Repertoire

Music by Georges Bizet

Carmen

Choreography & the author of libretto: Mikhail Venshchikov

The Art conception: Vyacheslav Okunev

Costume Designer: Tatiana Koroleva

Production of the video content: Viktoriya Zlotnikova

A Word from the Choreographer

The story of Carmen seems to be a decent occasion for anyone to self-analyse the own soul, and end up with a fact that the responsibility for the feelings of others is not what is normally peculiar to a man. The love triangle is ordinary a firm basement for any classical production. The Carmen’s triangle is involving Don Jose, Toreo, and Carmen herself, however, it doesn’t let us know, which character is to be blamed in a tragic outcome.

Each character has a right to be called an innocent as one has an idea about how one should live and act. Anyway, both Don Jose, Toreo, and Carmen are being under their own stereotype’s power. They attract and repel each other simultaneously. Striving for the idealistic harmony they are dreading it terribly. Therefore, the main characters are destroying the life of each other.

For the instance, we have been avoiding all the cliche, which had surrounded the story about Carmen for the past two hundred years of the performing. We has had a strong intent to represent the conscious naivety of Don Jose rather than blind following the passion. In Toreo – an attempt of the character to overcome his masculine internality. And finally, in the main character of Carmen – the wild fear of the loneliness and recognition the neither beauty, nor faith is able to salvage. Therefore, the structure of the one-act ballet performance, which has become traditional for such choreographers as Roland Petit and Alberto Alonso, in out opinion, didn’t seem to be full-fledged. This was the way two-act ballet has been created. One more reason, which explains untraditional structure is the music by Bizet itself. We have avoided any restrictions, choosing musical pieces among all the Bizet heritage, without a full focus on the music of the opera. As a decent result of this choice new senses and colours can be easily found out in the performance. This in fact has become a truly interesting and important task.

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1
Early in the morning, the working day begins at the cigar factory. Women roll cigars, complaining about the tediousness and monotony of their lives. Carmen shows up late. She’s slow to start working, and vehemently voices her protest against the boring routine.
A group of guards arrives to protect the factory. Carmen gets jealous of other women flirting with the soldiers. A fight breaks out. Jose, a young officer, tells his men to interfere and put the perpetrator under arrest. Carmen’s charm prevents him from enforcing the orders. Soon enough he’s completely captivated by her. Carmen seizes the opportunity and slips away.

Scene 2
During the siesta, the square in front of the factory is empty. Jose is trying to take stock of the situation. The feelings that Carmen has sparkled in his heart are new for him. Even the memories of his mother and bride waiting for him at home can’t obliterate the image of the proud gypsy girl.
All of a sudden, Carmen, who has been watching the young officer secretly, breaks into his gloomy thoughts. She amuses herself by blaming Jose for his insensitive attitude. Yet a reciprocal feeling is kindled behind the front of cold-blooded flirtations.
A fanfare announces the arrival of the soldiers, and the lovers  take flight.

Scene 3
In a dark room with the shutters closed, the Toreador is preparing for the bullfight. He’s tormented by the thoughts of death and the imminent murder. In his perennial opponent, the bull, he sees a fellow sufferer.

Scene 4
At nightfall, Carmen takes Jose out of the city. Now a deserter, he bemoans his break with the familiar world. Yet the newly-born passion for Carmen makes him forget all his troubles.
A group of gypsies shows up, changing the spirit of the night one more time. The lovers receive a prophesy that leaves them shocked.

Act II
Scene 5
Jose’s sudden disappearance is being discussed in the square of Seville. The general feeling is that Carmen will soon abandon him. Rumors have it that his main opponent in the fight for the gypsy girl’s heart is Escamillo, the famous toreador.

Scene 6
The smugglers carry their merchandize along the dangerous mountain paths. Reckless and avaricious, they look death in the face without flinching.
During a halt, Carmen and Jose join them. The runaway officer detests their uncouth debauchery. Yet Carmen is relentless. If he wants to preserve her love, he has to become a smuggler. Unable to resist, he agrees.

Scene 7
The city is getting ready for the bullfight. An exalted crowd greets the marching toreadors. Carmen meets Escamillo by the wall of the arena. The proud toreador makes her forget all her former vows.
Risking exposure, Jose comes into the city and discovers his beloved in the arms of another man. Enraged, he wants to take revenge on his lucky opponent. But, contrary to his will, the punishing hand of fate chooses Carmen for his victim.

Scene 8
Jose mourns over Carmen’s dead body. In his thoughts, he revisits his lost hopes and dreams.

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