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29 July 2019 (Mon), 19:00 Russian National Ballet Theatre - Classical Ballet Pyotr Tchaikovsky "The Sleeping Beauty" (ballet in 2 acts)

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (till 22:15)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Pyotr Tchaikovsky "The Sleeping Beauty" (ballet in 2 acts) 2019/2020


Orchestra: Symphony orchestra of the Summer Ballet Seasons

Classical Ballet in 3 acts

Works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) were an important milestone in the history and development of ballet. Essentially, it was Tchaikovsky who made ballet a fully-fledged musical and drama genre and released music from its role as illustration to choreography. The composer worked mostly in the rigid frame of ballet dramaturgy. The music of all his ballets is adaptive, choreographic, objective and, at the same time, it has the power of generalization that gives symphonic features to a theatrical piece.

The fairy tale about Sleeping Beauty is known in several adaptations. Two of them became classics – by the Brothers Grimm and by Charles Perrault. Tchaikovsky’s ballet was written to a libretto by Ivan Vsevolozhsky and the great choreographer Marius Petipa based on Perrault’s version. The premiere took place in 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre. An abundance of splendid character dances, complete music characteristics of the protagonists and the beauty of each number blend in The Sleeping Beauty with the wonderful quality that the prominent musicologist and composer Boris Asafiev called “wholeness of music-and-choreographic performance”.

The Russian Classical Ballet offers the Petipa version adapted by Valentin Grischenko.

“Talent and loyalty to the classical traditions of Russian ballet” is the artistic motto of the company. Its main goal is twofold: on the one hand the company seeks to preserve the classical traditions of Russian ballet and, on the other hand, it looks for new, more contemporary forms of the choreographic art and explores new directions and possibilities of choreography.

The basis of the company's repertoire includes masterpieces of classical ballet such as Adam’s Giselle, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, Minkus’ Don Quixote, Bizet-Shchedrin’s Suite Carmen to mention but a few. A special page of the repertoire is Tchaikovsky’s three

ballets – Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Today the company has over 40 ballet dancers. They are graduates of the best choreographic schools in Russia and the former USSR, namely in Moscow, Leningrad-St. Petersburg, Perm, Novosibirsk, Kiev to mention a few.

The artistic director of the company, Valentin Grischenko believes that ballet is not just a show, but an art demanding special sensitivity from both the performer and the spectator. In preserving the traditions of Russian classical ballet, the theatre makes a contribution to the development of this art all over the world.




Synopsis

Act I

Scene 1: The Park of a Castle 

Prince Siegfried and his friends are celebrating his coming of age at a private party. The guests drink to his health and the jester entertains them with his antics. The Prince is warned that his mother, the Princess Regent, is approaching. 
She is displeased with her son’s behaviour and she presents him with a crossbow. After the Princess has gone, the partying begins anew. 
Twilight falls. The guests depart and the Prince is left alone in the park. High above, Siegfried catches sight of a flock of white swans and the vision stirs the hunter’s urge in him. 
Seizing his bow, the Prince makes his way off into the heart of the forest. 

Scene 2: A Lake in the Forest in the Middle of the Night 
White swans are swimming near the shore; they are beautiful young maidens who have been transformed by the evil magician von Rothbart. Only at night can they assume human form and the only power on earth which can break this evil spell is devoted love. 
Siegfried appears. He sees one of the white birds come to shore and draws his bow to shoot it. The bird suddenly turns into a beautiful woman – it is Odette, Queen of the swan-maidens. Odette’s beauty enthrals the Prince and he tries to capture her. She, however, is afraid of the evil magician and, as she avoids Siegfried, she disappears in the midst of the swan-maidens. Siegfried runs after Odette and vows eternal love and fidelity to her. 
Odette’s heart responds in the same way to Siegfried’s passionate love. 
Dawn breaks. Odette bids Siegfried a tender farewell and the white swans glide slowly away across the lake.

