Choreography : Roland Petit
La Dame de Pique
Music : Piotr Illitch Tchaïkovski
Symphony n°6 "Pathétique"
With Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Ilze Liepa and Svetlana Lunkina
Music : Anton Webern
With Svetlana Lunkina and Yan Godovsky
Orchestra and Ballet : Bolshoi Theatre
Conductor : Vladimir Andropov
La Dame de Pique
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.