Armenian National Ballet
Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre
June 03, 2023
by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2023 by Ilona Landgraf
“Cipollino” (Little Onion) sounds like a ballet made in Italy. Though inspired by the Italian children’s story “Il romanzo di Cipollino”, by Gianni Rodani (1920 – 1980), the ballet came into life miles away in Kiev. Henrich Mayorov (1936 – 2022), a Russian-Ukranian choreographer, turned the fairy tale into a two-act ballet to which Karen Khachaturian contributed a catchy score. Since its premiere in 1974, “Cipollino” has become a fixture of many eastern companies. I watched it in Yerevan, the home base of the Armenian National Ballet which I visited for the first time.
Where there is a little onion, adult onions aren’t far away. In fact, “Cipollino” employs an entire onion family – mother Cipolla (Mariam Aslanyan), father Cipollone (Artur Karchikyan), their daughter Cipolette (Marina Baghdasaryan), and their plucky son Cipollino (Gor Sargsyan) – plus a bountiful harvest of fruit and vegetables. Among them are the young, dauntless Little Radish (Tatevik Grigoryan), the lonely Count Cherry (Milton Kirakosyan), and the beguiling Magnolia (Nare Markosyan). The violin-playing Professor Pear (Vahe Babajanyan) belongs to the town’s folk, as does the homeless Godfather Pumpkin (Davit Kghbelyan), who’s busy assembling brick stones for constructing his own shelter. (more…)