The spectacular ballet brimming with extravagance and exotics has once again taken its place in the repertoire of Russia’s main opera and ballet house, the Bolshoi Theatre.
The Pharaoh’s Daughter, the Caesar Puni's ballet in the stage production of Pierre Lacotte has been resumed on the Historical Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. This large-scale performance based on Theophilus Gautier's novel Romance of a Mummy and Egypt is a landmark of the Bolshoi Theatre.
The Pharaoh's Daughter as staged by world-renowned Pierre Lacotte from France premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2000. The current reconstruction is the second in a row already. In 2012, Pierre Lacotte arrived in Moscow to resume the performance in connection with the opening of the Bolshoi Theatre's Historical Stage upon its repair. At that time, he updated the choreography, having combined the dance of the 19th century with complex modern elements. In several scenes he left the original choreography of Marius Petipa. It is interesting to note that Marius Petipa himself created The Pharaoh’s Daughter ballet within five weeks only, and the stage life of this extraordinary ballet has been going on for more than a century and a half. Although Puni's music is not always considered outstanding, Pierre Lacotte stands up for the composer. He believes that the music composed as a background for the dance should be just the way it is in this ballet – vivid and sonorous.
The Storyline of Pharaoh’s Daughter
A young Englishman, Lord Wilson, travels through Egypt with his servant John Bohl. The travelers get acquainted with Arab merchants and, when the sandstorm begins, take shelter in a pyramid along with them. In the tomb there, the mummy of Aspicia, the daughter of the powerful pharaoh is kept. The people hiding in the pyramid smoke pipes and get enveloped in this special smoke that brings amazing visions to them...
Everybody changes: Lord Wilson turns into a beautiful Egyptian youth named Taor and his servant becomes an Egyptian named Passiphont. The pyramid walls move apart and revived mummies come out of their sarcophagi. Among them is beautiful Aspicia, the pharaoh’s daughter, surrounded by maids. Taor and Aspicia look at each other and fall in love at first sight. However, the obstacles are many on their way to fulfilling love. Once a lion attacks the beauty and Taor saves her, then Aspicia rescues Taor from the wrath of her father, the pharaoh.
Afterwards a new misfortune befalls them as the pharaoh decides to get his daughter married to the Nubian king. The lovers rush to flee but the Nubian king overtakes them. Fleeing from the unwanted marriage, Aspicia plunges herself into the Nile.
The Nile is a river, but in the visions the Nile becomes a living creature, the ruler of the underwater kingdom.
He fulfils Aspicia's will and bringing her back to land, alive and unharmed. She runs to the palace to her father - and just in time - because Taor captured by hostile forces is sentenced to death. But Aspicia narrates her adventures to Pharaoh, and he agrees to his daughter's marriage with Taor.
The dreamed of happiness looks to be so close... But all of a sudden the vision is over as Lord Wilson wakes up and finds himself back in the pyramid, where he was overcome with a wonderful dream...
When: at 7 pm on Friday, July 20 and 21, 2018
Where: the Bolshoi Theater, Main Stage at the address 1, Teatralnaya Square, next to metro Okhotny Ryad, Moscow.
Author: Vera Ivanova