrs. pea Espada 2 (so artists with the same name, called in the old program. — P. J.), a pretty girl, and kill the bull with his sword. The seductive female form in those times as easy as now, it was impossible to contemplate, and because the appearance of the young ladies under vigorous March in tight skinny Spanish men’s national costumes were invariably made a splash in the hall.

photo: Damir Yusupov

How much is the weeping and the laughter of the moon

And, of course, the biggest interest among the audience caused the effects. However, as now. Cinema did not exist, and the success of special effects of every kind were literally stuffed with dramatic performances, operas and ballets especially. And just the ballet “don Quixote” was the first work subsequently the famous stage engineer Charles Rolls. That’s really who was considered a true wizard. And he not only entertained the audience! In his spectacular menu were the fountains and all sorts of ingenious machinery. So, in my dream don Quixote fought with the army funny cactuses, crocodiles, dragons and lions. And finally indulged in a fight with a giant spider that was descending on the web. All this in a modern “don Quixote” of course, we do not see.

In wonder there was electric light, so when the picture in “magic gardens of Dulcinea” covered by “chemical and electric lighting”, i.e. “electricity and Bengal lights”. But the main trick was not a spider and not even electricity, and the moon in the scene at the mills. The moon in the ballet presented don Quixote crying his beautiful Dulcinea, and joined the battle with the windmills. And to show the moon crying, and then laughing, waltz invented a special apparatus, which ordered the inventor Kun for 350 rubles, a huge sum of money.

Still, how many times was “don Quixote” the Bolshoi theater is a mystery… Myself still thinks that 75th time, the last presentation took place in 1873. But the researcher Balet I ego zvezdy [in his work “the Ballet of the Moscow Bolshoi theatre in the second half of the nineteenth century”, believes that interest in the ballet fell much earlier. “In January of 1870, less than three weeks after the premiere, in the press there are reports that the fees don’t do ballet. He came in the next season, unable and 30 submissions”.

photo: Damir Yusupov

Star wars and their victims

However, whatever it was, two years later, in 1871, Petipa moved his ballet in the Russian capital. By that time already died Saint-Leon, the choreographer finally got them coveted the place of the first ballet master of the Imperial theatre. With a new fiancee, he became ruler of the St. Petersburg troupe, and Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre he was already to anything.

Change in “don Quixote” Northern capital was evident immediately. Unlike the Moscow edition here after the prologue in the first act of don Quixote was in a troupe of itinerant actors. Kitri and Basilio appeared only in the second act. Moreover, such popular and now the scene of the “suicide” Basilio was eliminated. Instead of it, to be pinned up on the stage of the St. Petersburg Bolshoi theatre was about Kitri, grabbing the sword has stood up for her don Quixote.

While in St. Petersburg the Bolshoi popularity continued to enjoy typical dances, and a storm of enthusiasm called “a Quadrille of bikadorov” performed by 11 tightened in tights girls under the leadership of Simsci, 2nd in the role of Espada, however, in St. Petersburg is still dominated by classical dance. But his triumph Minkus had to add the fifth, representing in effect one continuous Divertissement. And children performed by the loves, which the viewer already saw in the scene “Dream of don Quixote,” appeared in this action and in reality, on the feast of the Duke. In the formulation were employed as much as 72 pupils and pupils, and to deliver this amount of kids to a show “requires 3 lines and 4 coaches, i.e. 10 pairs of horses for only one school.” The action was crowned with “the Big dance” — Kitri’t played it with Basil, as it is now, and according to the custom of that time with a nameless character who, apparently, better suited for dancing (at this party there was the famous in the future soloist of the Imperial theatres and Pavel Gerdt).

But the biggest surprise awaited the lovers of ballet and in the epilogue of the St. Petersburg version of Petipa, in the last scene. To bring the ballet to the novel, introduced here the tragic end, it is not appropriate comedies in ballet: don Quixote returned home… and died, which of course couldn’t be forget. However, the true tragedy unfolded not on the stage and behind the scenes.

