Premiere at the Mikhailovsky Theatre: 2 September 2021
The Little Humpbacked Horse, Ivanushka and his envious brothers Danila and Gavrila, the Maiden Tsar, and the other characters have all been transferred from the pages of the wondrous fairy tale by Pyotr Ershov to the ballet stage. A peasant son, Ivanushka, with the help of a plain-looking horse who becomes his loyal friend, overcomes all his trials, puts the stupid Tsar to shame, takes his place, and marries the Tsar Maiden. The tale, familiar from childhood, is told with mischief and slyness. The music is by eminent composer Rodion Shchedrin, who wrote it as a young man while studying at the Conservatory. It sparkles with fun and creates freedom for choreographic solutions. In his production, Mikhail Messerer faithfully observes the choreography of Alexander Radunsky, who was the first to use this score and created a performance on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1960. The full-length three-act production is a delight for children and adults alike, sure to be enjoyed by everyone who appreciates ballet performed in the classical tradition. The stage design uses motifs from Palekh miniatures, offering a very special take on fairy tales and folklore.