Kschessinska was made in the image of champagne: a history of ballet

Petipa was no slouch: he embezzled

the Ballet Talisman Petipa set in 1889 (exactly one year before the “Sleeping beauty”). Music for it was written by the famous conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo, and this work became his first “full-length ballet” (previously wrote only one-act “the Enchanted forest”). The premiere took place on January 25 in a benefit performance of the Italian ballerina Elena Cornalba, one of the dancers, which in Italy is called prima ballerina assoluta. The Russian ballet was the era of the Italians-virtuosos, which in the next decade and will put all the performances: “the Sleeping beauty”, “Nutcracker”, “Swan lake”, “Raymonda”…

Indeed, at first I thought that the libretto of “the Talisman” was written by Petipa. However, shortly before the premiere in St. Petersburg, the newspaper reported that its real author is a Moscow playwright Konstantin Tarnowski. Newspaper “Minute” then wrote: “nine Years ago, K. A. Tarnowski at the suggestion of V. P. Begichev, the then inspector of the repertoire of Moscow theatres and wrote the program of the ballet “the Talisman” and handed it to Ms. Samansky, which for its part gave the program the city of Petipa, which was intended to invite to Moscow for staging this ballet.” But the show never saw the light, and Tarnowski had forgotten about it until I read in the press the contents of the new ballet by Petipa. And Petipa as usual assigned the essay himself, but after talks with Tarnow theatrical management in the poster appeared two authors: Tarnowski and Petipa.

Crazy success accompanied this performance is in those years when he walked on stage. Incidentally, before the revolution, according to its popularity “Talisman” competing with himself “Swan lake”. But, oddly enough, the premiere was reserved by the public. Despite; another argued that Nijinsky “went up by a whirlwind to a height that his head was hidden behind the proscenium”.

Nirriti at the premiere of 1909 was danced by Olga Preobrazhenskaya, it was her farewell benefit. And the role of the Maharajah of Eldeen played Mikhail Fokin. More than a year on 31 January in party of Nirriti came and Mathilde Kschessinska, who was to speak at the premiere, but sprained his ankle. The new costumes Shervashidze was so impressed by the ballerina that she had ordered costumes to their performances not only in “the Talisman”, but in “Pharaoh’s Daughter”. In her memoirs she wrote: “the Talisman” was always my lucky ballet, and very winning. But since then, what has happened to me to make it P. Vladimirov, the ballet this even more win when in the second step, Vladimirov portrayed the Genius of the wind and flew onto the stage, carrying me on your shoulder, it made a huge impression.” Critic Yuri Belyaev saw in Kshesinskaia a glass of champagne to that dancer was presented to the public.

the Last time this ballet has appeared on billboards in 1926: it was reinstituted for the final performance of the Leningrad ballet school, where furor dancing Olga Jordan, and Alexei Ermolaev. What this 16-year-old graduate of his teacher Vladimir Ponomarev altered and even more equipped with the virtuoso technique of the male variation from “Talisman”.

Thunder and lightning on stage

What was this Talisman? As in “La Bayadere” earlier in Marius Petipa’s ballet on the stage before the audience appeared a mysterious ancient India, the mysterious celestial spirits, Raja, Indian warriors, fakirs, snake charmers, dancers-La Bayadere. And besides, even slaves, and the merchants of the Delhi marketplace — as in “Le Corsaire”. Because the action takes place in the realm of the king of Delhi Akdar, where and brought the Maharajah of Lagord — WellRegina. Lagor (Lahore), recall, is located on the territory of modern Pakistan, but the subtleties of geography Petipa never bothered: ballet — art conditional.

Confusing and vague plot with an abundance of actors in four acts, seven scenes with prologue, epilogue and the apotheosis of the story of how the daughter of the lady of the heavenly spirits, Nerite (so we will have the habit to call it that) accompanied by the wind God Vayu down to earth to pass the statutory tests to the gods: it must not succumb to earthly temptations, or you will lose the immortality. But the goddess falls in love with an earthly human Eldeen, who accidentally took a gift to her mother, protecting talisman. Without this talisman, Nirriti will not be able to return to heaven, and the man that gets hold of them should voluntarily give it to.

