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234th Season

One-act ballets: "Le Spectre de la rose". "The Swan". "In the Night". "Le Jeune homme et la mort"

Cast to be announced



"Le Spectre de la rose"


Music by Carl Maria von Weber

Choreography by Michel Fokine (1911)
Concept by Jean-Louis Vaudoyer after the poem by Théophile Gautier
Scenario by Michel Fokine
Reconstruction by Isabelle Fokine
Costumes after sketches by Léon Bakst


“Her eyes closed, the Girl seeks out her Spectre, summoning him. In none of the movements does the Spectre resemble a typical dancer performing his variations for the pleasure of the audience. He is a spirit. He is a dream. He is the scent of a rose, the caress of its delicate petals,” described Michel Fokine his Le Spectre de la rose. He got the idea from a poem by the Romantic poet Théophile Gautier:
Je suis le spectre d'une rose
Que tu portais hier au bal.
The short ballet created in 1911 for Les saisons russes became emblematic for the Diaghilev’s company. Tamara Karsavina danced the Young Girl with melancholy languor and created the dream-like and memory-like atmosphere of the ballet. Vaslav Nijinsky’s spectacular leap made the audiences ecstatic, while the dancer’s ingenious portrayal of the Spectre forever remained in ballet history. The images of the first duet from the famous playbill drawn by Jean Cocteau for many Europeans in the 20th century symbolized all things innovative in ballet at the time.


World premiere: 19 April 1911, Les Ballets Russes de Serge de Diaghilev, Théâtre de Monte Carlo
In the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1997

Running time: 10 minutes

Age category 12+

"The Swan"


Music by Camille Saint-Saëns
Choreography by Michel Fokine (1907)


... Our joint work (with Anna Pavlova) was The Dying Swan. <...> It took just a few minutes to create the ballet. It was amost an improvisation. I danced in front of her, she was there, just behind me. (... ) Before that production I had been accused of being involved in ‘barefoot’ dancing and was generally opposed to dancing en pointe. The Dying Swan was my response to this criticism. This dance became a symbol of new Russian ballet. It was a serious work of perfect technique and expression. It was like a kind of proof that dance can and should not just please the eyes but also get into the soul.
Michel Fokine. Highlights from Memoirs of a Ballet-Master

World premiere: 22 December 1907, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Running time: 4 minutes
Age category 12+

"In the Night"


Music by Frédéric Chopin
Choreography by Jerome Robbins (1970)

Staged by Ben  Huys
Costumes by Anthony Dowell
Lighting by Jennifer Tipton
Recreated by Nicole Pearce


Prior to the appearance of this ballet in the Mariinsky Theatre repertoire, Russian audiences knew Jerome Robbins only as a hypostasis – Robbins-the-choreographer-of-musicals, Robbins-the-Broadway-triumph. Not for his “live” productions, of course, but rather for his film version of Westside Story, which caused a veritable furore in the cinemas of the Soviet Union. In 1992, the Mariinsky Theatre brought another Robbins to the country – Robbins the lyricist and the intellectual, one of the two leading figures at New York City Ballet. The man who took Chopin’s nocturnes and in 1970 created In the Night – a short ballet for three couples. Initially they appear on stage in turn, while in the finale they all dance at the same time. Each of the couples offers their own version of the dialogue between man and woman – and, impeccably reproducing the choreographic scene, all the performers bring their own ideas of paired relationships to these dialogues. The good-natured coquetry and the claims of divine service, competing in the dazzle and the childlike thirst for trust – all different people, and so every time In the Night looks just that little bit different from the previous display.
Anna Gordeyeva


World premiere: 29 January 1970, New York City Ballet, New York
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 18 March 1992
Premiere of the revival: 5 May 2009

Running time 25 minutes

Performed by permission of The Robbins Rights Trust

Age category 6+

"Le Jeune homme et la mort"


To music by Johann Sebastian Bach
(Passacaglia in С Minor, BWV 582, arranged for full orchestra by Alexander Goedicke)
Libretto by Jean Cocteau
Choreography by Roland Petit

Production Choreographer: Luigi Bonino
Set Designer: Georges Wakhevitch
Costume Designer: Karinska
Lighting Designer: Jean-Michel Désiré


The ballet Le Jeune homme et la mort, staged in 1946 in Paris, reflected the spirit of the post-war era and became one of the most well-known works of choreographer Roland Petit and one of the most sought-after ballets by dancers of different generations. Roland Petit initially created the dancing routines for a mini-production to a popular jazz song, but just before the premiere Jean Cocteau, mastermind and source of inspiration for the ballet, suggested changing the music to Bach’s Passacaglia. There was no talk of matching the movements to musical focal points; during the first performance the creators were afraid that the Passacaglia would not be long enough for the choreography. However, thanks to Bach’s music, the theme of an artist’s conversation with death, which is raised in the ballet, has acquired dimension and scope. Drama about the meeting of a restless artist with a fatal beauty was protected from melodrama. Bach’s Passacaglia helped the performers to get away from realism: from the specifics of the things scattered in the artist's room to the state of chaos required by Cocteau, from the youth's single-valued glance at the clock to the sense of timelessness. The nerve of the meeting shown at the scene was familiar to post-war Europe, then almost everyone in the auditorium could subscribe to Jean Cocteau's words: "I have experienced such painful periods that death seemed a temptation. I'm used to not being afraid of her and looking straight into her face".
Olga Makarova


World premiere: 25 June 1946, Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 25 March 1998
Premiere of the revival: 22 March 2012

Running time 16 minutes

Production Sponsor: Toshihiko Takahashi

Age category 16+

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Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
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