Forever Timeless. Leonid Yacobson's Ballet Masterpieces
Presented with one interval
the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation Leonid Yakobson
People’s Artist of USSR Valery Levental, People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev
The author of the video content is
Leonid Nikolaevich Yakobson
People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev, Tatyana Noginova, Anna Yakushchenko
Evgeny Ganzburg and Kamil Kutyev, Margarita Fominskaya
The revived show premiered on December 13, 2021
Shostakovich. Beyond Time: 4th International Art Festival
For the first time in far too long, the legendary Leonid Yacobson troupe is returning to the Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Dmitry Shostakovich!
Saint-Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre is a one-of-a-kind artistic company, which is considered a true gem of not only Saint-Petersburg and Russia, but the entire international culture scene as well. Many of the unique ballet productions created by its founder and ballet master can only be seen here, at Yacobson Ballet. Each new generation of this theatre’s performers is trained in the great master’s choreography, with all its nuance and artistic scope.
‘I began my creative foray into music theatre alongside Leonid Yacobson in 1930,’ Dmitry Shostakovich wrote in his behind-the-scenes recollections of the Golden Age production at the Mariinsky Theatre. ‘What an unforgettable evening! It seemed to me that Yacobson and I were born anew in art, and his choreographic interpretation made my music sound like never before. Ever since then, I would be consistently interested in Yacobson’s journey as an artist. I kept track of all the heated discussions that his work sparked in theatre circles.’
The composer took great joy in entrusting the choreographer with his music. Thus, the repertoire of Yacobson’s Choreographic Miniatures troupe gained three one-act ballets set to music by Shostakovich: The Mad Dictator, The Bedbug, and The Wedding Cortège.
The Wedding Cortège premièred shortly before Leonid Yacobson’s death in 1975. The choreographer himself counted this mini-ballet among his greatest masterpieces. The score is based on the last segment of Trio in E Minor for the Piano, Violin and Cello, which Shostakovich dedicated to the memory of his close friend Ivan Sollertinsky. And the set is the creation of Valery Levental, who translated Marc Chagall’s art into the language of stage design. The resulting show tells a heart-wrenching tale of a penniless young man, whose beloved is to be wed to a much wealthier groom.
‘He was especially fond of this ballet, staged it all in one breath. He could feel it was turning out amazing. The show was full of so many discoveries! Consider the Poor Groom’s duo with the Bride: so inspired, fantastical, truly in the spirit of Chagall! And that incredible closing monologue, performed by the Poor Groom! Yacobson came up with it in a single sitting, literally twisting my body into a knot,’ recollects former Choreographic Miniatures soloist Aleksandr Styopin.
Today, The Wedding Cortège is one of the most striking productions on the Leonid Yacobson Theatre’s playbill. It will be part of the programme that the St. Petersburg troupe will perform during the Shostakovich: Beyond Time festival in Samara. The Samara public will also enjoy other shows by Leonid Yacobson: The Swan, Cachucha, and Medieval Dance with Kisses miniatures and the Brilliant Divertissement one-act ballet, all restored this year; as well as the renowned Pas de Deux with Mozart’s score, Taglioni’s Flight, Pas de Quatre, and Pas de Trois. The Leonid Academic Ballet Theatre is currently the only company to play these choreographic masterpieces.
Pas de quatre (Music by Vincenzo Bellini)
Pas de deux (Music by Gioacchino Rossini)
Sextet (music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Pas de trois (Music by Gioacchino Rossini)
Taglioni's Flight (music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
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)
Despair (Music by Sergey Prokofiev)
Ecstasy (Music by Sergey Prokofiev)
Paolo and Francesca (Music by Alan Berg)
Minotaur and Nymph (Music by Alan Berg)