Here’s how Nirriti with its companion the wind God Vayu looking for a lost talisman, and built a plot outline of the play. The Central duet of the first act, which, together with Cornalba danced performing at the premiere of the role of the Eldeen Paul Gerdt, was called L’etoile perdue (“Lost star”). The God of the wind with the magic wand in the second act conjured spirits of all elements and ordered them to find the lost star.

In search of the star characters of the ballet had been in a fantastically beautiful garden of the king of Delhi Akdar, where was held the ceremony of the Eldeen and daughters of Aldara of Damayanti; and on the Delhi market, where the God of wind Vayu appeared in clothes of a brahmin, and Nirriti was his slave, which he tried to sell the Eldeen in exchange for the star; and in the hunting shack, where Eldeen brought stolen at the market and stuffed in the bag the daughter of the goddess.

However, it is not the plot, but luxury decoration, the scale of production and, of course, the choreography made the “Mascot” is so popular. According to reviewers, in just one prologue around the lady’s celestial spirits at the premiere in St. Petersburg was located a large group of geneIEV air, consisting of 56 people, and at the end of the third act of the “final pa d action gives a magnificent ensemble. Dancing and live groups involved over 200 (!!!) man.”

“the curtain Rose, and had really excellent decoration Bocharova — wrote the “St. Petersburg Gazette”. — There has been a great master and expert in his field! Picturesque groups, the diversity and luxury of the costumes brought the deserved applause of the audience.” And even more amazed by the special effects, which, in fact, lure the audience. “Rising storm, thunder and lightning” accompanied almost every outing of the God of wind, the appearance of which at the end of the first pattern of the first act, according to the libretto, the roof Indian home — a bamboo hut of a weaver of the NAHL, where is the first picture, literally opened up and the God of wind “together with Ella (or Nerite. — P. Y.) was up in the air”. In the picture depicting the spirit realm dungeon with the heroes and all the spirits went down and the hatch came out sometimes flames.

And crowned with the ballet, as, indeed, all the ballets of Petipa, the epilogue-apotheosis, where a crack in the wall of the mountain Lacoste in which the events of the last operation, and before the public gaze on the throne sat the Queen of the celestial spirits, surrounded by fairies, sylphs and Genii, and the character with the talisman in hand (finally Eldeen gave it to her), ready to take off. But… seeing the Maharajah crying and realizing that he will die without her, released the star and rushed to the breast of the beloved. So, preferring the love of heaven, she refused immortality. In General, as always, love to win!

Dance with eggs and a suicide attempt

And everywhere the story was accompanied by dancing. Wrote the reviewer of “Petersburg newspaper”: “Petipa’s work, as they say, in the sweat and put such an abundance of dance, Adagio and art groups what would be enough for two ballets”.

In the hut of the weaver of the NAHL, where originally and came down from heaven, and Nirriti and Vayu, the NAHL and his bride Neroli danced Danse Hindoue, i.e., Indian dance, which was “a version of our Caucasian lezginka”. And then Nerite danced “the Dance of the first sensations”, touching the earth unknown to her subjects, and, as the libretto tells us, “expressed the joy these new sensations she was taken”.

In the gardens of the king of Aldara — about the triumph of beauty in the scene La Ruse (“Ruse”) from the ground suddenly grew bushes of Bengal Rozanov, and from each came a dancer. And the Queen of the flowers in this garden were Nerite, effectively performing the dance “Bengal rose”. Then came the dance gems that have turned to the spirits of the elements, “graceful begging for a star” from the Eldeen. It was Petipa and many other equally amazing dancing. For example, Indian Kathak, performed “Eastern bliss and plastic movements,” or dance of the Himalayan mountaineers. And jalalabadskaya dance of the bayadères “full flexible, graceful and beautiful movements.” And the dance eggs, of course, served under the French title La danse des oeufs, so named because of its performer (Zhukov 1-I) danced, holding a basket filled with eggs. A year later, Petipa “Sleeping beauty” composed for Zhukova’s party little red riding hood, in hands at which was the same basket, only without the eggs, but with pies.

