Ballet, two acts
Libretto by V.Burmeyster as adapted by Andrei Petrov
Choreographer-director is Andrei Petrov
Artistic director is Stanislav Benediktov
Assistants to Artistic director are Lyudmila Charskaya and Valery Ryzhov
The image of a Snow Maiden is unique for Russian culture and for the art of choreography in particular.
Pyotr Ilyich Chaikovsky’s music for the magic play “Snow Maiden” written by Alexander Ostrovsky turned out to be a real masterpiece, one of the most inspired compositions full of light and rich colors of picturesque fairytale images.
In P.I.Chaikovsky’s creative career the “Snow Maiden” became a kind of a bridge from the first composer’s experiments and ingenious insights to the “Swan Lake” and “Eugene Onegin”. As P.I.Chaikovsky himself admitted, he liked the play “Snow Maiden” so much that without whatsoever effort he wrote the whole music within three weeks.
This spring fairy tale gained the power of an ancient ethnical myth on the stage of the State Kremlin Palace as directed by Andrei Petrov, the Kremlin Ballet Theatre’s artistic managing director. A superb stage, magnificent costumes, grand decorations, expressive in their dramatic way talented principal performers – all of it makes an unforgettable impression on both a grown-up and a young spectator.
The performance is accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra Radio Orpheus (Artistic managing director and Principal conductor - Sergey Kondrashov).
In the land of Berendei, where they worship the sun god Yarilo, the Snow Maiden lives on a magic hillock. Her parents are Frost and Spring, her friends – the snowflakes and Leshy. Spring is in the air. The snow¬flakes whirl around the Snow Maiden and slowly melt away – the Snow Maiden is sad without her friends.
A glade near the village of the Berendei from which the Snow Maiden observes mortals. Enter a pair of lovers, Kupava and Misgir.
The Snow Maiden longs to join them and to experience the hitherto unknown to her mysterious feeling of love. She is captivated by Misgir.
The Snow Maiden persistently begs Frost to let her go into the world of mortals. His daughter’s passionate wish arouses strong misgivings in Frost and also in Leshy and the winds. At his wits’ and, Frost refuses to cede to his daughter’s entreaties. Enter Spring, accompanied by flocks of birds. She realized that their daughter’s wish to be among ordinary mortals is insuperable. An anxious Frost and Spring let the Snow Maiden go and the latter departs to her unknown, new life.
The village of the Berendei. Its inhabitants are celebrating the end of winter. Enter the Snow Maiden. All are entranced by her extraordinary beauty. Bobyl and Bobylikha ask the Snow Maiden if she will be their daughter, and she joyfully agrees.
Spring has come to the village of the Berendei. The trees are turning green. Nature is hard at work. The Snow Maiden dreams of love. All the village lads court her as well as the shepherd Lehl, but he is too flighty and empty-headed. The Snow Maiden thinks only of Misgir.
The spring wedding rites of the Berendei. Girls weave garlands out of the first spring flowers and present them to their sweethearts. Kupava gives her garland to Misgir. The young men give chase to the girls in the hope that their choice will be sealed by a rite. Enter the Snow Maiden. Misgir is charmed by her beauty. He drops Kupava, and hurries after the Snow Maiden. Kupava’s garland falls to the ground.
A desperate Kupava tells King Berendey about Misgir’s perfidy. He has infringed the wedding rites of the Berendei and has disgraced Kupava. Berendey forbids Misgir to attend the festival in honor of Yarilo, the sun god.
Night. The valley of Yarilo, the sun god. The Berendei gather togeth¬er to greet the dawn. In defiance of the King’s command, Misgir is here too. And so is the Snow Maiden. She confesses her love to Misgir. King Berendey and the inhabitants of the kingdom of Berendeyeva are help¬less in the face of such powerful love. The King declares Misgir and the Snow Maiden to be man and wife. Lighting up the valley, the first ray of sun-shine picks out the Snow Maiden who melts and disappears. All those present are horrified. Misgir, out of his mind with grief, throws himself into the lake. The people grieve for the dead, but all the same they praise Yarilo, the sun god, and offer up thanks to him for the coming spring.