Grand pas. Music by Frederic Chopin (Suite of piano pieces orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov) Choreography by Mikhail Fokine Sets and costumes by Elena and Sergei Radchenko
Premiere: February 23, 1907 Marinski Theatre, St. Petersburg
Chopiniana grew out of Chopin’s Seventh Waltz and had its premiere on February 23, 1907. The favorite oeuvre of its creator, Mikhail Fokine, this work has now become standard repertoire for many of the world’s leading theatres.
Chopiniana does not have a traditional plot. The curtain opens to reveal a picturesque group of ballerinas, frozen in anticipation, the embodiment of the Young Man’s dream. The women rise like a romantic vision, circle around the Young Man, spread out like a light fog and then freeze again in their original poses.
This ballet is in one regard, a timeless poetic example of stylization, and in another, a work set distinctly in its own period. Fokine incorporated the cultural experiences of the past and the blossoming ideas of the present, thus saturating the work with universal significance. It is not the characters in the ballet that develop, but rather the themes, moods, and feelings.