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Fountain of Bakhchisarai

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(orig. Russ. title Bakhchisaraisky fontan)

Ballet in four acts with choreography by Zakharov, libretto by N. Volkov, music by Asafiev, and design by Khodasevich. Premiered 28 Sept. 1934 by GATOB in Leningrad with Ulanova, Vecheslova, and Mikhail Dudko. It is based on Pushkin's poem of the same title and tells the story of Maria, a Polish princess who is abducted by Khan Girei. Though she does not return his love she still arouses the jealousy of his chief wife Zarema who stabs her. In his grief the Khan builds a fountain of tears to Maria's memory. It was Zakharov's first and most successful ballet and a seminal work in the evolution of Soviet dramatic ballets, both in its use of literary sources and in its application of Stanislavsky's theatrical methods to the creation of realistic dance characterization. It was subsequently staged at the Stanislavsky Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre in Moscow, Apr. 1936 and at the Bolshoi Theatre in June 1936, and has been revived by many East European and Russian companies. Nijinsky's father, Foma Nijinsky, choreographed a ballet on the same subject in 1892.

Subjects: Performing artsDance

Reference entries

Alexander Pushkin (1799—1837)