One-act ballet to music from Giuseppe Verdi's operas Les vêpres siciliennes, I Lombardi, and Il trovatore
Choreography by Jerome Robbins
First staged in 1979, the ballet had its première in Perm in 2007, and was restaged in 2017. Running time: 40 minutes
The Four Seasons is a brilliant example of neo-classical choreography. The story of this theatrical work began when Jerome Robbins wrote Spring, a choreographic miniature to music by Verdi, to be performed by New York City Ballet soloists Kyra Nichols and Peter Martins. The production enjoyed great success, and the choreographer decided to present all the seasons of the year in a similar fashion. This resulted in the creation of a divertissement dating back to the old traditions of court ballet.
The piece requires the performers to have a good sense of humour in addition to technical virtuosity. In his typical manner, Robbins dilutes lyricism with jokes: Thus, in Winter, for example, the "snowflakes" first feel cold from the frost, rubbing their frozen bare shoulders, and then, having "warmed up", spin around in a whirl of dance.
One-act caricature ballet to music by Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise in A major (op. 40, No. 1); Berceuse (op. 57); Prelude (op. 28, No. 18); Prelude (op. 28, No. 16); Waltz in E minor (posthumous edition, op. 15); Prelude (op. 28, No. 7); Mazurka in G Major (posthumous edition); Prelude (op. 28, No. 4); Ballade (op. 47, No. 3). Orchestration by Clare Grundman
Choreography by Jerome Robbins
First staged in 1956, the ballet had its première in Perm in 2007, and was restaged in 2017. Running time: 31 minutes
The Concert is a rare example of a comedy in ballet; it is often called a caricature ballet. "One of the pleasures of attending a concert”, Robbins commented on his conception of the piece, "is the freedom to lose oneself in listening to the music. Quite often, unconsciously, mental pictures and images form, and the patterns and paths of these reveries are influenced by the music itself, or its program notes, or by the personal dreams, problems and fantasies of the listener. Chopin’s music in particular has been subject to fanciful 'program' names such as the Butterfly Etude, the Minute Waltz, the Raindrop Prelude, etc."
The production’s plot flits between the novels that comprise it. The ironic tone is initially imparted to The Concert by the pianist who blows age-old dust off the piano before sitting down to play. From the very first sounds, the fantasies he plays seem to generate little eccentric scenes as if inspired by the music: an ecstatic ballerina wearing a hat, stopping motionless with her arms wrapped around a grand piano; dancing girls, confused in their movements and colliding with each other in their leaps; a married couple in which the husband is contriving plots in order to eliminate his annoying wife and replace her with a thin-legged lover, who, in turn, sees herself as a butterfly... When the pianist, following his own overheated imagination, suddenly abandons the piano and grabs a butterfly net, the audience bursts into applause.