Paganini ballet

russian ballet troupe

Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Choreography by Anatoly Emelianov

Paganini is original choreographic incarnation of the famous “Rhapsody on Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninov

This ballet is a reflection of good and evil, the fate of a serene musician, surrounded by a halo of secrets, as well as the burden of fame of the great artist. Thanks to the expressive music, saturated with contrasts, the ballet freely develops on stage, drawing the audience into a riot of colors, a world of movements and great art.

This ballet is a reflection of the good and evil, the fate of the rebellious musician, surrounded by a halo of mystery, and the burden of the glory of ingenious artist …

Origin of Paganini ballet

Sergey Rachmaninoff (1.04 – 20. 03. 1873 – 28. 03. 1943) is a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late romantic period. Some works by this author are the most popular in the romantic repertoire.

Sergey Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff was born in a family of musicians and mastered the piano already at the age of four. In 1982, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and already at that time composed several pieces for piano and orchestra. In 1987, the composer fell into a four-year depression due to criticism of Symphony No. 1 and could not create before the start of special therapy. After rehabilitation, he enthusiastically finished the Piano Concerto No. 2. For 16 years, Rachmaninoff worked as a conductor at the Bolshoi Theater, and then went to explore Germany and the United States.

In 1918, Rachmaninoff went to the United States due to the Russian revolution. The composer created only six works, the list of which includes “Rhapsody” for Paganini, “Symphony No. 3” and “Symphonic Dances”. Due to poor health, the composer moved to Beverly Hills, California. A month before his death, he received American citizenship, but it was impossible to fight progressive melanoma.

In the work of Rachmaninoff you can feel the influence of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and other domestic composers, but the author has his own style, rich in lively orchestral notes.

The plot of “Paganini”

Paganini ballet is a fantastic one-act performance in six episodes. In the first episode, we see the stage where a young Paganini plays. The audience in front of the author enjoys the playing of the composer. Spectators enthusiastically listen to the music of Paganini – pale as death itself, skinny as a skeleton, with hollow cheeks, but burning eyes. Between the rows of spectators immersed in observation, several characters glimpse – Gossip, Slander and Lies, driven by Envy. They rush past the audience and mimic the violinist, nullifying all his efforts. Over time, it begins to seem to the public that it’s Satan himself who drives the young Paganini. A long shaggy hand of the Devil appears, who controls the musician, then a swarm of demonic hands appears. They move the bow, rearrange the strings, clamp them, and begin to extract a whole stream of pizzicato sounds from the instrument. Behind the sinister dance of demonic hands, the true appearance of the great violinist disappears. The Devil with his grinning goat face is behind him. Despite this, the audience continues to be fascinated by what is happening on the stage. Further, Gossip and Envy calm down, and the fog of black hands disappears. Musical Critics undertake the work, carrying with them holy art, driven by Envy and Powerlessness. The violinist starts his brilliant play , however, the audience decides again that the talent of the performer came from the Devil. Then the exhausted and pale Paganini ends his game with his bow raised.

May, meadow. Boys and a girl who starts her dance gather in the meadow. Suddenly Paganini appears, gesturing strangely and laughing terribly. Under the gaze of the violinist, the beauty stops dancing. Her body trembles like a leaf in the wind. The man smiles and the girl decides to run away. The violinist breaks into the circle of young people, rips the guitar out of their hands and starts playing. The company is fascinated by the game of Paganini, the girl returns and begins to dance again, but now her dance is like a groan. The musician slowly leaves, continuing the play. He is followed by a company of young people.

Paganini looks at the notes, but tears them. His soul yearns for pure and high music. He gets up, grabs the violin and surrenders to the power of bright spirits. The violin radiates good music.

Paganini is surrounded by his doubles. All of them brilliantly perform music as well as brilliantly dance. Doubles surround the man and cover him with their bodies. He is disappearing …

An old and sick violinist wakes up: Death is approaching  him. He stretches his hands for the violin, as if to the last defense. Leaning it to his chest, the musician wants to play some notes, but the soul leaves his body. His enviers stand with bare heads.

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