The Pharaoh's Daughter / Pique Dame / Bolt 

Choreography : Pierre Lacotte
after Marius Petipa
With Svetlana Zakharova & Sergei Filin

P. I. Tchaikovsky PIQUEDAME
Choreography : Roland Petit
With Nikolay Tsiskaridze & Ilze Liepa

Dimitri Chostakovitch BOLT
Choreography : Alexei Ratmansky
With Anastasia Yatsenko & Andrei Merkuriev

BAC603 / Ballet recorded at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2003, 2005, 2006


Composed in 1931 by Dimitri Shostakovich, The Bolt – to a book by Viktor Smirnov, is being revived for the first time in more than 70 years.

Shostakovich composed a caustically humourous ballet, blending popular tunes, serious music, circus music, waltzes, marches, tangos. He had imagined his ballet as a joyful lampoon of proletarian drama. His intention was to highlight the eventful and ambiguous relationship existing between proletarian experience and the representation given of it by the Soviet vanguard.

Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography develops into a true marvel, opening with a ballet of giant robots ans ending in a blood red delirious grand parade.


« Bolshoi’s dazzling bolt from the blue. A ballet score by Shostakovich received its world première – 74 years after it was written. This is captivating theatrical music by a stupendous young composing talent, full of acid caricature and robust comedy, not yet weighed down with the shadows and storms that were soon to break into his life. »


Cards are everywhere: they are not only in people’s hands, they are on the ceiling, the walls and, most importantly, they are in their minds and hearts. They are the fate of each man, holding out the promise of success or despair and madness. How to get the better of the verdict of fate? How to become the master of your own life? How to learn to sacrifice that simple happiness that you already possess for the sake of an unrealistic love? Love of gambling that, maybe, will make you into a superman. Roland Petit

Roland Petit was not satisfied of his version of Pouchkine’s master piece The Queen of Spades, he created 25 years ago for Mikhaïl Baryschnikov. When the direction of the Bolshoi Ballet asked him a new version of this ballet, Roland Petit read again the novel and wrote a new libretto. For the music, he chose a russian musical monument Symphony n°6 “Pathétique” by Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. And so Roland Petit created for the two best dancers around the world (Nikolay Tsikaridze et Ilze Liepa) magnificient and dramatic duets wich are the central episodes of the ballet. For the choreographer, ’’their dance gives rise to a remarkable effect: it will seem to you that Tchaikovsky’s music itself becomes especially pure and penetrating’’. La Dame de Pique reminds him of ‘’a corrida during which both parties die – the bull and the toreador.’’

Passacaille by Anton Webern “In 1994, I presented an evening of ballets to music by the German composers, Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg and Anton von Webern, at the Paris Opéra. The work that enjoyed the greatest success was the ballet to Webern’s “Passacaglia”. And, therefore, when it was decided to present an evening of my ballets at the Bolshoi, this was the work that I suggested should be included in the program. “Passacaille” is a very complex ballet. Difficult for both choreographer and interpreters. There is no plot in it, no sets, no musical rhythm to serve as guideline for the dancers. At the same time, “Passacaille” demands technique of the highest quality, for it is precision and purity of execution that constitutes the basis of the choreography. I am happy to have been given the chance to present this ballet in Moscow. All fourteen dancers who are involved in the production are working with great enthusiasm and I hope that the public will appreciate their skill.” Roland Petit

Musical versions The “Evening of Roland Petit Ballets” is made up of two one-act ballets. The first – “Passacaille” is to music by Anton Webern, including his “Five Pieces” Op. No 5 in the arrangement for string orchestra and “Passacaglia” Op. No 1. The evening continues with “La Dame de Pique” to the music of Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6 in – and I emphasize this – a musical arrangement by the choreographer Roland Petit. There has been a change in the sequence of the symphony’s movements : Part 1 of the work is given only to its elaboration, after the exposition we hear Part 2, and then – the elaboration of Part I and the Finale in full. The ballet is completed to Part 3 of the symphony. There has also been a change in the tempos. For his ballet, Roland Petit has drawn on the Leonard Bernstein rendering of tempo for Tchaikovsky’s symphony. This is substantially different to the interpretation of Russian conductors. For instance, Yevgeny Mravinsky’s interpretation, wich for me is a model reading, lasts 43 minutes. The Bernstein recording – just over an hour, mainly due to slowed down tempos. I do not conceal the fact that for our orchestra, wich has always played Tchaikovsky’s symphony in traditional, classical tempos, this has been a cause of considerable difficulty. But in this particular case we should not forget that, rather than on a symphony in the direct sense of the term, we are working on a ballet where it is the visual dimension that is important. Vladimir Andropov Conductor


For the first time in DVD, BEL AIR CLASSIQUES present Petipa’s extravaganza, “The Pharaoh’s Daughter” , in a stunning production by Pierre Lacotte. Recreating the spectacular sumptuousness of the original, the ballet tells the tale of a young Englishman who dreams he elopes with a Pharaoh’s daughter.

Despite a desert storm, a lion hunt and an attempted suicide, the couple finally wins the Pharaoh’s blessing to their marriage.

>From its creation in 1862, Petipa’s grandiose ballet was a sensational success; its stupendous costumes and striking scenery, its exotica, romanticism and drama appealing to audiences as much as the virtuoso choreography. The Bolshoi Ballet and the two soloists Svetlana Zakharova and Sergueï Filin are at their best in spite of the difficulty of Pierre Lacotte’s choreography.

Special features : a documentary about the creation of the ballet at the Bolshoi and an exclusive interview of Pierre Lacotte.

PRESS REVIEW (from the performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London August 2004)

“Living the Egyptian dream” The Independent Review Monday 9 August 2004

“Only the Bolshoi can present, in Svetlana Zakharova and Sergey Filin, two artists with the technical bravura and the emotional allure to make the piece so attractive” Clement Crisp – The Financial Times Monday 9 August 2004

“Svetlana Zakharova and Sergei Filin were simply astounding” Michael Coveney

“Fun on the Nile with the Boshoi” Louise Levene

“A romp in Egypt” Sarah Frater – Evening Standard Friday 6th August 2004

  • Director: Vincent Bataillon, Denis Caïozzi
  • Bonus: Interviews and documentaries (43+11+13+16 min)
  • Length: 130, 133 & 145 min - Image: 16/9 NTSC
  • Audio: PCM Stereo / Dolby digital 5.1
  • Zones: All Zones - 3 disc(s) - Release date: