Daylight Leaves the Earth ballet

Dayling Leaves the Earth russian ballet

Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (6th Symphony)
Choreography by Anatoly Emelianov

“We all come to this world alone and leave it alone. All that remains for a person is his memories”

History of the performance


The Sixth Symphony by P.I. Tchaikovsky, known as “Pathetic,” was his pride. After the premiere on October 16, 1893, Tchaikovsky, who conducted the performance himself, said that he was proud of his work more than of any other composition. But the reaction of the public was unexpected for the composer, he noted that the symphony “caused some bewilderment.” Apparently, the audience was embarrassed by the unexpectedly slow, tragic, suffering-filled final..

And Tchaikovsky passed away in 9 days after the premiere of the Sixth. In memory of him, the performance of the symphony was conducted by Eduard Napravnik, the permanent conductor of the Mariinsky Theater. Almost all of Tchaikovsky’s operas were performed under his leadership. The audience, shocked by the gloomy final of the Sixth and the death of the composer following the premiere, could not but associate the work with Mozart’s Requiem, and the fate of Tchaikovsky with the fate of the genius Austrian, who worked on the last work before his death. The idea immediately came up that Pyotr Ilyich anticipated his demise, which he expressed in the finale of the symphony.

“Daylight leaves the earth” is an original author’s work, an experiment by Anatoly Emelyanov on the music of the Pathetic Symphony, an attempt to express the meaning of the great work in the language of ballet. This one-act ballet performed by the Crown of Russian Ballet Theater was created in memory of Natalia Sats for her centenary in 2003. The leading part was performed by the choreographer himself.

The Moscow public could see Daylight leaves the earth ballet at the Summer Ballet Festival in 2009, on the stage of the Youth Theater, and it was shown in  foreign tours of the “Crown”. Today, this show took its place in the repertoire of Modern Russian Ballet of the Emelyanov Dance Troupe.

The content of Daylight Leaves the Earth ballet

Anatoly Emelyanov created his one-act ballet with the elements of pantomime and theatrical action, having “read” in the Sixth Pathetic the story of one human life, which has already reached the finale. The design of the performance was also created by him and on the stage the viewer sees three successive scenery, symbolizing the hero’s past and his internal emotional state. A gray gloomy river with gray stones, resembling the Styx, appears in the moments of emotional torment of the hero. An idyllic picture of a blue house with a smart red roof, the lush green of the lawn is the hero’s happy memories of his childhood. At the moment of the staging of this picture, he is not an old man, pretty battered by life, in a black, far from new cloak drooping on a miserable thin figure, but one of carefree children catching butterflies with butterfly net. A gilded staircase descending into the hall is a symbol of “a beautiful life”, a part of the interior of the casino.

The main character of the play is an old man, recalling and rethinking the passing life. Many mistakes were made … Wandering among his own memories, he meets his young double, himself, who has not yet had time to do misfortunes with his own life. The old man is trying to warn the guy from imminent mistakes, but he is absolutely not able to see himself in the shaggy, untidy tramp in the future. The young man simply waves the annoying old man who reads moral to him aside and goes off to have fun.

The casino is the climax of the action. And a green game table with huge cards moving along with the corps de ballet appears. “What is our life? The game!”. The hero is completely inappropriate among frivolous girls and cheeky young people. These guys do not understand what this grim figure is doing at their fun party with the game and the girls. One beauty tries to seduce the hero- just for joke or out of boredom, and everything ends in a “all for one” fight.

The hero sequentially moves to the final – his own death. He has no place in life passing by him any longer, and it is impossible to correct previous mistakes. The last dream of the hero is himself again, but being a little kid. The kid with the net doesn’t look happy any more, as if anticipating a sad future. The dying old man in his last desperate impulse tries to reach this child, the only bright image left in his soul but he fails.

About performance Songs of Kursk.