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Ballet "Lady of the Camellias" at the Bolshoi Theater
October 30, 2018 17:43


John Neumeier presents his “Lady of the Camellias”, having combined the characters of Alexandre Dumas and Manon Lescaut to the music of Frederic Chopin on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
The ballet “Lady of the Camellias” was first performed in Stuttgart in 1978, and then its choreographer John Neumeier carried out the second edition for his own troupe in Hamburg. Now the author has transferred the performance to the Bolshoi Theater, which is quite natural. 
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The heart-rending love story with characters wearing historical stage costumes enjoys unfailing success and popularity at the legendary ballet house of Moscow. The ballet is based on the story of Marguerite Gautier, whose prototype was the famous Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis, once the lover of writer Alexandre Dumas, whose novel Lady of the Camellias became an inspiration for many theatrical figures. Shortly after its creation, Verdi got interested in this story - this is how the most popular opera La Traviata appeared. Later, the courtesan in love got into ballet - a lover of psychological plot performances, John Neumeier was not the first to make Marguerite and her lover Armand Duval dance passionately.
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The ballet unfolds the memories of inconsolable Armand Duval Jr., mourning his lost love at the time of the sale of the property of late Marguerita. Straining the beauty's dress and straw hat to his heart, Armand recalls their love story. It began at the Manon Lescot ballet at the Variety Theater. Armand introduces himself to long-desired Marguerita and is sincerely delighted with though he cannot help noticing the frivolity of the capricious beauty surrounded with admirers. 
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Then there will be luxury dance parties and country picnics, old dukes and young earls, courtesans on the boulevards and glitterati in the living rooms, the turbulent entertainment of gilded youth and the secret pleasures of privacy.
Eventually, Marguerita canceled on her devoted lover for her courtesan matters, but then visited him unexpectedly for a night of passion – only to dump him again afterward. At this point, he broke down and threw a pile of banknotes into the face of his beloved cheat. The former courtesan, being mortified and suffering from tuberculosis and poverty, will confide in her diary and give it to her loyal maid to hand it to Armand.
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The plot, which has become classical already,was cast by choreographer John Neumeier into a form completely different from the 19th-century ballet of the same name. The choreographer tries to tell the story as we remember it from Alexandre Dumas’ novel - non-linear, cinematographic and from utterly different points of view.

John Neumeier skillfully translates the heavy literary load into a non-verbal language. 

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Critics have already titled this ballet “the 20th century Giselle”, which is a huge compliment to the ballet's author. In one of his interviews, John Neumeier suggested that the analogy made by reviewers has to do with drama: “Lady of Camellias” stands out with the same cohesion of music, dance, and drama, like Giselle.

The ballet lasts for 3 hours 5 minutes with two intermissions.
When: November 27 and 28, 2018
Where: Bolshoi Theater at the address 1, Theater Square, next to metro stations Okhotny Ryad and Teatralnaya, Moscow.
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Author: Vera Ivanova

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