Information

after a story by Alexander Puschkin - 2021

Choreography Andrey Kaydanovskiy · Composer Lorenz Dangel | New Production

Saturday, 17. April 2021
07:30 pm – 09:30 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours · 1. Akt (est. 07:30 pm - 08:12 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:12 pm - 08:42 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 08:42 pm - 09:19 pm )

Ballettfestwoche 2021

This video  stream is available for free.

Premiere at 17. April 2021

Uraufführung · #BSBschneesturm

This performance will be broadcasted live via the internet as part of Staatsoper.TV.

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Dates & Tickets

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Cast

Conductor
Gavin Sutherland
Choreography
Andrey Kaydanovskiy
Music
Lorenz Dangel
Sound
Lorenz Dangel, Aleksandra Landsmann, Felix Trawöger
Set Design
Karoline Hogl
Costume Design
Arthur Arbesser
Lighting
Christian Kass
Dramaturgy
Serge Honegger

Marja
Ksenia Ryzhkova
Vladimir
Jonah Cook
Burmin
Jinhao Zhang
Belkin
Osiel Gouneo
Zofe / Pfänderin
Elvina Ibraimova
Knecht / Pfänder
Robin Strona
Priester
Shale Wagman
Kerzenträger
Nikita Kirbitov, Sergio Navarro
Marjas Vater
Matteo Dilaghi
Marjas Mutter
Séverine Ferrolier
Vladimirs Vater
Norbert Graf
Vladimirs Mutter
Madison Young
Marjas Verehrer / Kriegsversehrte
Nikita Kirbitov, Sergio Navarro, Shale Wagman
  • Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballett
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Cast for all dates

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Der Schneesturm: Jonah Cook (Vladimir) und Ensemble
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Der Schneesturm: Ksenia Ryzhkova (Marja)
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Der Schneesturm: Jinhao Zhang (Burmin)
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Learn more

Resident choreographer Andrey Kaydanovskiy transforms Alexander Pushkin's eponymous  story The Blizzard into contemporary ballet language. The piece premiered and opened the Ballet Festival Week in April 2021. Though the story is standard school reading material in Russian culture, it is rather little known in other countries. Of aristocratic stock, the young Marja falls in love with the poor young officer Vladimir, to her parents' chagrin. The couple's decision to marry in secret, however, is thwarted by fate, as on the way to the church at night the two lovers' miss each other in a blizzard. Vladimir is plagued by a feeling of failure and decides to enlist. He goes to the war, where he is among the fallen.  Marja's life and that of her family takes a different turn, The power of the wizzard continues.

In his first full-length narrative ballet Andrey Kaydanovskiy builds on the existential questions that Puschkin's story emenates from: What role does fate actually play? Is there such a thing as self-determination or is all just coincidence? How do people deal with such issues? Together with renowned film and theatre composer Lorenz Dangel and the whole artistic department, Kaydanovskiy develops his very own narrative that dynamically unfolds the protagonists' dramatic courses of life. Following on from the two works that celebrated world premieres as part of À Jour in the Prinzregententheater, Discovery and Cecil Hotel, Kaydanowskiy now created his first full-length narrative ballet .

The programme book for the production is available in a digital version. 

 

Act One

Family Portrait I
Marja, her well-to-do parents, her maid and their servant attempt what they hope will be a successful family portrait. Marja is holding a snow globe and repeatedly shakes it to create a blizzard. It has been in her family for generations and it means a lot to her.

The Ball
The young woman feels hemmed in by her surroundings. She is unable to work up any enthusiasm for the ball that her parents are holding and refuses to have anything to do with the three suitors who are seeking her hand in marriage.

The Couple
Marja has already bestowed her heart on Vladimir, a young man from a relatively poor local family. He has awoken in her ideas of a grand romantic passion and of a life far removed from the well-worn byways of her present humdrum existence. But her parents are unenthusiastic about Vladimir and so the young lovers decide to marry in secret and elope. Vladimir’s presence makes Marja’s father uneasy. He hustles him out of the house.

