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Shurale by Yakobson/Yarullin

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Starring this to continue an interesting discussion started by Buddy on the Bolshoi-Vaziyev thread:


Shurale is one of my very favorite ballets since I saw it in Egypt, performed by what was once Yakobsen's own troupe, Choreographic Miniatures. The Kirov/Mariinsky's is longer and with full production values,most notably the huge forest fire in A3.

Buddy posted a link to the final adagio in the Kazan production...the main troupe in Tatarstan, where this ballet premiered in the mid 40s. Here's a link to that full production on YT:


It is about 15 minutes shorter than the Kirov version, as it lacks two of Siumbike's big solos, the kids' dances, the women's drunken dance, etc. Also, the Waltz of the Cranes (bird maidens) is shortened in Kazan...we don't see the maidens entering in choryphee trios...the all burst in at once, jeteeing across the stage, before the four demisoloists appear.

Buddy, while very few links to Obraztsova's 2009/2010 performances remain, you can find very large parts of perfs with Evseeva, Shirinkina & Gonchar. Alexander Sergeev not to be missed in the title role.

To me, Yarullin's score is heavenly! Alas, this was to be his lone ballet score, as he died in WWII in his early 20s. The "plastique" nature of the choreography is gorgeous and full of variety - classical, grotesque, character, national, etc. The colorful and rich (substantial) designs are to die for. A perfect ballet. What a shame that it's seen only in Russia. The condensed touring version of the Yakobson company, that I saw in Cairo, is out of repertoire...rights issues with Yakobson's widow?

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I love this ballet - as I mentioned on the other thread. Shurale and La Bayadere are my favourite ballets. There is little available officially of it, but several bootleg versions of the entire ballet of course exist. I was fortunate to see many casts recently in St Petersburg, and yes, it is spectacular to see that forest fire! and also the forest creatures and giants, but, as you say, it is the SCORE that is so beautiful - what a tragedy that Yarullin died so young. The choreography is also varied and inventive as you say. It is actually a very difficult role for the ballerina. Yakobsen was a genius and the final pas de deux especially is very moving. There are some little echoes of the choreography also in his beautiful miniature entitled "Reflections" that is also on YT.

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Thanks for posting these videos. Terekhova was my favorite Kirov ballerina when I first saw the company in the early eighties...But if I had never seen her dance, then I think these videos of her performance in Shurale would have been enough to make me a fan. She is just wonderful. Definitely "what a true ballerina is"!

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I’m a big fan of Shurale. A western ballet troupe should seriously consider staging this work, perhaps ABT? If so, please don’t change a single element in this production as it is sheer perfection - choreography, story, designs and the exquisite music by Farid Yarullin. The perfect ballet, especially with a cast like this one, when the Mariinsky revived the masterwork a few years ago, staged by Terekhova:

ABT? Please? With the right casting, of course. It’s ok to dream, yes? 😃 

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