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Evening of ballets to music by Igor Stravinsky: "Symphony in Three Movements", "Apollo", "Rubies"
"Symphony in Three Movements"
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by Radu Poklitaru
Set and Costume Designer: Anna Matison
Lighting Designer: Alexander Sivaev
Video Graphics Designer: Alexander Kravchenko
Assistant Choreographer: Sergei Kon
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Using a symphony in ballet is a 20th century innovation. The impulse for the worldwide dissemination of the genre of the dance symphony came with a production by Fyodor Lopukhov in Petrograd in 1923 with a ballet set to the music of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony. George Balanchine, who took part in that avant-garde production, took up the idea of the plastique interpretation of the complex musical format, developing his artistic credo as a choreographer thus: “You see the music and you hear the dance.” Inspired by the nature of pure dance he rejected any plot and superfluous psychology, behind his movements there were no human passions, there was just the music, its rhythm and structure defining the development of the choreographic image. Following the same lines, in 1972 Balanchine created his first dance version of the score of Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements. And yet there was another path in the emergence of symphonic dance. In the 1930s the choreographer Léonide Massine brought to life a whole series of symphonic ballets in which, avoiding fairy-tale narrative in a sequence of allegories and metaphors he narrated dance stories. The path chosen by Radu Poklitaru for his production of Symphony in Three Movements at the Mariinsky Theatre is close to Massine’s. In his production one can see a plot with a beginning, peripeteia and dénouement. The images conceived by the choreographer blend together with Stravinsky’s idea: the composer admitted that the third movement of his Symphony was a response to documental chronologies of the war years with lines of marching soldiers, and later with Poklitaru, it would seem, the troops come on-stage in the finale, without succumbing to the aggression of the first two movements...
Premiere: 30 December 2015, Mariinsky Theatre
Age category 12+
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by George Balanchine (1928)
Libretto by Igor Stravinsky
Staging by Francia Russell
Original lighting design by Ronald Bates
Lighting: Vladimir Lukasevich
World premiere: 12 June 1928, Les Ballets Russes de Serge de Diaghilev, Théâtre Sarah Bernhart, Paris
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 26 January 1992
Premiere of last revived version at the Mariinsky Theatre: 30 April 1998
Running time 35 minutes
Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto, achieves stunning levels of brilliance in dance and citherplaying. He is followed in his sequence of dance by his ever-present companions the three muses – Calliope (the muse of epic poetry), Polyhymnia (the muse of sacred hymns) and Terpsichore (the muse of dance). When Apollo, accompanied by his muses, appears on Mount Olympus everything around him falls silent in adoration of his divine art.
“I regard Apollo as a turning point in my life. In terms of discipline, restraint, the perpetual unison of sound and mood this score was a revelation for me. It seemed to be telling me that I didn’t have to use it all, that I could leave something out. In Apollo and all of the composer’s subsequent music it is impossible to imagine any one given extract to be an extract from another score. Each of them is unique, nothing can be replaced. I examined my own work in the light of that lesson.
It was when studying Apollo that I first understood that the gestures, like tones in music and shades in painting, find certain ‘native ties’ between themselves. Like any group they are subject to their own special laws. And the more solid the artist the more clearly he will understand and consider these laws. Starting with Apollo I developed my choreography along these lines, dictated by these mutual ties.
“Apollo has sometimes been criticised for its ‘lack of theatricality.’ It may be true that there is no vividly expressed story there (although there is a plotline that runs throughout). But its technique is that of classical ballet which in every sense is theatrical, and it is here that we see the start of the literal transformation of sound into visual movement.”
George Balanchine. The Dance Element in Stravinsky’s Music
Age category 12+
Music: Igor Stravinsky (Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra)
Choreography by George Balanchine
Staging: Karin von Aroldingen, Sarah Leland, Elyse Borne and Sean Lavery
Scenery: Peter Harvey
Recreations of costumes supervised: Holly Hines
Original lighting: Ronald Bates
Lighting: Perry Silvey
World premiere: 13 April 1967, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
Premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre: 30 October 1999, St Petersburg
Age category 6+
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