The Nightmare
During the night before their planned wedding, Marja is plagued by a series of terrible nightmares that are an expression of her doubts and fears about the coming events.

Family Portrait II
By the following morning Marja is completely exhausted and it is only with some difficulty that she is able to resume her normal routine. Meanwhile Vladimir is continuing undeterred to organise their wedding and initiates everyone necessary into his plan. He buys the wedding rings from two shady characters whose task it is to carry the candles in church. He speaks to the priest and, after agreeing on the time and the order of the service, he gives him the rings. The maid and the servant are also let in on the plan. Marja has agreed with Vladimir that she will pretend to be unwell so that she can retire to her room and then make her way to the church, where he will be waiting for her.

The Flight
Together with her maid and the family servant, Marja sets off on her adventure. At the very last minute she decides to take her snow globe with her as a reminder of her family and of the house that she believes she is leaving for good. As the three of them leave, a violent blizzard blows up.

The Blizzard
Vladimir too is caught in the blizzard and wrestles with the unbridled forces of nature. A hussar colonel by the name of Burmin has likewise been engulfed by the blizzard and lost his way. While the storm rages all around him, he chances upon the church where Marja and Vladimir are due to be married. When Vladimir finally arrives at the church, he finds that the doors are locked and collapses in despair and exhaustion. A troop of soldiers on its way to war passes across the stage.

Family Portrait III
Back in Marja’s parents’ house a new day has dawned. It is unclear what has happened in the meantime. Completely exhausted and suffering from a fever, Marja emerges from her room. Her maid takes her wedding veil and ring, secreting the latter in Marja’s dress pocket so that her parents do not suspect anything. In his despair that Marja has not waited for him, Vladimir has decided to enlist. He says goodbye to his parents. Marja’s parents meanwhile are deeply concerned about their daughter, who is suffering a nervous breakdown. They hope that her condition will improve if they allow her to marry Vladimir. They set off to visit Vladimir’s parents in order to inform them that they agree to the union and are present when his parents are greeted by a devastating piece of news as a priest informs them that their son has been killed in battle.

 

Act Two

Family Portrait IV
Some time has passed. The war is over. Marja’s family has fallen on hard times and her father has died. Her maid and the family servant have both left their former employers. They are now working for the government and are responsible for seizing property, in which capacity they call on Marja and her mother. The latter succeeds in salvaging a few possessions in order not to have to pawn them.

The End of the War
A party is held to celebrate the safe return of the soldiers. Among them are Burmin and his traumatised comrade Belkin. Marja sits to one side and feels the terrible emptiness left by Vladimir’s death. Suddenly startled, she bumps into Burmin. The two feel a powerful attraction, only for Burmin to realise that he is wearing his wedding ring and that this might rouse Marja’s suspicions. Meanwhile Belkin stages a grotesque play on a tiny stage. The audience is so puzzled by the piece that they leave. The party breaks up.

The Ring
Once the others have left, Burmin enlists Belkin’s help to get rid of the ring, but he fails to do so. Despite this setback, he decides to tell Marja about all that has happened to him and to beg her for her understanding: he is already married. But he married in a moment of folly and has seen his wife only once.

The Chain Reaction
Thanks to Belkin, the whole village knows that Burmin intends to speak to Marja. But the news is garbled and reaches Marja in the form of an unambiguous message that Burmin is in love with her and plans to propose to her. She is overjoyed and filled with hope.

The Dress
With the help of the villagers, Marja sets out in search of a suitable trousseau. She finds the old wedding dress in which she had planned to marry Vladimir many years earlier and that is associated in her mind with memories both beautiful and painful. The excited villagers have already started to make preparations for the wedding celebrations.

The Conversation
Burmin seeks out Marja in order to speak to her. When he shows Marja the ring on his finger and tells her that he is already married, she is thunderstruck. She slaps his face resoundingly.