The fact that the role of Kitri and Dulcinea sang at the premiere of Alexander Verigin. Basilio went the same Lev Ivanov. And with them, and there was a tragicomic case that nearly cost him his life. Then in the theater, as now, were star wars. And when the ballerina Verigin fault of their own fell during the tour (hurt arm, so hard that blood appeared and had to give the curtain), one group immediately shoved the blame on your partner. Then the co-worker Verigina, prima of the Bolshoi theatre of St. Petersburg Catherine Vashem recalls, “Completely lost his head, poor Ivanov sincerely imagined himself to be guilty and did not want to endure such shame. Having come running home, he grabbed the gun and was ready to put a bullet in the forehead. Fortunately, came his wife, pulled out his gun. To honor Verigina, it should be said that she immediately printed in the newspaper a statement which explained the reason for his fall and thus rehabilitated Lev Ivanov”.

In the production’s success at the St. Petersburg stage from the very beginning did not believe, even the leadership. Therefore prudent not buy the same machine from which the moon laughed and cried, and took a lease on 10 roubles for a performance. Criticism of Petersburg, unlike Moscow, was dissatisfied. So Suvorin wrote that donkey in the play “the only actor who caused the explosion sincere laughter”. Critic associations and even concluded his article like this:

Prayer our God relented —

Ballet concocted Petipa…

(Especially excelled

Donkey classic here PA).

By the way, the horse at the Bolshoi don Quixote arrives, and the donkey carrying Sancho Panza, to the delight of the audience, invariably take to the stage today.

Vera Karalli and Mikhail Mordkin. 1910

Flying into the orchestra pit

The rebirth of the ballet based on the novel by Cervantes was held again in Moscow. But “birth” was difficult. Production in 1900 was performed by another classic of the late XIX — early XX century Alexander Gorsky. Just Gorsky, for several years by that time set in St. Petersburg, Petipa sent to Moscow to transfer their ballets. And he regularly suffered at the Bolshoi “Sleeping beauty” and “Raymonda”, but then there happened something quite unexpected. Fascinated by the ideas of Stanislavsky and the Art theatre, Gorsky decided to reform, as he thought, frozen in dead schemes the classical dance of Petipa.

Unprecedented reform Gorsky, of course, divided the company into two Great warring camps. But the group of youth, led by new stars Mikhail Mordkin and Love Rolevoy (they performed at the Moscow premiere of the main roles), a new course fell in love. Young the dancers were and more numerous, and actively held out against the “Oldies”.

Now the ballet called “don Quixote de La Mancha”. Despite the use of the music of Minkus and Petipa’s scenario, as well as the careful preservation of all that was best in the old show, there was immediately stunned by the design N. Klodt, A. Golovin and Konstantin Korovin. These artists took the fight to date as the letter decorations and ballet costumes, replacing their colorful, bold paintings and theatrical Spanish dresses. We were also impressed with the directing and staging of the dances themselves.

In his version there are new characters and with them such current hits as dancing Mercedes on the table, the variation of the sovereign of Dryads, as well as the famous “Fandango” in the last act (by the way, the music of Eduard Napravnik, now is the choreography of Anatoly Simachev). Particularly popular is the dance involving eight bullfighters, which now (attention!) were played by men. Street dancer runs around in pas-de-Bure on the fingers of those thorns that are stuck in their stage daggers and usmehnuvshis in the air, fell on his knees…

Of course, Petipa was furious, especially after learning that Gorsky will be transferred to St. Petersburg: “Mr. Gorsky has no scruples …when he left to Moscow, recorded with the help of choreographic characters all the PA, which I wrote in St. Petersburg; in “don Quixote” he put in dancing with daggers, which I have set in the ballet “Soraya,” etc.,” wrote the Czar of Russian ballet.

But all was in vain. The newly appointed Director of the Imperial theatres Telyakovskii considered the Petipa legacy, and has sought to rid the capital of the company from its influence. And that’s “don Quixote” Gorsky was destined to strike one of those decisive blows old choreographer and his system. After the phenomenal success of this production Gorsky will offer to become chief choreographer of the Bolshoi theater, the ballet which later he will lead until his death in 1924.

However, subsequently different choreographers used in this ballet finds and Petipa and Gorsky — and what belongs to who, sometimes quite difficult to disassemble. Today in the ballet and insert other choreographers. For example, dance with guitars, as well as a Jig in 1940, put Rostislav Zakharov. Two years later he had put new dances and scenes already by Kasyan Goleizovsky – “Gypsy dance” Goleizovsky on the music by Jabotinsky, Bolero, solo Espada, dances girlfriends of Kitri with Sancho Panza. Who owns the choreography of the famous pas de Deux from this ballet is a mystery. Write: Petipa, Gorsky… But, for example, it is known that male variation in this ballet coined Alexey Yermolayev with his greatest disciple of Vladimir Vasiliev.

