Little Humpbacked Horse

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(orig. Russ. title Konyok-gorbunok)

Ballet in four acts with choreography and libretto by Saint-Léon and music by Pugni. Premiered 15 Dec. 1864 at the Bolshoi Theatre, St Petersburg, with Marfa Muravieva and Nikolai Troitzky. It is based on the popular Russian fairy-tale by Pyotr Yershov and tells the story of Ivanushka, a young man who destroys the power of the wicked Khan and wins the hand of the Tsar-Maiden by accomplishing various spectacular feats with the help of the little Humpbacked Horse. It concludes with a grand divertissement celebrating the different nations of Russia, as Saint-Léon, consciously trying to appeal to Russian taste, was eager to include (his versions of) Russian national dance. In 1895 it was revived by Petipa at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, with a new prologue and apotheosis and some additional dances. Gorsky choreographed two later versions in 1901 and 1914 and though little remained of the original it became established as a major national ballet and a popular vehicle for ballerinas. Radunsky choreographed his own version to a new score by Shchedrin for the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, in 1960 and Belsky created his version to the same score for the Maly Theatre in Leningrad in 1963 as did Ratmansky in his new version for the Mariinsky (2009). The Radunsky version was filmed in 1961 with Plisetskaya and Vasiliev. The underwater scene from the Gorsky version is danced by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Subjects: Dance.

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