Forever Timeless. Leonid Yacobson's Ballet Masterpieces

07 Jul 2022 19:00 | Alexandrinsky Theatre

 

This unique show celebrates Leonid Yacobson, an 20th-century outstanding choreographer, and features carefully restored legendary productions by the great master: The Wedding Cortège one-act ballet and brilliant choreographic miniatures from two cycles, Rodin and Classicism-Romanticism. The première marks the 50th anniversary of the first concert programme that Yacobson wrote for his troupe and successfully put on-stage in June 1971.

The Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre puts the unique creative heritage of its founder, who in many ways changed the face of Leningrad/St. Petersburg ballet and the world theatre overall, back on the playbill. After a prolonged hiatus, the troupe will once again present the choreographic interpretations of Rodin's sculptures, which once shocked contemporary audiences with their eroticism; the dancers will also perform the masterful Pas de Deux, set to Mozart's music, for the very first time. The young members of the Yacobson troupe are currently rehearsing with tutors who, in turn, studied under the master himself.

Leonid Yacobson (1904-1975), founder and art director of the Choreographic Miniatures troupe, which now bears his name, was known as the main "troublemaker" of Soviet ballet. People who tried to chaperone him, and make him more ideologically sound, were probably frightened of how unpredictable his imagination was. Today, he gets it into his head to revive Rodin's art by dressing the performers in tight, nude-shaded overalls: it's one thing to look at embracing stone sculptures and quite another to watch the unbridled passion of intertwining living bodies. And tomorrow, he puts on The Wedding Cortège, with its sympathetic, Chagall-style portrayals of miasteczko residents, and with such timing, too: right in the middle of the global campaign for allowing Jews to freely leave the USSR! Next, he decides to mock the petty bourgeoisie in his Bedbug, just as the hunt for fancy Czech furniture is in full swing. So it's hardly surprising that the repertoire of the Choreographic Miniatures troupe was under special control: the choreographer, who finally got a theatre of his own at the age of 65, was downright gushing with ideas, which he kept staging with youthful enthusiasm.'

Tatyana Kuznetsova, Kommersant

 

'Had Leonid Yacobson (1904-1975) lived in a different place and time than the USSR, with its "ideologically compliant" art requirements, the centenary of his birth would have been celebrated in wider circles than just professionals and people in the know. But Yacobson happened to create his works in such an era that encyclopaedias always end up stringing "Soviet" in front of "choreographer" when they talk about him. Under the iron curtain, he was doomed to remain nearly unknown in the wider world, although his contribution to ballet history is no less important than that of Petipa or Balanchine.'

Maya Krylova, Nezavisimaya Gazeta

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Information

Act I
Pas de quatre (Music by Vincenzo Bellini)
Pas de trois (Music by Gioacchino Rossini)
Pas de deux (Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Sextet (Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Taglioni's Flight (Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Act II
The Wedding Cortège (music by Dmitri Shostakovich)
Eternal Spring (music by Claude Debussy)
The Kiss (music by Claude Debussy)
Eternal Idol (music by Claude Debussy).
Ecstasy (Music by Sergey Prokofiev)
Minotaur and Nymph (Music by Alan Berg)