CHOPINIANA Music by Frederic Chopin (suite of piano pieces orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov) Choreography by Mikhail Fokine Premiere: February 23, 1907 Marinski Theatre, St. Petersburg Chopiniana grew out of Chopin’s Seventh Waltz and had its premiere on February 23, 1907. The favorite oeuvre of its creator, Mikhail Fokine, this work has now become standard repertoire for many of the world’s leading theatres. Chopiniana does not have a traditional plot. The curtain opens to reveal a picturesque group of ballerinas, frozen in anticipation, the embodiment of the Young Man’s dream. The women rise like a romantic vision, circle around the Young Man, spread out like a light fog and then freeze again in their original poses. This ballet is in one regard, a timeless poetic example of stylization, and in another, a work set distinctly in its own period. Fokine incorporated the cultural experiences of the past and the blossoming ideas of the present, thus saturating the work with universal significance. It is not the characters in the ballet that develop, but rather the themes, moods, and feelings. -INTERMISSION- ROMEO AND JULIET AFTER WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGEDY Full-length Ballet Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowski Original choreography by Marius Petipa Restaged by Yuri Vetrov Prologue The souls of Romeo and Juliet meet together in Queen Mab’s world of dreams. They tell us the story of their life and love. Scene one Daybreak. Dreamy Romeo walking along the street meets his bosom friends Mercutio and Benvolio. Time passes and the street fills with people. The three friends are in the center of the crowd. The Capulets come. Mercutio picks a quarrel and a terrible fight begins. Women appeal to fighters to stop. Scene two Juliet is playing hide-and-seek with her Nurse. The old woman tells her that the young girl will grow up soon and turn men’s heads. The appearance of Juliet’s parents with Tibalt and Paris stops the game. All the family prepares themselves for a ball. Scene three The ball in Capulet’s house. Always the joker, Mercutio has neglected Queen Mab’s prediction about a misfortune at the Capulet’s ball. He put on a woman’s dress and began to flirt with Tybalt. For the first time, Romeo catches sight of Juliet. The two young hearts join in love. Tybalt sees Romeo and gets angry. Mercutio hurries to help his friend and attracts the wrath of Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet meet after the ball and speak together of their feelings. Nothing can separate them now, neither families standing, hatred nor even death. Scene four Mab plays with a rapier, Life and Death balance on its tip. Who will be the first to stick a rival’s breast? Scene five It’s merriment and revelry in the street. The crowd greets its heroes Mercutio and Benvolio. They see Juliet’s Nurse and decided to play a trick on her, but the Nurse has a very important message for Romeo. She must tell him that Juliet is waiting for him in the church. Still playing with the old Nurse, Mercutio and Benvolio don’t notice that Tibalt and his knights have passed by them. Remembering their fooling Tybalt at the ball, Mercutio and Benvolio have a good laugh at his expense. Scene six Romeo arrives at the church where Juliet awaits. With their deep love, they marry in the eyes of God. Scene seven Romeo’s friends are still conversing with Juliet’s Nurse when the Capulets appear and break the pleasant mood. Tensions increase. Tybalt now understands the trick that was played on him at the ball. To regain his dignity, he has decided to fight Mercutio. Tybalt and Mercutio begin their battle. Arriving just in time, Romeo and Juliet try to reconcile the fighters but all in vain. Shortly, Mercutio is mortally wounded. As he dies, he asks Romeo to avenge his death. Romeo picks up the battle and kills Tybalt. Juliet is in despair, she accuses her beloved of her brother’s death. But Queen Mab is above these human passions and accompanies Tybalt and Mercutio to her spirit world, free of hate and enemies, and the living. Scene eight Juliet has been betrothed to Paris, but refuses to cooperate, which angers her parents. Juliet feels alone in the world. After killing Tybalt, Romeo is exiled and only dreaming can unite her with him. Juliet cries for death and accepts a potion from Queen Mab. She falls into a deep and lasting sleep. The next morning on her wedding day, the Nurse is unable to wake Juliet. Everyone thinks she is dead. Her parents lament and the heart- breaking news is delivered to Romeo. He immediately goes to Juliet’s side, but doesn’t want to believe she is dead. In desperation, Romeo asks Mab what to do but Mab keeps her silence. Stricken with grief, Romeo kisses Mab, but it’s a kiss of death and Romeo falls to the ground. Shortly, Juliet awakes, but only to find her lover dead. She runs herself through with Mab’s rapier to join Romeo, where their love overcomes the death and they live on in eternity. Epilogue A glooming peace this morning with it brings. The sun for sorrow will not show his head. Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished; For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.