Act II

Scene 3: A Ball at the Castle 
Siegfried must choose a bride from among the well-bred maidens who have been invited, but he remains indifferent to them all because he has given his heart to Odette. Only at his mother’s insistence does he dance with any of the prospective brides. 
He must, however, choose one of them, and as a token of his love, he must give his chosen bride a bouquet. As he faces this dilemma, however, a fanfare of trumpets heralds the arrival of new guests – the magician von Rothbart and Odile, his daughter. The Prince is struck by her resemblance to Odette. 
Von Rothbart wants the Prince to fall in love with Odile so that he will break his vow of eternal love and fidelity; Odette will then remain in the sorcerer’s power forever. It is for this reason that he has given his own daughter Odette’s form and features. Odile seduces Siegfried, who is fascinated by her charm. He announces to his mother that the beautiful Odile is his choice. The wicked magician is jubilant. 
Suddenly Siegfried sees a vision of the true swan-maiden outside the castle window and realises that he has been deceived into breaking his vow. In despair, he rushes to the lake to find his beloved Odette.

Act III 

Scene 4: The Lakeside, at Night 
The swan-maidens stand dejected and sad. Odette has told them what has happened. 
Siegfried rushes in. He begs Odette to forgive him and he professes his undying love for her, but the enraged sorcerer summons the black swans and commands them to separate Odette and Siegfried. Siegfried grapples with the sorcerer. Fearless in the encounter, he breaks von Rothbart’s wing. The sorcerer collapses, his power gone, and he dies. Love has broken the evil spell. The sun rises and shines radiantly on the Prince and Odette, and on the maidens whom Siegfried has rescued.



Synopsis

Prologue
In the palace of King Florestan XIV the wedding of his daughter, Princess Aurora, is being celebrated. Master of Ceremonies Catalabutte is checking the invitation list. The Lilac Fairy and Good Fairies appear among the courtiers and the guests coming to congratulate the Princess. They bring the newborn infant gifts, endowing her with the finest human attributes. Suddenly, a great noise is heard. The evil and powerful Carabosse Fairy drives into the ballroom with her repulsive suite. They forgot to invite her to the wedding. An irate Carabosse predicts that Aurora will die young from pricking her finger with a knitting spindle. But the Lilac Fairy intervenes: she predicts that the forces of good will neutralize the sinister spell. With a peremptory gesture, she forces Carabosse to leave the palace.

Act I
It is Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday. Four foreign princes have come to ask for her hand. At the height of the festivities, an old woman with a knitting spindle appears at the Princess’s side. Trustful Aurora takes it and continues to dance. Suddenly, she stops dancing and looks with horror at her finger which she has accidentally pricked with the spindle. Overcome by deadly cold, Aurora falls to the ground. The unknown old woman throws off her hood — it is the Carabosse Fairy! Her curse has come to pass. Whirling around maliciously, she disappears with a cackle. But the Lilac Fairy appears on the scene — she has the power to mitigate the evil spell. Aurora is not dead — she has fallen asleep. She will be brought back to life by the passionate kiss of a handsome Prince. The Lilac Fairy plunges the whole kingdom into a deep sleep.

Act II
Scene 1
Surrounded by grandees, Prince Desire is whiling away the time in the royal park. He is overcome by melancholy. And, as if in answer to his call, the Lilac Fairy appears before him. She summons up a vision of Aurora, surrounded by divine beings — the Nereids. The enchanted Prince hurries after the beautiful image but, at the wave of the Lilac Fairy’s wand, it vanishes. Dйsirй implores the Lilac Fairy to search for the beautiful maiden. And the Lilac Fairy invites the Prince to sail in her magic craft to the bewitched castle.

Scene 2
Gloom and desolation reign in the sleeping kingdom. It is guarded by the evil Carabosse Fairy. The Lilac Fairy and Prince Dйsirй rapidly approach the castle. The wicked old woman and her suite try to conceal Aurora but, in vain — the Prince catches sight of the sleeping beauty. Completely won over by her charm, the Prince tenderly kisses the Princess — and the evil spell is broken! Carabosse and her suite vanish. Aurora wakes up and the royal kingdom comes to life too. As soon as the Princess sets eyes on her deliverer, love is born in her heart. Dйsirй asks the King and Queen for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

Epilogue
Fairy-tale characters have come to Aurora and Desire’s wedding: Princess Florine and Blue Bird, The White Cat and Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and The Gray Wolf, Cinderella and Prince Fortunй. The Prince and Princess dance in a harmonious and solemn duet. The Lilac Fairy and her suite bless the happy couple.




Schedule for Pyotr Tchaikovsky "The Sleeping Beauty" (ballet in 2 acts) 2019/2020


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