We are presenting the participants of “Diaghilev P.S.” 2023: Terezin Quartet

Dear friends, we begin presenting the participants of “Diaghilev P.S.” 2023 program. The dance program on November 14th on the stage of Alexandrinsky Theatre will be opened by a new company for the Festival – the A.S. Pushkin Nizhny Novgorod Opera and Ballet Theatre. They will bring the “Terezin Quartet” dance recital created in partnership with the JokerLab producer agency. The premier of the program was in Nizhny Novgorod Pakgauzy Hall at Strelka in November 2022. 

Terezín is the name of a small Czech town 60 km from Prague and one of the well-known concentration camps of World War II. Many intellectuals, musicians and artists were brought here — Terezín was considered a privileged place. Composers were also brought here. Alexei Trifonov, music manager and artistic director of the Nizhny Novgorod Opera and Ballet Theater, built upon this fact and came up with a dance recital based on the works of four authors who were held in concentration camps during the war years, including in Terezin. 

The music of Erwin Schulhoff, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas and Hans Krasa is united by a distant, anxious mood, sounds in which one can hear the approach of evil. At the same time, their works are free from any rigid structure, they are impressionistic and light, full of light and hope. This is the music of young people who are living their best years and only hear something disharmonious in the distance. It is performed by the La Voce Strumentale string quartet. The musicians become immobile characters in the ballet, they are on the stage, “playing the role” of the townspeople surrounding the main characters.

The Terezin Quartet consists of four works, each of them corresponding to a choreographic novel. The choreographers — Alessandro Caggegi, Tatiana Baganova, Maxim Petrov and Alexander Sergeev — have moved away from the history of the camp. Their characters struggle, but it is a struggle with the inner, eternal. The characters of Alessandro Caggegi cannot get out of the love polygon. Tatiana Baganova’s novel is abstract and presents the grand dame of the Russian contemporary dance in a new capacity: as a ballet choreographer. Maxim Petrov works with geometry and speed of movement, composing a dynamic action in which the diagonal becomes the main motif. Alexander Sergeev’s part which closes the Quartet is like a neoclassical waltz — imagine Balanchine turning to classical ballroom forms. 

The choreographers’ different ideas are framed and brought together by scenography and light. Artist Etel Ioshpa created moving canvases that create new spaces for each part and at the same time maintain the feeling that all the characters are in the same world. And lighting designer Stas Svistunovich came up with a laconic and talking light which becomes another character of the performance.


The Terezin Quartet is not an evening of one-act ballets, but a single performance. It begins when the musicians in black vests and the artists in lapserdaks and kapelyushas with their unpretentious belongings walk onto the stage through the audience hall frozen in darkness. They seem to be drawing us, too, into their circle, the circle of the unreconciled. 

Natalia Zvenigorodskaya, The Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The Terezin Quartet is a performance for those who are ready to explore new music, fantasize with the choreographers about what they can hear in it, and learn four different stories in one evening.

To see four contemporary choreographers working with music from the 1930s and 1940s, follow our announcements. Tickets for the Festival events are on sale beginning September 20th.