Carnaval (ballet)

Carnaval (ballet)

Carnaval (Russian: Карнавал) is a ballet of the Ballets Russes, based on the music of Robert Schumann's, Carnaval, for piano, as orchestrated by Aleksandr Glazunov, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatole Liadov, Alexander Tcherepnin. It was choreographed by Mikhail Fokine to his own libretto, with costumes designed by Leon Bakst, and premiered in Pavlovsk on 5 March (old style, 20 February) 1910.

The leading dancers of the Imperial Ballet were engaged in the production: Tamara Karsavina (Columbine), Leonid Leontiev (Harlequin), Vera Fokina (Charina), Ludmila Schollar (Estrella), Bronislava Nijinska (Papillon), Vsevolod Meyerhold (Pierrot), Vasily Kiselev (Florestan), Aleksandr Shiryaev (Eusebius). The ballet became world-famous due to its production by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Teater des Westens, Berlin, 20 May 1910), with new sets and costumes by Bakst, with Lydia Lopokova as Columbine and Vaslav Nijinsky as Harlequin. On 14 September 1933, the ballet was revived in London by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (staged by Woizikovsky) for Alexandra Danilova (appearing as Columbine).

Plot outline

The curtain rises on three ladies pursued by three swains. Then Charina and Estrella appear. Suddenly Pierrot appears anxiously through a curtain and dances with long sleeves flapping, as if in search of love. Harlequin bounds in and teases him.

There is a scene with the dreamy Eusebius and Chiarina, one with Estrella and Florestan, and another with Pierrot trying (and failing) to catch Papillon in his hat.

Columbine and Harlequin tease the pompous Pantalone and are eventually betrothed. The Philistines are routed by all the dancing couples, and Harlequin binds Pantalone with Pierrot's sleeves.

For the benefit performance, the chasing of the Philistines took place in the audience, but this action later took place on stage.

Among the outstanding variations were the "solo" by Harlequin, where he finished one series of pirouettes by slowing down and sitting on the final chord, a "pas de trois" by Estrella and two friends, and a "duet" by Harlequin and Columbine, in which his steps were performed to the melody of the flute and clarinet and hers, in counterpoint, to the strings.

History

Le Carnaval was created in three spontaneous rehearsals in 1910 for a charity performance in Pavlov Hall, St. Petersburg, to benefit the magazine "Satyricon".

When Fokine was approached by two young men involved in the publication (Mikhail Kornfeld, later to be its publisher, and the later-famous poet Potemkin) they gave him free rein, although they mentioned that the theme of the event was to be carnival. The choreographer immediately thought of Schumann's "Carnaval Suite for Piano", which he had long admired.

Score

It has musical references (to Chopin and Paganini), literary ones (to the four "commedia dell'arte" characters Harlequin, Columbine, Pierrot and Pantalone), and stage directions written in after it was completed.
There are also autobiographical references to Ernestine Von Frichen, with whom Schumann was in love when he was very young, to Clara Schumann, his wife, and in the final section of the music, entitled "Marche des Davidsbundler contre les Philistines", to the composer's advocacy of the "new" art, as against the conservation of the old. The "Davidsbund" was an artistic society invented by Schumann as a foil to the conservative musical establishment] .

Libretto

The libretto was put together by Fokine and Leon Bakst and has no real plot; rather it is a series of light, humorous, and joyous incidents combined with some moments of poignancy and an undercurrent of satire.
The four charactes of the "commedia" are complemented by Florestan, representing the impulsive side of Schumann's nature, Eusebius, the thoughtful solitary side, [These distinctions were made by Schumann himself.] Estrella (Ernestine), Chiarina (Clara), Papillon, a fluttering lady, six light-hearted couples, and four Philistines.
For the gallant males, coquettish females, and lovers who teasingly accept and reject each other, Fokine devised numerous "pas de deux", "pas de trois" and "pas seuls".

Costumes and Sets

They illustrate another instance where the role of the designer, in this case Bakst, was of utmost importance.

His sketches for the costumes gave Fokine further inspiration for the finely etched characters he created. The simple set— the ante-room of a ballroom delineated by a curtain running all around the stage and up to the flies, with two chandeliers and two small striped sofas— as well as the costumes, were designed in the style of Biedermeier.

Even the traditional "commedia d'arte" figures were altered slightly to fit this viewpoint. The set had evidently the effect of making the dancers appear smaller- thus making the audience feel even more strongly that they were watching a finely tuned miniature.

Analysis

Carnaval seems to have been the most delicate, most exquisite ballet Fokine ever created, as well as the most difficult to pinpoint.

As was the case with many of his works, the roles depended to a large degree upon the talents of the original performers, and if one looks at just the steps (except for the one Harlequin solo) they are almost simplistic. It was the infusion of lightness, gaiety, coyness, and self-absorption, combined with an underlying sadness- all of which must be contributed by the dancers- that resulted in what most critics of the time regarded as a most effective adaptation of Schumann's music and characters.

Recent attempts to reconstruct the work in England, Sweden, and the United States have had varying degrees of success. This is because the roles must be created from within each individual performer, not from externally imposed steps or gestures. They require someone like Fokine himself to elicit this from the dancers- an almost impossible task.

Notes

Sources

Bremster, M. (ed.) 1993. "The International Dictionary of Ballet", 2 vols. (Detroit: St James Press) ISBN 1-55862-084-2


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carnaval (Schumann) — Carnaval is a work by Robert Schumann for piano solo, his op. 9, written in 1834 1835. Schumann dedicated the work to the violinist Karol Lipiński. The work is subtitled Scènes mignonnes sur quatre notes (Little Scenes on Four Notes). It consists …   Wikipedia

  • Carnaval De Paris — Le Carnaval[1] de Paris fut durant des siècles un des plus importants du monde. Succédant à la Fête des Fous il est une très grande fête dès le XVIe siècle. Sommaire 1 Histoire du Carnaval de Paris 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval de paris — Le Carnaval[1] de Paris fut durant des siècles un des plus importants du monde. Succédant à la Fête des Fous il est une très grande fête dès le XVIe siècle. Sommaire 1 Histoire du Carnaval de Paris 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval De Limoux — Bande au carnaval de Limoux Le carnaval de Limoux est un carnaval qui se déroule à Limoux dans le département de l Aude. Il dure 3 mois de janvier à mars tous les weekends et la semaine folklorique. Il se caractérise par une alternance de sorties …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval de limoux — Bande au carnaval de Limoux Le carnaval de Limoux est un carnaval qui se déroule à Limoux dans le département de l Aude. Il dure 3 mois de janvier à mars tous les weekends et la semaine folklorique. Il se caractérise par une alternance de sorties …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval (Schumann) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Carnaval, Op. 9, es una composición de Robert Schumann para piano, escrita en 1834 1835. Consiste en una colección de piezas cortas que representan las revelaciones del Mesías en las fiestas de Canaán. Schumann le da …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ballet de Colombia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El Ballet de Colombia de Sonia Osorio ha recorrido el mundo durante 48 años llevando como bandera la más alta expresión del folclore colombiano. La mezcla perfecta entre la pureza del folclore colombiano y la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Carnaval de Paris — Au Carnaval de Paris 2011, place Gambetta, un groupe de joyeux carnavaleux pose au pied d un géant venu de Belgique. De gauche à droite : Antoine Charneau, Alexandra Bristiel, Gabrielle Savelli et Basile Pachkoff …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval de Limoux — Bande du carnaval de Limoux las coudenos Bande au carnaval de Limoux Le carnaval de Limoux est un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Carnaval des animaux — Le Carnaval des animaux Fichier audio Le Carnaval des animaux …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”