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  • Talma Gotteiner

A Tribute to Sergei Diaghilev's Russian Ballet

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Hi there!

Bolshoi star and director Andris Liepa has put together a special and spectacular program that is a tribute to Sergei Diaghilev's Russian ballet, that was based in Paris in the early 20th century. During the years of the Russian ballet, some of the most important works in the repertoire of the ballet world were presented in premieres, works that surprised, changed and aroused great interest.

WHEN: April 16-19, 2020 (inclusive) at the Tel-Aviv Opera House and April 22-23 at the Jerusalem Theater

The Firebird by Elena Pushkina
A Tribute to Sergei Dyaghilev's Russian Ballet

Andris Liepa and dancers of the Natalia Sats Opera and Ballet have revived Diaghilev's Russian Ballet bringing it to the 21st Century Viewers. The performance is a virtuoso ballet, with stunning decor and costume created by artist Léon Bakst and dozens of dancers.

The Program

The program consists of two masterpieces: Scheherazade and the Firebird.


A drama in one act

Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Choreography: Mikhail Fokine

Production revived by: Andris Liepa

Decor and Costume: Léon Bakst

The ballet is based on the story 'Shahryar and his Brothers' from 'A Thousand and One Nights', first staged by Fokine in 1910 as part of a program initiated by Sergei Diaghilev according to the symphonic music written by Rimsky Korsakov bearing the same name. Two legendary dancers performed in the premiere, Vaslav Nijinsky danced the part of The Golden Slave, and Ida Rubinstein dance the part of Zubeida. The ballet deals with the turbulent mysteries of love in the Sultan's palace. Already from the debut, the work was considered a breakthrough and bold in its portrayal of passion and over a century later, it remains exciting to behold.

The Sultan Shahryar is lonely in his palace. The dancing concubines do not make him happy and the coolness of his wife Zubeida bothers him. Further to his younger brother's advice he goes out hunting. Upon his departure, the harem awakens to a lively carousal. The concubines spend time with young men and Zubeida arranges to meet with the golden slave. The Sultan returns earlier than expected and is furious when he catches his beloved Zubeida with the slave. He commands the execution of everyone. The golden slave is hanged and Zubeida stabs herself to death out of grief.

The Firebird

A ballet in one act and two scenes

Music: Igor Stravinsky

Libretto and Choreography: Mikhail Fokine

Design: Alexander Golovin and Léon Bakst

Production restored by: Andris Liepa

In the kingdom of the sorcerer Katchei, at dusk, the Knight of the Night appears. At dawn, magical apple trees gleam. The firebird descends from a tree dancing in a whirl around it with great beauty and does not notice Ivan who has jumped over a fence to catch her. She tries to escape, and fly away, and asks for her freedom back. Ivan releases her and then notices girls coming out of the sorcerer's castle. They area princesses abducted by the sorcerer and are under a spell. Ivan tries hard to save them, finally succeeding with the help of the firebird.

About Andris Liepa

Andris Liepa an award-winning dancer and Bolshoi star became an entrepreneur in the dance world, a director and producer. One of his most notable projects was the foundation of the 'Russian Seasons of the 21st century', based on the great success of Russian ballet on European stages. Liepa, the son of a famous dancer and choreographer Maris Liepa, has reconstructed works from Sergei Diaghilev's traditional repertoire.

The Russian Ballet Seasons had originally amazed the audiences in Paris, London, Rome and all major capitals in Europe. The elite of Russian culture has taken part in these seasons. Names such as singer Chaliapin, designer and painter Léon Bakst, composers Rimsky Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, choreographer Fokine and legendary dancers such as Pavlova and Nijinsky, participated in the Russian Seasons and were supported by other European artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jeannes Cocteau and Georges Braque. All the works created by the King of the Russian seasons have become a milestone in world culture, works that the cultural world often returns to.

Liepa joined Bolshoi at the age of 18. He soon became a soloist in the great and well-known ballets and became the first Russian dancer to work in the West, dancing in New York City and in Baryshnikov's version of Swan Lake at the American Ballet Theater.

In 1996, the year his father celebrated 60, he founded the 'Maris Liepa Charitable Foundation' in his name. The foundation is aimed at promoting and preserving cultural and ballet traditions, and one of the initiatives is the production of the 'Russian seasons of the 21st century'.

The two works re-enacted by Andris Liepa are performed by the ballet group of The Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theater named after Natalya Sats, the theater director who was considered a leader in children's plays. The theater aims to put on opera and ballet shows, but also to put on special performances to suit young audiences and families. The goal is to make the world of classical and contemporary culture more accessible to the young audience alongside productions aimed at a mature audience of operas and ballets from the global repertoire.

The theater gained momentum when Georgiy Isaakyan, the Russian Federation's award winner, became its artistic director. He found a way to connect classical and contemporary art, turning the Opera House into a vibrant and active institution. The Opera House has an orchestra of 100 musicians, 75 singers, a choir of 32 singers and a ballet band with 60 dancers.


The Russian season of the 21st century

Two ballet shows in one evening

Scheherazade based on the music of Rimsky-Korsakov and The Firebird based on Stravinsky's music

Andris Liepa's remake of Mikhail Fokine's choreography

Performed by the ballet group of The Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theater named after Natalya Sats

  • Thursday, April 16th at 20:00 Tel Aviv Opera House

  • Friday April 17th at 13:00 Tel Aviv Opera House

  • Saturday April 18th at 20:00 The Tel Aviv Opera House

  • Sunday April 19th at 20:00 Tel Aviv Opera House

  • Wednesday April 22nd at 20:00 The Jerusalem Theater

  • Thursday April 23rd at 20:00 The Jerusalem Theater

Ticket prices: 235-375 NIS.

Ticket Purchase: Hebrew Website


50% discount on the second ticket for a limited time only, between 3 Mar 2020 - 9 Mar 2020 at all points of sale.



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