Ballet in one act to the music of a symphonic suite “Scheherazade” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The ballet was inspired by the life of one of the most amazing women of the 20th century - the last Empress of Iran Farah Pahlavi.
Her life journey is as remarkable as a fairy tale. The only daughter of an officer whose family, once affluent, was in a difficult financial state, she, nevertheless, had been highly educated and moved to study in France. Like many Iranian yong people who were studying abroad at this time she was on scholarship established by the Shah. During his official visits to foreign countries, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi met with most accomplished local Iranian students, and it was on one such occasion that he noticed Farah Diba, a student of the École Spéciale d'Architecture, and was completely charmed by her. Several months later she became his wife. Farah Pahlavi placed the heavy weight of being responsible for cultural and social life in the country on her shoulders. She was building hospitals, schools, kindergartens, she was fighting for women’s rights, and organized communes for lepers where they could live life more fully. She supported both traditional culture and modern art, through her patronage, dozens of artifacts from foreign collections were returned to Iranian museums. Farah had grown immensely popular among people of Iran, and in 1967 the Shah made an unprecedented decision — Farah was crowned, and became the first and only crowned Empress (Shahbanu) in the history of the country. It was not just the title that she received, but she was named to be the regent should anything happen to the Shah before the Crown Prince's 21st birthday. During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Farah Pahlavi, together with the Shah, was forced to leave Iran. Time took her husband and two of her four children away from her, but she herself is now in good health.
This is the second performance by choreographer Alexei Miroshnichenko that was inspired by non-artistic historical facts (created in 2016, his “Cinderella”, a reflection on the realities of the Soviet ballet world, has received the Golden Mask Award). And it is the first ballet he has done where choreography does not involve pointe work.
Alexei Miroshnichenko has worked on this ballet together with the team of artists, with whom they very often create in collaboration. Set designer Alyona Pikalova has masterfully placed artifacts and Items of Persian art into a symbolic world of the performance. Tatyana Noginova’s ballet costumes design reflects a true spirit of that historic period. Stage lighting set by Alexei Khoroshev has built an imaginary world that is on the borderline between reality and a fairy tale. And finally, the musical director of the premiere Artem Abashev is playing with our perception of time and space, making the symphonic suite of Rimsky-Korsakov shine with all the shades one can imagine.
Duration — 50 minutes.