The Bronze Idol

inspired by the Petersburg tale The Bronze Horseman
by Alexander Pushkin

ballet in two acts

music by Reinhold Glière

1 hour 30 minutes
for viewers over 12 years old

This fantasy ballet is based on Pushkins poem The Bronze Horseman and invites the audience to see the characters through the eyes of the poet, whose pen inexorably controls their fates. Choreographer Lar Lubovitch and set designer George Tsypin reveal the paradoxical nature of the creative process: the poet chooses the future for his characters but, at the same time, is captive to his own idea. Kommersant wrote: The characters in the ballet are phantoms roaming the streets  some of the numerous St. Petersburg ghosts whose shades fill and enliven the city.

Act I

Scene 1. Festival of St. Petersburg
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin sits at his desk and hopes to write a poem. He imagines the mythic figures and great heroes of history and literature but on this day, he cannot find inspiration in their stories. So, he decides to write a poem about an ordinary man. Nobody really. Just a common little man who will leave home to search for his place in the world. He decides to name his young hero Evgeny. Pushkin imagines a girl, too. Parasha, a simple country girl. She will wait for Evgeny to return to her one day. But how to begin? The poet thinks of his beloved city of St. Petersburg. He imagines a wonderful day when the people of St. Petersburg have gathered together to celebrate the unveiling of a glorious new statue of Tsar Peter riding a beautiful stallion. Yes! he thinks to himself. This is where Evgenys story will begin! I will call it The Bronze Horseman.

Scene 2. The Flood
It is raining. Pushkin walks through the streets of St. Petersburg. He thinks only of his poem and the fate of the young lovers he has separated with his story. Suddenly he is reminded of a rainy day long ago. A terrible day, when so much rain fell that the waters of the Neva rose to swallow his beloved city and take the lives of many people. He realizes at once that the flood has to be Evgenys destiny. Pushkins heart is torn when he imagines Evgeny and Parasha parted forever by tragedy. In his mind, he sees an image of them together, he sees the rain, he sees the flood rise around them, he sees them overwhelmed by the forces of nature. For his poem to continue Pushkin knows that he must rescue Evgeny. But it is beyond his control to save Parasha. After all, he is merely a poet.

Act II

Scene 1. Evgeny and the Bronze Horseman
St. Petersburg has been destroyed. With Pushkins help, Evgeny wanders through the wasteland searching for Parasha. No matter where he looks, he cannot find her. In his grief and confusion, Evgeny has a fantasy that the Bronze Horseman has become real and is chasing him through the ruins of St. Petersburg. He has a vision of Tsar Peter riding his wild stallion with Parashas broken body in his arms. Is he losing his mind? Is this only a nightmare? He pleads with Pushkin not to write the story this way. But Pushkin is without pity and knows what he must do. He tells Evgeny that he will wander the streets of St. Petersburg for the rest of eternity, searching for his lost Parasha.

Scene 2. Return to St. Petersburg
How can I end this poem? Pushkin wonders. What remains? St. Petersburg! The golden city on the Neva! His beloved St. Petersburg will rise again and live forever.

Premiere of the production (under the title "I love you, Peter's great creation..."): 25 May 2016

Libretto and Choreography: Lar Lubovitch
Stage Designer: George Tsypin
Costume Designer: Ann Hould-Ward
Lighting Designer: Clifton Taylor
Choreography Assistant: Katarzyna Skarpetowska
Musical Director of the production: Mikhail Tatarnikov
Conductors Assistant: Igor Tomashevsky
Adaptation of the Third Symphony by Jesse Limbacher

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