The Flashback
The blow triggers a flashback recreating what happened during the blizzard, when Marja was planning to marry Vladimir. The events onstage also reveal what took place in the church, something that the opening act had left unclear. It turns out that all who were present in the church had mixed up Burmin with Vladimir, the confusion compounded by the fatal combination of the blizzard, the lengthy wait for Vladimir, the need to hurry and the poor lighting in the church. The men carrying the candles had placed Burmin next to Marja as her bridegroom. The priest had staked everything on completing the service as fast as he could and had handed over the rings. Everyone had been focused on the kiss. At that moment Marja had realised that the groom was not Vladimir but a stranger. Drawing on her final reserves of strength, he had struck the false bridegroom, bringing the flashback to an end.

The End …
Marja puts her hand in her dress pocket and discovers the ring that her maid had put there for safekeeping. She realises that it was Burmin whom she had married on that occasion. The false bridegroom now turns out to be the right one. The two of them dance an intimate pas de deux. They believe that they can see how the force of destiny has been spinning its thread of fate. They nestle in each other’s arms, secure in the knowledge that they have finally gained control of their lives. This moment of fulfilment is interrupted when Belkin calls his friend outside. Marja remembers her parents, her house and the sense of order that she used to feel in her life. She picks up her snow globe and shakes it, lost in thought. Suddenly she is overcome by a sense of foreboding and runs to the door. Opening it, she sees a violent blizzard raging outside.

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Biographies

Resident Choreographer

Andrey Kaydanovskiy was born in Moscow (Russia). After his education in Moscow, Stuttgart (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) he joined the ballett of the Vienna State Opera. His extensive repertoire includes various solo roles in classical and contemporary pieces. He has worked with numerous renowned choreographers. In 2009 he presented his first own choreography and during the next years several others followed. In April 2013 his first work for the Vienna State Ballet was Zeitverschwendung (Waste of Time). In October 2013 the first performance of The Ugly Duckling (ballet in one act) at the Volksoper Wien took place. Other projects followed: he was in charge of the complete opening of the "Life Ball 2014", involving artists from all genres and choreographed a piece for 5 dancers to Mozart's Apollo et Hyacinthus.

His piece Love Song, choreographed for the event "Young Choreographers ’14" at the Odeon Theater in Vienna was also presented in Slovakia, Germany and was staged for the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. On February 27,  2016 his piece Tea or Coffee successfully premiered at the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow and led to a closer collaboration with the theatre where he later created Pajama Party, sharing the evening with works of Balanchine and Kylián, and Birthday Waltz for the 100-Year-Anniversary of the theatre.

He created two works for Bundesjugendballett (Hamburg), Igor Stravinsky´s Firebird for the Vienna State Ballett, Perfect Example for the Czech National Ballet and Solo for Sergei Polunin at the Origen Festival in Switzerland. Fable, which premiered in March 2018 at Taganka Theatre in Moscow, was his first full-length piece as stage director and choreographer for actors in a Drama Theatre. For the TV broadcast of the New Years Concert 2019 of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which was broadcast in almost 100 countries worldwide, he choreographed Künstlerleben Waltz and Pazman-Csárdás by Johann Strauss II with the Vienna State Ballet. 

He received the Special Prize as "Best Dance Theatre Performer and Choreographer" at the International Dance Festival TANZOLYMP in Berlin, is awarded with the "German Dance Award 2016" in the category "future" and was nominated for two categories for "The Golden Mask" in Russia.

In 2017, Andrey Kaydanovskiy collaborated with the Bayerisches Staatsballett for the first time for Discovery as part of Ballet Evening - Young Choreographers. In June 2019, his  creation Cecil Hotel in A Jour - Contemporary Choreographies followed.  For the Fester Samstag-series, created during the theater's Corona-related closure, he created the work petit pas in his role as house choreographer, which humorously drew parallels between the first day of the theater's closure and Marius Petipa's birthday, both of which fell on March 11. Kaydanovskiy's first full-length work for the Bayerisches Staatsballett, The Blizzard, followed in April 2021.

 

Information as of May 2021

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