In General, in my lifetime, this ballet has seen a lot. It has taught him a great number of ballerinas and dancers: Sulamith and Asaf Messerer, Olga Lepeshinskaya, Maya Plisetskaya, Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov… And how many just happened! So performances with the participation of Olga Lepeshinskaya has always been famous for the breathtaking tricks that dare the ballerina. One of these tricks was risky, but very effective support, so-called fish – the nail of one of the duets in the scene in the tavern. “The tree, the dancer had to jump on the hands of the partner who turned to face her only in the last fraction of a second. And once Lepeshinskaya ran up and jumped, flying like an arrow from a bow, stunned by Basil right into the orchestra pit! Could be broken, but her fall was cushioned by one of the musicians. From a sudden and strong blow he was pale and awkward donkey. As a ballerina, soaring like lightning on a vacant chair, he easily swung his leg over the rail and under the roar of the maddened the hall, as if nothing had happened, finished his dance.”

“The first part is the one dance I”

The very old statement Gorsky returned to the stage in 1999 by the then artistic Director of the ballet company of the Bolshoi, Alexei Fadeyechev. By the time she has already passed through many editions (and two “military” 1942), however, is well preserved and held a total of 865 times, not counting the performances in the wording of Yuri Grigorovich. Then, to revive the spirit of the legendary performances, even some of the costumes were made from sketches by Konstantin Korovin and Vasily Dyachkov (1906 edition). And the set designer Sergey Barkhin wrote their decorations “under Korovin and Golovin”. The statement was accepted with enthusiasm and since then no go bills. She even survived the reconstruction of a historic building and migrating to a New scene.

And here is a new don Quixote, which leadership was returned to its rightful place now, on the historical stage. “Don Quixote” tidied: cleaned up and removed all of the husk that grew to him for 15 years of operation, what is called Alexei Fadeyechev, by that time long been in the theatre were not working. Making a light cosmetic repairs, from dancing he put in at the request of the artists only sparkling Zakharovo a Jig, which is deliberately excluded from the 1999 version, and typed in Fandango Central a couple of soloists (at the premiere of Anna Balukova and Dmitry Ekaterinin well coped with the task entrusted to them).

But the real atmosphere at a ballet like “don Quixote” first of all create dancers. Prepared for the premiere already 5 teams, but no fun, the surge of emotion that often inspires audience this cheerful performance, the hall was not observed. Special courage was not there. Character dances enjoyed in a lax manner… Good in the party the Matador was only Vitaly Biktimirov.

Her signature role in the first part danced the lead couple, Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov. But, looking at the scene, it is hard to believe that these same artists recently iskrometnaya dance put on both blades 6-thousandth hall of the Kremlin Palace. Alexandrov appeared on the scene with a triumphant smile, but in the dance of victory not demonstrated:worked in broad strokes and, although danced at a solid four, no “hispanistas”, or at least pranks that are required in the play, was not given. Her background is effaced Basile —Lantratov, if deliberately a departure by the wayside. But…

What happened at the premiere happened in the last, fifth part. It is unusual in came the star of the Bolshoi theatre Svetlana Zakharova. And no surprises it promised: the special temperament and intensity of emotions on stage Svetlana never showed. Besides the prima was injected into the play of a new partner, Denis Rodkina. But then a metamorphosis took place. Usually cold “Classico” wholly transformed into a Spaniard, and although nedocromil fouettés, but the performance was filled with life and passion. When she dances Kitri in addition to the pure forms of classical dance are present, the nuances, the nature, audacity. And the competition in the stage of “Sleep” with the Queen of the Dryads (Olga Smirnova) can safely enter into textbooks of history of ballet. Both danced brilliantly. The party of Basil as lay a glove on Dennis Rodkina: Great new Prime Minister was accurate in the supports, athletic jumping, provocative and convincing in the game.

In General, there was the same situation that Ulanova once aphoristic described in a few words: “the First part is that when I dance”.


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