Scheherezade, Les Sylphides, Polovtsian Dances

Choreography – Michael Fokine
Director Andris Liepa

Les Sylphides is romantic dreams of a poet. Light-winged sylphs dancing to piano music written by Frederic Cho- pin, arranged for orchestra by A. Glazunov. The ballet does not have complicated moves, quite the opposite, the movement of dancers is so deliberately simple, as though they are dancing for themselves, and not in front of the audience. Mikhael Fokine created Les Sylphides in the very beginning of the 20th century. It first premiered in 1907 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The second version was shown as part of Diaghilev's Russian Seasons in 1909. The soloists were Tamara Karsavina, Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. Those pieces by Chopin that would later become a part of the "Diaghilev" version of Fokine's ballet had not yet been arranged by Glazunov, and were arranged for the Paris premiere by G.Gershwin, S.Taneyev and A.Liadov.

Choreography by Michael Fokine
Director Andris Liepa

Ballet based on the story of one of the fairy tales of «Thousand and One Nights» — «Of King Shahryar and his brother» was staged by Mikhael Fokine in 1910 as part of Sergei Diaghelev's non-repertory productions, to the music of the symphonic poem by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's titled Scheherazade. At the premiere Ida Rubinstein danced the part of Zobeide and Vaslav Nijinsky danced the part of the Golden Slave. The ballet about the vicissitudes of love in the Sultan Shahriyar's palace went down in history of world of dance as a revolutionary choreographic text soaked in passion as much as it was humanly possible in early twentieth century theatre.
Second act ballet fragment of Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor
Choreography by Michael Fokine
Director Andris Liepa

Ballet fragment of Alexander Borodin's opera "Prince Igor" became an independent and much loved ballet, in the ballet world, almost immediately after its first performance in 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre.

Mikhael Fokine directed the Polovtsian Dances for Diaghilev's repertoire in 1909. Here is what he wrote in his memoirs: "Where did my moves come from? I would say from the music. I came with sheet music from Borodin under my arm, and those were my only weapons. No one could bring me down. All the images were clear to me and I believed that even if the Polovtsi dancers didn't dance like this at all, this was the only way that they could dance to Borodin's orchestra. Subsequently, very soon, these dances became Diaghilev's the pride and joy and one of Russian Ballet's biggest victories.