St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Daphnis et Chloé


Premiere of Maurice Ravel's ballet choreographed by Michel Fokine – 8 June 1912, Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
Premiere of the ballet choreographed by Vladimir Varnava – 16 November 2019, Mariinsky Theatre

Running time: 50 minutes
The performance without an interval

Age category 12+


Music by Maurice Ravel

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Production Choreography: Vladimir Varnava 
Production Designer: Pavel Semchenko
Costume Designer:  Pavel Semchenko
Lighting Designer: Igor Fomin

The plot about Daphnis and Chloé is hundreds of years old. The story of the amour of the young shepherds was told in Ancient Greece, when pastorales were written from nature and their creators, it would appear, sincerely believed that their heroes were assisted by nymphs, while the gods and the wise forces of the nature never permitted any injustice. The production team are not imagining how this could have been in the golden age of the childhood of mankind, and they are not telling to us this fable that has survived through actual people, rather they are contemplating whether modern man has retained that idyllic condition of union with the surrounding world amid civilisation's current franticness. The choreographer and the designer have opted to compare images of modern-day office-dwellers with the imagery of untouched nature, releasing the flow of the chronology from the chaos of the industrial world in favour of a harmonious life more in keeping with the laws of nature. Through this labyrinth of searching for freedom from the regulatory framework imposed by society, choreographer Vladimir Varnava leads his heroes not by means of the classical pas typical for Mariinsky Theatre dancers, but instead barefooted. And, accompanied by Ravel's spellbinding music, they invite us to immerse ourselves meditatively in the world of the production, where the imagination and openness to sensations and associations are "must-haves" for the audience. Olga Makarova

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