THE SNOW QUEEN
Ballet-journey in 2 acts
Libretto by Viacheslav Samodurov, based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen
Choreography by Viacheslav Samodurov
Music by Artem Vassiliev
Premiere in St. Petersburg
April 13, 2017, 19:00
A bright, flying, light, multi-coloured performance that will amaze and surprise children and make adults ponder.
In new Samodurov’s Snow Queen the substrate from the Christian moralite was recoded into the philosophical parable about finding yourself.
[Ballet] in a very Andersen style hides in the form of a fairy tale a deep and frightening idea of loneliness, parting and empty heart.
Why the Dance Open starts the programme of the festival with The Snow Queen?
Well, it is one of the major Russian premieres of the 2016/2017 Season. It is an amazing and rare example of the cooperation between a theatre and a contemporary composer: the ballet scores were commissioned to Artem Vassiliev and they were created in a duet with choreographer Vyacheslav Samodurov (isn’t it reminiscent of the work of Prokofiev and Lavrovsky on Romeo and Juliet?)
It is the feast for the eyes thanks to the scenography by the prominent graphic designer Eric Belousov, who has made his debut in theatre with this work, and costumes by Irena Belousova.
The quest fairy tale with fantastic characters and magical transformations will entertain any child while an adult audience will think about how one can lose contact with the loved creatures even when staying close to them. And, maybe, they will pay a bit more attention to their little Kai and Gerda.
In a new Snow Queen there are many features of a classical ballet, but this is a modern ballet that looks with envy on musicals, feels passion for the new opera directing and regularly visits Avant-guard museums.
Choreographer — Viacheslav Samodurov, the winner of the Golden Mask Award
Conductor — Pavel Klinichev, the winner of the Golden Mask Award
Production Designer — Eric Belousov
Costume Designer — Irena Belousova, the winner of the Golden Mask Award
Light Designer — Nina Indrikson
Gerda — Miki Nisiguti
Kai — Alexey Selivestrov
The Snow Queen — Larisa Lyushina
The Flower — Mikhail Khushutin
The Grandmother — Nadezhda Shamshurina
The Crow — Igor Bulytsin
The Starling — Evgeniy Balobanov
The Bird — Karina Rafalson
The Little Troll — Yana Merinovich
The Old Robber Woman — Anastasia Bagaeva
The Citizens (soloists) — Daria Abakumova, Viktor Mekhanoshin, Maria Astanina, Maxim Klekovkin
The Citizens — Anastasia Bagaeva, Olesya Mamylova, Daria Chernysh, Yulia Selkova, Xenia Panova, Francesca Bancetto, Yulia Koroleva, Camila Abrakhmanova, Yana Merinovich, Evgeniy Balobanov, Ivan Mokhnatkin, Roman Igoshev, Vadim Yeremin, Gleb Alferov, Vsevolod Shamshurin, Anton Guzeev, Alexey Markov
The Snowflakes (1 act) — Inna Avdeeva, Natalia Druzhinina, Tatiana Mevkh, Diana Yeremeeva, Liri Vakabayashi, Yana Guzeeva, Elena Safonova
The Blue Trolls — Mikhail Nikolaev,
Konstantin Khlebnikov, Felix Konkov, Ivan Sobrovin
Waltz at the Conservatory — Olesya Mamylova, Yana Guzeeva, Anastasi Rakitina, Karina Rafalson, Gleb Alferov, Roman Igoshev, Gleb Sageev, Tomokha Terada, Natalia Druzhinina, Veronika Selivanova, Liri Vakhabayashi, Tatiana Mevkh, Maxim Klekovkin, Evgeniy Balobanov, Ivan Mokhnatkin, Stepan Kosygin, Daria Abakumova, Elena Safonova, Anastasia Bagaeva, Maria Astanina, Konstantin Khlebnikov, Anton Guzeev, Vadim Yeremin, Vsevolod Shamshurin
The Robbers — Viktor Mekhanoshin, Mikhail Rafalson, Anton Guzeevm Vsevolod Shamshurin, Ivan Mokhantkin
The Snowflakes (2 act) — Elena Safonova, Tatiana Mevkh, Inna Avdeeva, Diana Yeremeeva, Liri Vakhabayashi, Regina Abdyusheva, yulia Selkova, Xenia Panova
The Guardians — Maxim Klekovkin, Evgeniy Balobanov, Fidan Daminev, Stepan Kosygin
Libretto The Snow Queen
The garden in front of the house of Kai and Gerda, the last days of summer. The grandmother transplants the garden rose in a pot in order to bring it back home in wintertime. The children play with their friend The Crow. The autumn comes and the winter follows it. The Snow Queen and her retinue appear in the garden with the first frosts.
Picture 1. The House
The winter evening. The fireplace burns with the cozy fire. The life in the house goes its way slowly and Kai is bored. He invites the Grandmother and Gerda to dance around the rose. Suddenly strange things start happening in the room — the trolls appear. They want to stop the fun and kill the rose bush, but The Grandmother with the children drives them away.
Picture 2. The Town Square
At the town square the people enjoy the first snow. At this moment the Snow Queen with her retinue appears there. The Little Troll jumps out of the crowd and points out at Kai, his yesterday’s offender. The crowd runs away and the Queen orders to seize Kai. Under her spell the guy sees the world that surrounds him in gloomy colours and he cannot resist her promise to see the magical kingdom. The Snow Queen takes Kai with her.
The spring comes. Gerda and the Grandmother are waiting for the return of Kai. Only the Crow shares their sorrow with them — the town has forgotten about what happened to Kai. Gerda starts searching for him.
The First Trip
Gerda’s searches of Kai begin. She leaves the familiar world behind.
Picture 3. The Conservatory
Tired Gerda makes the stop in the unknown garden with the conservatory. The Flower finds her there. It tries hard to win her attention. Other flowers and birds come out of the conservatory and invite their guest to take some rest there. Enchanted Gerda forgets about everything, but here the Crow comes, he could not leave his friend in trouble. Gerda sees that the Crow holds the rose and leaves the Conservatory in haste. The Flower is very unhappy with her departure.
Picture 4. The Robbers
Gerda and the Crow get into the dark forest. Here they get caught by the robbers, they put the Crow in the cage and tie Gerda to the tree. The Old Robber Woman comes, she is not in the mood and she threatens to roast the prisoners on fire. In order to raise her mood, the robbers start to fool around, so that in the end they can barely stay on their feet. Gerda feels pity for them. In the depth of the forest the trolls appear and the robbers hide from them. The Trolls take with them the cage with the Crow. Gerda begs the Old Robber Woman to let her go in order to save her friends. The Robbers who are moved with Gerda’s kindness also plead the Old Robber Woman to free the girl and she finally agrees.
The Second Trip
Gerda wanders through a severe snow storm
Picture 5. The Snow Kingdom
Enchanted Kai is in the Castle of the Snow Queen. Gerda gets there and rushes to take Kai with her, but the Queen returns too fast. She gets furious and starts a severe snow storm that should kill Gerda. All the characters of the fairy tale come to rescue the girl.
Picture 6. Return
Kai and Gerda come back home to the Grandmother. The Crow is with them and they are surrounded by all those who Gerda encountered on her way: by the people from the crowd, flowers and birds, the shy Flower and even by the thunderous Old Robber Woman.
World Premiere: 10 December 2016, the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
Duration: 2 hours with one intermission