Conversation about "Bewitched swan" by Melnikov with Malve Gradinger

Where does the family with growing kids go on Christmas days? To a ballet-fairy-tale. And here starting tomorrow there can be Munich German theatre with its premiere: "Bewitched swan" to the novel by Pushkin about tzar Saltan (1831). Rimskiy-Korsakov in 1900 wrote the title opera. The idea of staging the ballet came to mind of a celebrated ballet married couple: Kirill Melnikov and Yelena Pankova with Kirill still being the first soloist of State ballet. "I have been thinking about staging a ballet for children for a long time already. There are too few of such ballets", - Melnikov who knows how to get along with children says. At home he cooks for his eleven year old son, when mama goes on tour. And there are people of different age in ballet academy/ Bosl fund, where he is a professor of "Pas de deux".
It has to be a fairy-tale, "but for adults as well:, with Russian soul and Russian culture". "Tzar Saltan" by Pushkin gave Melnikov an interesting theme and main parts for his wife and himself at the same time: bewitched swan helps tzar's son driven away back when he was a child to find his father. Due to the love of young tzar Guidon swan was able to change back into a maid. "And then - wedding and opportunity for different beautiful afterpieces", - Melnikov laughs still inclined to joke.
Though he dedicated himself to a new for him role of a producer thoroughly. Friends helping him with funding told us about roundabout and false ways to get numerous visas, about shuttle trips to St. Petersburg, where reheasals took place. For his project he managed to get Classical ballet of St. Petersburg and ensemble "Art-Contrast" from St. Petersburg conservatoire. "Those are young musicians, who play even classical music from Heidn to Shnitke on Russian folk instruments. They made a version of our music for accordion, balalaika, bass-balalaika and domra ( a plucked instrument of 16th century, editorial note). I never thought our collage would work. But it sounds magnificently".
There are excerpts from "Tzar Saltan" by Rimskiy-Korsakov, and also from his "May night", "Mlada", "Sadko" and other compositions. "When swan and I are apart. When we meet there is music by Musorgskiy", ' Melnikov is joking again. Choreographer and ballet-dancer Dmitriy Katunin adds right away: "Tschaykovskiy most of all responses the character of the swan. So for Yelena we chose his violin concerto D-dur". Pankova herself: "It is not "Swan lake" at all in the context of movement. Moreover, all the heroes are important in our ballet". Finally Yuliya Buryakova certificated ballet art critic joins the common choir of voices: "There are many characters in the fairy-tale by Pushkin, it is very difficult. We had to alter and simplify". It took 100 hours to argue about music and dramaturgy. Probably the same way it happens among relatives. Pankova and Melnikov fell in love with each other back in St. Petersburg Kirov ensemble when they were soloists there. He, Katunin and Buryakova studied together in Vaganova Ballet academy for ten years. And how did they find each other now? "We never got lost", Buryzkova replies with a soft look of a ballerina. So from all the sides it is a real Russian fairy-tale.

Malve Gradinger
"Münchner Merkur",

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