The Brilliant Divertissement
05 / 10 19:00

Presented with one interval
the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation Leonid Yakobson
Set design
People's Artist of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Okunev
The author of the video content is
Leonid Nikolaevich Yakobson
Tatyana Noginova, Anna Yakushchenko, People's Artist of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Okunev
Evgeny Ganzburg, Kamil Kutyev, Margarita Fominskaya
The show premiered on April 24, 2023
2 hours
1 intermission
05 / 10 19:00 Hermitage Theatre
The attendees will get to see not only the famous miniatures, which they may have already familiarised themselves at the Forever Timeless.


The attendees will get to see not only the famous miniatures, which they may have already familiarised themselves at the Forever Timeless. Leonid Yacobson's Ballet Masterpieces shows, but also all-new pieces that have just been restored: The Brilliant Divertissement, The Swan, Medieval Dance with Kisses, and Cachucha.

‘Our troupe was named after one of the most remarkable choreographers of all time, and preserving his ballets is both a duty and an honour. We are gradually reviving his masterpieces, with utmost care and respect,’ says Andrian Fadeev, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation and art Director of the Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre. ‘We have the only repertoire in the world that features Yacobson’s unique productions, and we are delighted to reveal this great treasure of St. Petersburg at different venues around the globe.’


The Brilliant Divertissement features Mikhail Glinka’s music as the background score and does not really have a clear-cut plot. It is set at a Louis XIV-era ball; the royal mayordomo acts as a master of ceremonies and gives each performer a courtly introduction.

The Swan is based on Camille Saint-Saëns’ legendary piece, Le Cygne, and pays homage to Michel Fokine, who was a major source of inspiration for Yacobson. This part of the genius choreographer’s heritage stirs up the most discourse: Yacobson’s version of the Swan, with black plumage rather than white, is not a fragile, delicate thing that surrenders meekly to its fate, but a fighter and a rebel that defies death to the last. Contemporaries speculated that this might have been Yacobson’s choreographic self-portrait.

Medieval Dance with Kisses is a miniature accompanied by Sergey Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 8 and inspired by the aesthetic of the Middle Ages: an exquisitely stylised portrayal of a grand feast from the olden days. In this work, Yacobson does not try to fully immerse the audience in a realistic scene from the life of Medieval nobility. Instead, the choreographer thinks more broadly: while he accurately conveys the overall atmosphere of the era, what he emphasizes the most is that behind the strict etiquette and prim high-society manners, are ordinary people that the modern public can relate to.

Cachucha, set to music by Pablo de Sarasate, is a vibrant and original interpretation of the eponymous Spanish folk dance that Yacobson, following his own logic, placed in the Classicism-Romanticism cycle. The cachucha dance, as performed by Fanny Elssler, became a hit during the Romanticism period, so when creating the miniature, Yacobson was inspired not as much by the Andalusian dance in and of itself, but rather by the antique print depicting this great 19th century ballerina. This ballet paints a portrait of Fanny Elssler, becoming an unusual compliment to her beauty and skill.



Act I
Miniatures from the Classicism-Romanticism cycle

Pas de Quatre
Music: Vincenzo Bellini

Pas de Deux
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Medieval Dance with Kisses
Music: Sergey Prokofiev

Music: Pablo de Sarasate

The Swan
Music: Camille Saint-Saëns

Pas de Trois
Music: Gioacchino Rossini

Taglioni’s Flight
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Act II
Miniatures from the Classicism-Romanticism and Choreographic Sketches cycles

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Music: Gennady Banshchikov

Pas de Deux
Music: Gioacchino Rossini

The Brilliant Divertissement
one-act ballet
Music: Mikhail Glinka

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