Roland Petit : Pique Dame / Passacaglia


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Pique Dame” (set to a music by Tchaikovsky) and “Passacaglia” (set to a music by Anton Webern) : two Roland Petit masterpieces brought together one memorable evening at the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow.

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Roland Petit : Pique Dame / Passacaglia


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.’’


“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


Roland Petit : La Dame de Pique / Passacaille [DVD]

 : Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony n°6 ‘’Pathétique’’

Libretto : Roland Petit
after Alexander Pushkin

Hermann : Nikolai Tsiskaridze
The Countess : Ilze Liepa
: Svetlana Lunkina
Chekalinsky : Georgiy Geraskin

: Anton Webern

with Svetlana Lunkina                            
Yan Godovsky

Soloists and Corps de ballet of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Moscow

Orchestra of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Moscow

Conductor : Vladimir Andropov

Choreography : Roland Petit

Sets: Jean-Michel Wilmotte
Costumes : Luisa Spinatelli
Lighting design : Marion Hewlett

Technical informations

HD recording : Bolshoi Theater | 05/2005
TV direction : Denis Caïozzi
Release date : 23 February 2006
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

: BAC212
Barcode : 3760115302129
Running time : 134 min.
Film : 91 min.
Bonus : interviews Roland Petit, Nikolay Tsiskaridze & Ilze Liepa (ST : French / English / Russian)
Libretto : FR / ENG
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0