St Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre

The Kingdom of Shades scene from the ballet La Bayadère.
Grand pas from the ballet Paquita


Conductor: Conductor: Valery Ovsianikov

The Kingdom of Shades scene from the ballet La Bayadère

Nikia: Viktoria Tereshkina
Solor: Leonid Sarafanov
Trio: Yelizaveta Cheprasova, Yana Selina, Daria Vasnetsova


Grand pas from the ballet Paquita

Soloists: Alina Somova and Danila Korsuntsev
Variations: Yana Selina, Yekaterina Kondaurova, Valeria Martynyuk, Anastasia Matvienko

Age category 12+


Music by Ludwig Minkus
Choreography by Marius Petipa

The somnambular grand pas of the “Shades” is grandiose; here the aesthetic lynchpin is the huge ensemble, the architectonics of the corps de ballet constructions, and a veritable artistic revelation comes in the form of the monumental entrée, the entrance of thirty-two dancers, constructed on the bewitching repetition of one and the same pas.
And, ultimately, the aesthetics and symbolism of colour and light: in the two grand pas it is also placed in contrast. The colourful Paquita is as if filled with sunlight, the white-on-black “Shades” unfold in the “night-time”, surreal moonlight.
But despite all their dissimilarities, these works have one very important thing in common: they are both, first and foremost, a triumph of classical dance. They personify two images of the grand pas, two of its hypostases, and by contrasting them we are presented with a capacious and perfect image of the dazzling St Petersburg school.
Inna Sklyarevskaya


The jubilant Paquita is almost chamber-like in terms of its cast: apart from the ballerina and her partner, here there are only fourteen dancers – six soloists and eight coryphées. But they make up all the multifaceted structure of the choreography; the basis here is formed from the variation – not just as the principal component part, but also as a fundamental artistic principal, because all of the dances in the grand pas represent a glittering representation of the themes of the ballerina’s role. Moreover, the ensemble is structured in such a way that the variations of the soloists are easily replaceable: there are more variations here than numbers themselves, and each of the soloists has a free choice. The artistic pathos of Paquita is the glorification of female dance, and the artistic subject is a filigree, jewel-like representation of that and ornamentation in an enchanting variety of colours and pas.
Inna Sklyarevskaya

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