Tag Archive: Sergei Vikharev

Growing With the Legacy

Bolshoi Ballet

Bolshoi Theatre
Moscow, Russia
March 23, 2019 (matinee)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2019 by Ilona Landgraf

1. A. Loparevich, “Coppélia” by M. Petipa and E. Cecchetti, revival and new choreographic version by S. Vikharev, Bolshoi Ballet 2019 © Bolshoi Ballet / E. FetisovaWhat would Sergei Vikharev have thought of his “Coppélia” if he had watched the matinee on March 23? For one thing, he wouldn’t appreciate my calling the work “his”, as it is Petipa’s and his assistant Cecchetti’s 1884 choreography that Vikharev, together with ballet scholar Pavel Gershenzon, meticulously revived from Nicholas Sergeiev’s notation. Vikharev’s reconstruction premiered in 2009 with the Bolshoi Ballet with an updated revival planned for 2018/19. However, fate struck in the summer of 2017 when Vikharev, only fifty-five years old, died from an adverse reaction to anesthetic during a dental treatment. As a result, the company re-staged the 2009 version. (more…)

Petipa’s Vapid Aesthetic?

Maryinsky Ballet
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden, Germany
December 21, 2014

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2014 by Ilona Landgraf

1. V.Tereshkina and ensemble, “Raymonda” by M.Petipa in the version of K.Sergeyev and with choreographic fragments by F.Lopuchov, Maryinsky Ballet © N.Razina 2014“Raymonda” in several aspects marks a turning point amidst the classics. Premiering in January 1898 at the Maryinsky Theatre it was Marius Petipa’s last grand ballet before being gradually disempowered at the Imperial Theatre from 1903 on. By comparison, its score was Alexander Glasunov’s first attempt at ballet music. Relatively unknown as composer, he had been chosen to fill the gap caused by Tchaikovsky’s death in 1893. Though not pleased at first when he faced the kind of detailed array Petipa had used to predetermine Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet scores, Glasunov nonetheless produced varied, colorfully romantic music which won him public appreciation. Albeit a pillar of the ballet repertory in Russia, “Raymonda” attracted little attention abroad possibly because of its unconvincing libretto. Set in medieval times in Southern France, it’s about a young noble lady Raymonda who waits for her fiancé Jean de Brienne’s return. Being an Hungarian knight, he’s off crusading in the Holy Land. While preparing for the celebration of Raymonda’s birthday (or, depending on the text source, name day) the Saracen knight Abderakhman appears as one of the well-wishers. (more…)