Before the audience brought the choreography Mature 71-year-old Petipa Petipa… the last period. And in the ballet “the Talisman,” the wizard has summed up preliminary results of his work. Many episodes are evoked Parallels with other ballets, marching on the Petersburg stage, including the Petipa. Already voluminous libretto can be seen that some parts written off “the Talisman” from “La Bayadere”, the other from las. Now these records are worth their weight in gold and are in the archive of Harvard University. They had already restored many of the classical ballets — “Sleeping beauty”, “Raymonda”, “Bayadere”, “don Quixote”, “Coppelia”, “Le Corsaire”, “Nutcracker”, “Swan lake,” “the Harlequinade” and some others.

However, in the Harvard archives there are three file relating to the performance of “the Talisman”… And one of them just contains a permutation of the scenery of one of the acts of this ballet, and the actual choreography is the entry of just one of the ensemble of the second act for 6 people and also a record of variation (pizzicato). And that’s all.

But how then to recreate the ballet? There is another method of restoration of old ballets, invented by French choreographer Pierre Lacotte. They restored such ballets as talnivska “La Sylphide”, “Butterfly”, “Nathalie or the Swiss milkmaid”, “Pharaoh’s Daughter”, “Marco Spada”, “Paquita” and many others. This is the “fancy” method — when relying on their own deep knowledge about the disappeared ballet, memoirs of contemporaries, the images in the engravings and paintings, choreographer fantasizes how he would look. Here greater care is provided and ballet reviews that appeared immediately after the premiere.

in Fact, such a “fancy” method, the “collective” style “under Marius Petipa’s” ballet “Talisman”, and was re-staged for the Buryat ballet a graduate of the Moscow Academy of choreography, Alexander by Mechutanim. In the past it dancer Musical theatre. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow and other Russian ballet companies, he is currently the artistic Director of International ballet school in Tokyo, where he met the famous collector ballet raritetov and historian of Russian ballet Kenji Usui. Japanese ballet theoretician gave the choreographer he found in Padua the piano score of the ballet “Talisman”, which Mishutin and used for the production of his play. Based on the choreographer took a version of Nikolai Legat. By the way, before this performance Milutin managed to put a ballet Petipa’s “Harlequinade”, which was working with the notation of Stepanov.

Mention the fact that the ballet was staged under Marius Petipa, we somewhat overestimate the work of choreographer: many of the scenes he took from Petipa’s almost ready. Quotes are only slightly altered: something from “La Bayadere”, something from Corsair, something from other ballets Petipa, and anything at all from the ballets of the era of romanticism in ballet. However, the Director did not hide this, saying that rebuilding the choreography for “sketches” of Petipa, inspired by the pictures, the rest of his performance. Colorful scenery and costumes for the play was created based on surviving sketches of artists Levota, Bocharov, and Shishkov, marked “the Mascot”.

And what a well-preserved and is now super popular pas de Deux from this ballet, which is danced in all competitions and almost all gala concerts?

Alas… Miraculously preserved, pas de Deux, Petipa propisyvayutsya, does not belong to him, and was raised a connoisseur of the classics Pyotr Gusev based on the Petipa only in 1955, that is, in the decades after the ballet had vanished.

by the Way, where in the play was Petipa’s pas de Deux is not quite clear. Most likely, at the very end of the prologue and was called Grand pas d ensemble. After the premiere of “Petersburg newspaper” wrote about this scene is that in the Adagio, rich acrobatic tricks, the performer of the role of the Hurricane “Chickety literally threw the ballerina, which, like feathers, gently and quietly back down.” Cornalba solo variations “, was surprised polietly and classic tantsami” and Chickety — “combat caper, and such rounds in the air which we saw on our ballet stage in the continuation of many years.”

the Name of Petipa has already become a collective. Its authorship is credited with almost the whole of classical choreography of the XIX century. So it was with a pas de Deux from ballet “Talisman”. However, such a circumstance is not uncommon for creativity Petipa. So, the Director of the third version of the ballet “Talisman” Nicholas Legat in his memoirs, he admitted that he has put during the life of Petipa in his later ballets, “a pas de Deux and male variations, which went under his name.”