Ballet in 2 acts to music by Georges Bizet
Choreography and libretto by Mikhail Venshchikov
The ballet "Carmen" is a performance of the St. Petersburg company "Art Center" Saint-Michel ", well known to the audience in Europe, Japan, and South America. The ballet premiered in November 2019 in Brussels, on the stage of the BOZAR Royal Center for the Arts. Later, in February 2020, the audience of the Munich Philharmonic GASTEIG got acquainted with the performance.
The bright original choreography makes the performance unlike any of the previously known productions of the famous plot. Expressive ensemble scenes are effectively combined with the dramatic dances of the main characters.
Particularly noteworthy is the stage design of the ballet, in which the artists managed to convey the elusive atmosphere of old Spain, using the possibilities of animated projection.
Choreographer: Mikhail Venshchikov
Musical consultant: Valentin Bogdanov
Artistic design concept: bunk bed. artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev
Production designer: Tatiana Koroleva
Video graphic artist: Victoria Zlotnikova
Choreographer's assistants: Evgenia Kostyleva, Elena Pankova, Vitaly Vidineev, Johan Gossans, Olga Poryvko
Technical Director: Maxim Marinin
Costume technologist: Evgeniya Ermolenkova
Makeup: Anna Rozadorskaya, Anna Chekmareva
Carmen's story is an almost perfect excuse to look inside yourself. The love triangle, in which the images of officer Jose, Toreador and Carmen are built, does not imply a division into right and wrong. Each hero here has his own truth and his own unwritten scenario of how to live, love and die.
From the very beginning of work on the performance, the form of a one-act ballet-fresco seemed to me insufficient to reveal the images of the main characters. Most of all, I wanted to avoid those clichés that have become firmly established for nearly two hundred years in their interpretation on the opera and ballet stage. So, in Jose, my goal was to show not a proud jealous person, but a doubting person who is torn between love and duty. The bullfighter, whose image of a cold handsome man has become a reference, in our ballet seeks to break out of the bounds of masculine infernality allotted to him. In his eternal rival, the bull, he sees a friend and brother, who alone knows the price of all his victories and defeats. Finally, in reading the image of Carmen, the most important for me is her fatal fear of loneliness, from which neither faith nor beauty can save.
Another reason why our ballet took the form of a two-act production was the genius music of Georges Bizet. Not only the well-known opera, but also rarely performed works of the composer, formed a complex palette of images, messages and meanings, the choreographic embodiment of which became an equally exciting and responsible task for me.
Art Center "Saint-Michel" develops the glorious traditions of Russian classical ballet, demonstrating its best examples in Europe, Japan and Latin America. Based on the experience of Sergei Diaghilev's Russian Seasons, the company does not limit itself to working with established brands in the field of performing and choreographic arts, but is open to experiment and search for new forms.
Turning to old choreography, staging concert programs, creating new full-length performances are the result of the work of a talented team of like-minded people. Today, we are cooperating with specialists with colossal experience in the field of choreography, music, theatrical and design art.
The performance is accompanied by a soundtrack.