One-act ballet to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra
The ballet premiered in Perm in 2011. Running time: 20 minutes
Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra was virtually the only composition by Tchaikovsky that had not previously featured in a ballet. Alexey Miroshnichenko staged the ballet in 2011 for the graduates’ concert at Perm State Choreographic College, but its life did not end there. Several of the graduate performers were subsequently invited to join the Perm ballet company. Variations... was included in the theatre’s repertoire and is still performed by the company’s leading soloists.
Libretto by Sergei Prokofiev, based on tales from Perm Province
Set design and production by Mikhail Larionov, with Sergei Prokofiev and Thadée Slavinsky
The ballet was written in 1921. This version was first performed in Perm in 2011. Running time: 1 hour
The Perm version of The Buffoon is a bold experiment combining the choreography of Alexey Miroshnichenko with set design and costumes based on the original sketches by futurist artist Mikhail Larionov for the first production.
Impresario Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Sergei Prokofiev to write the score for The Tale of the Buffoon who Outwits Seven Other Buffoons in 1914 on the crest of the success of Le Sacre du printemps, taking a collection of tales from Perm Province as inspiration. After selecting several stories about the resourceful Buffoon who cheats stupid rich men, Prokofiev wrote the libretto and quickly finished the piano reduction score of the ballet. The completion of the work was interrupted by World War I; the première of The Buffoon did not take place until 1921. Until recently, the ballet had completely disappeared from choreographers’ field of vision.
The Buffooness, the Buffoon’s wife
Their seven daughters
A nanny goat
Once upon a time there lived a Buffoon. The Buffoon had a Buffooness for a wife. One day, the Buffoon was sitting on his big Russian oven and thinking about what kind of joke to play. The Buffooness was washing the floor. The Buffoon had an idea, jumped off the oven, and said, “Look here, my girl. There are seven buffoons coming over. I’ll tell you to cook us a meal, you refuse, and then I’ll pretend to kill you. When you fall over, I’ll pick up that whip. When I hit you the first time, you move a little. The second time, you turn over. And then the third time, you get up and make like you’re going to cook for us. Then we’ll sell the whip for lots of money.” No sooner said than done. Seven buffoons appeared, saw the miracle, and paid three hundred roubles for the whip.