restricted access Appendix 2: Ballets
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 This appendix provides information on the production of ballets mentioned in the text. It therefore does not provide information on other productions of these ballets unless relevant for this book. I will give production details but no libretto descriptions for those ballets mentioned for repertoire statistics purposes only. If applicable, the original Russian titles are given in parentheses . Please note that several plot summaries (primarily of those ballets regularly performed in the West, such as Giselle and Petipa’s classics) are derived from Debra Craine and Judith Mackrell, The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). Abbreviations a. acts c. choreography m. music l. libretto d. designs (sets and costumes) p. premiere B. Bolshoi Theater K. Kirov Theater (name of the Mariinsky Theater, 1935–1992) M. Mariinsky Theater (to avoid confusion, I will also use this abbreviation when referring to nineteenth-century premieres taking place when the St. Petersburg company still performed in the Bolshoi Theater in St. Petersburg, and for the years 1920–1935, when the former Mariinsky Theater was called the State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, GATOB) Appendix 2 ballets  z Appendix 2 Asel’ 3 a.; m. V. Vlasov; l. B. Khaliulov, N. Kharitonov, after the story by C. Aitmatov, My Little Poplar in a Red Scarf; c. O. Vinogradov; d. V. Levental’; p. B., 7 February 1967 The ballet Asel’ tells the story of the girl Asel’, who falls in love with Il’ias, a driver at a motor-transport depot. Il’ias betrays her with Kadicha, the dispatcher of the depot. Asel’ leaves and finds a new love in Baitemir, who has fought in the war. When Il’ias suddenly appears at their home, she chooses Baitemir. The ballet was created for the theater season celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the revolution. La Bayadère (Baiaderka) 4 a.; m. L. Minkus; l. M. Petipa and S. Khudekov; c. M. Petipa; d. M. Bocharov, G. Vagner, I. Andreev, and A. Roller; p. M., 23 January 1877 The ballet is set in India. The bayadère (temple dancer) Nikiya loves the warrior Solor. Solor loves her, too, but becomes engaged to the Rajah’s daughter Gamzatti. Gamzatti has her rival bitten by a snake; Nikiya dies. In the famous “Kingdom of the Shades” act, which is considered one of Petipa’s masterpieces, a remorseful, opium-smoking Solor dreams of meeting his beloved (surrounded by a large female corps de ballet, the shades). In the final act, Gamzatti and Solor’s wedding ceremony is interrupted by a vision of Nikiya, visible only to him. As the wedding ceremony is taking place, the gods take vengeance for Nikiya’s death: the temple collapses, burying everyone . In an apotheosis, Nikiya and Solor are united in eternal love. The Bedbug (Klop) 2 a.; m. O. Karavaichuk, F. Otkazov, and G. Firtich; c. and l. L. Iakobson; d. A. Goncharov, F. Zbarskii, B. Messerer, and T. Sel’vinskaya; p. K., 24 June 1962 Based on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s play of the same name, The Bedbug was one of two ballets staged by the Kirov singled out for attack during Khrushchev ’s showdown with the creative intelligentsia in 1962–1963. The ballet received only fifteen performances. The ballet’s music was originally composed by O. Karavaichuk, but the composer and choreographer broke with each other during the production of the ballet, and F. Otkazov was named as composer on the playbill. In 1974, Iakobson’s company Choreographic Miniatures showed a new, one-act version of the ballet to the public, using music by Shostakovich. Ivan Prisypkin, a former party member and a former worker of immacu- z Appendix 2  late proletarian background, fulfills his dream of bourgeois comforts by marrying Elzevira Renaissance, manicurist and cashier of a beauty parlor. The ballet culminates in the wedding cortege deriding the petty-bourgeois philistinism of Prisypkin’s world. After the wedding, Prisypkin and his bride are frolicking like two insects on a giant bed with pink satin covers. The ballet ends with Mayakovsky setting his heroes on fire. Iakobson wanted to make Mayakovsky the real hero of the ballet. Transposing the poet’s creative writing process into the realm of the ballet theater, Mayakovsky was shown creating the ballet’s different characters by showing them how to move, making the ballet a product of the poet’s fantasy. Iakobson fused the first half of Mayakovsky’s play of the same name with episodes from the First World War, the revolution, the civil war...


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