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Mariinsky News>2016>Yuri Smekalov about The Bronze Horseman

23 March 2016

Yuri Smekalov about The Bronze Horseman

On 31 March the XVI International MARIINSKY ballet festival opens with a premiere of the ballet The Bronze Horseman. Production choreographer Yuri Smekalov speaks about the new ballet.

The new Bronze Horseman is not a reconstruction of the ballet which was premiered in 1949 at the Kirov Theatre, it’s a new stage version of Rostislav Zakharov’s famous ballet. I developed the concept of its adaptation for modern times with a wonderful artist, the designer Andrei Sevbo. His taste, poetic nature and romantic associations with stage space, I believe, are very suitable for a ballet about St Petersburg. Having worked with performers of Rostislav Zakharov’s ballet I understood that in the duets and in the interrelationships of the characters in The Bronze Horseman there is so much that is sincere, honest and simple! I think that audiences today have been missing that. The ballet has a dramatic text, there is technically demanding dancing, and in terms of choreography we have expanded most of the solo roles. In my production I am trying to retain Zakharov’s choreographic idea, but I want to show it in a different light so that the ballet has meaning for the audience today. The most difficult thing in working on this ballet for me has been the level of responsibility. If you’re creating a completely new work then it’s the case that you’ve conceived it and you answer for it. But here I’m working on a production that was very dear to certain people, and for many the question naturally arises – why did they trust me specifically to return it to the stage? I want to produce the ballet in such a way that both the older generation and young audiences feel warmth in their hearts when they see it, I want them to see that today we are just as dedicated to our profession as those who convinced and charmed the audiences with their work were when this was the Kirov Ballet. I am responsible to all these people, I represent the younger generation, and accepting that is, arguably, the most worrying thing of all. 
Yuri Smekalov

Submitted on 25 August 2016, Thursday

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