ballet in one act

Recommended age 6+


To the music from the works by Frédéric Chopin
Orchestration by Alexander Glazunov and Maurice Keller
Choreography: Michel Fokine
Staging: People’s Artist of Belarus Tatyana Ershova
Set designer: People's Artist of Russia, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Vyacheslav Okunev
Costume designer: Ekaterina Bulgakova
Artistic head of production: People’s Artist of Belarus Yury Trayan
Conductor: Yuri Karavaev
Running time: 35 minutes
Premiere: 21 May 2010


One-act ballet Chopiniana (Les Sylphides) was choreographed by the noted Michel Fokine in 1908. It is a fine dance suite to the music from piano pieces, namely Polonaise in A major, Nocturne in A-flat major, Waltz in G-flat major, Mazurka in C major, Mazurka in A major, Prelude in A major, Waltz in C-sharp minor, Grande valse brillante in E-flat major by Frédéric Chopin, orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov and Maurice Keller.

The choreographer and dancer Fokine occupies a remarkable position in the history of world ballet; notable for their freshness and the novelty of choreographic devices, his one-act ballets were very popular in Russia and internationally. The famous Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, The Aragonese Jota and Dances from Mikhail Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila, Carnival to the music by Robert Schumann, Egyptian Nights by Anton Arensky, Chopiniana to the music by Frédéric Chopin are masterpieces created by Fokine at the zenith of his genius.

Chopiniana is one of the choreographer’s most exquisite pieces. It’s a plotless dance poem on the order of lyrical and romantic dance productions of Maria Taglioni’s epoch described by the choreographer as “a romantic reverie”. A bewitching choreographic fantasy about beauty, harmony and happiness, the world of ephemeral visions and alluring reveries born in the dreams of a hero, a young poet who, according to Fokine, ‘aspires to something different, something better, what is in his imagination,’ replaced the clear story line and the familiar sequence of the action of classical ballet.

The first Belarusian Chopiniana was produced by Nina Fedorova in the Mariinsky Theatre classical version and immediately became one of the most popular ballets in the theatre’s repertoire and tour programmes of the 1970-1980s.

Chopiniana was revived on the Belarusian stage in 2010 to mark the bicentenary of the great Polish pianist and composer. The creative team and performers did their best to keep the vanishing soul and aesthetic, fine style, the sincerity and charm of romantic ballet.