One of Leonid Yacobson's most unorthodox creations, The Bedbug is based on Vladimir Mayakovsky's eponymous play, with music by Dmitri Shostakovich (the second version).
The Bedbug is a satirical ballet, a poster coming to life, a nod to the ROSTA Windows propaganda series. Yacobson's creation echoes Mayakovsky's concept: the choreographer turns a dance performance into a magnifying glass rather than a mirror, and blows up the sins and passions of humanity to gargantuan proportions. Mayakovsky described his own poetry as 'ponderous, crude, tangible', and the same words can be applied to Yacobson's work.
The ballet's protagonist is the poet himself; he sweeps across the stage, bringing all the other characters into being as he appears to guide their movements and to outline the play's entire plot.
Yacobson's Mayakovsky is not only a poet; he also, in a way, comments on what is happening, expressing his attitude towards the characters he has just created — at times ironic, at times sympathetic, and at times mercilessly scourging.