New production of the ballet "The Little Humpbacked Horse" in St. Petersburg
It has passed more than half a century since Rodion Shchedrin - even as a student at the Moscow Conservatory - composed the score for the ballet "The Little Humpbacked Horse" based on the same fairy tale by Pyotr Yershov. The work was in many ways an important milestone in the life of the young composer. Shchedrin commented this as follows: "The music for the ballet 'The Little Humpbacked Horse' was one of my first, still very early works. This work was also a significant part of my life, which was important for my artistic self-assertion and defined much in my life. During this work I have'trapped' with my musical hands a supernatural firebird Maya Plisetskaya (note: his wife). This score is dedicated to her". The ballet was premiered at the Bolshoy Theatre in 1960 with Maya Plisetskaya in the role of the Tsar's daughter and conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky. It remained over decades a crowd-puller. The story about the honest farmer Ivan, who could perform a lot of miracles with the help of his magic horse and finally became Czar, filled continuously with enthusiasm everyone.
In the year 1999 a new production of the ballet was made at the Bolshoy Theatre, for which Shchedrin composed the second version consisting 2 acts. In cooperation with choreographer Nikolay Androsov as well as with the stage designer Boris Messerer the famous children's ballet was transformed in a Russian fairy tale ballet.
At the IX International Ballet Festival "Mariinsky" the Mariinsky Theatre from St. Petersburg showed a new performance of "The Little Humpbacked Horse" on 14th March 2009. The initiative for the revival of this ballet came from Valery Gergiev. Under his musical direction the work was performed in the choreography of Aleksey Ratmansky (Set and costume design: Maksim Isaev / Lighting design: Damir Ismagilov).
"The current production of 'The Little Humpbacked Horse' is a great and long-awaited pleasure for me ... Aleksey Ratmansky is acclaimed everywhere as one of the most vibrant choreographers of our time. I always dreamed that he would turn his visions and ears on my score ... I like his production very much. It is compatible with the modern aesthetic and integrates within mischievousness, irony, allusion to the past, present and future ... It is full of subtle, unobtrusive and easy readable humour. A brilliant work! ", said Rodion Shchedrin. Maya Plisetskaya was also very pleased with Ratmansky's staging, with the many innovative choreographic solutions and very sophisticated level of the dancing.
The next performances of the ballet "The Little Humpbacked Horse" will take place in the Mariinsky Theatre on 9th April at 7 p.m. and on 12th April at 11.30 a.m. They will be conducted by Aleksey Repnikov.