We are presenting the participants of “Diaghilev P. S.” 2023: Dolgushin Time

Dear friends, we continue presenting the Diaghilev P. S. dance program. Another Russian participant of the Festival is the Dmitri Shostakovich Samara Opera and Ballet Theater. This company has already been to St. Petersburg with performances of modern ballet. For the first time the Dolgushin Time concert program which the audience will be able to see on 28 November on the Main Stage of the Georgy Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater will show the ballet company of the theater in the old and neoclassical choreography.


Nikita Dolgushin, the principal character of the Dolgushin Time event, is a unique figure. At a young age, a dancer of the St. Petersburg school, a soloist of the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre (now the Mariinsky Theatre) and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, he was one of the outstanding artists of the Northern Capital. Having finished his stage career, Dolgushin concentrated on his ballet master activities and became one of the first Soviet and Russian choreographers of the second half of the XXth century to talk about the importance of the old dance and the return of the early-century choreography to the stage. As a choreographer-author, Dolgushin tended towards neoclassical choreography. 

He was called an “aesthetic dancer” and a “knight of ballet”. Vera Krasovskaya, one of the key Soviet ballet historians, dedicated one of her two portrait books to Nikita Alexandrovich, placing Dolgushin on a par with another of her characters: Vatslav Nijinsky. Young dancer Dolgushin was different from his stagemates in the 1960s and 1970s. In a period of a high demand for power dance and powerful figures, the graceful, elegant, exquisite prince-like Nikita Dolgushin danced Albert from Giselle, Ferhad from The Legend of Love by Yuri Grigorovich, and Romeo in Oleg Vinogradov’s version of the similarly-named ballet. When he began staging, he turned to the productions of the beginning of the century and began working with the archives, looking for ways to revive productions by such authors as Mikhail Fokine. At the same time the fate brought him together with the Samara Opera and Ballet Theater. Nikita Alexandrovich headed its ballet company from 1997 to 2006 and staged many of his key productions there.


Without being afraid of loud comparisons, the art of dancer Dolgushin can be likened to the Phoenix bird, whose song is the more ringing, the brighter the fire burning its wings.

Vera Krasovskaya, from the book “Nikita Dolgushin”


The Dolgushin Time event consists of three parts, each of them telling about a separate hypostasis of the choreographer. The program includes two old productions restored or edited by Nikita Alexandrovich: The Armida Pavilion — a ballet by Mikhail Fokine to the music by Nikolai Cherepnin, a famous production that was part of the Russian Seasons, one of the gems of the theater’s repertoire, and the second act of the Danish version of La Sylphide — Dolgushin made his own adaptation of August Burnonville’s choreography. The audience will also see fragments of the original version of The Carmen Suite to the music by Bizet and Shchedrin, which Nikita Dolgushin staged especially for the Samara company. The choreographer made only Carmen and Jose the main characters of the story; there is no love triangle and no rival Torero in the ballet. Together with Dolgushin’s productions, the Samara dancers will perform fragments from the productions of Igor Chernyshev, another principal choreographer of the Samara Opera and Ballet Theater: the duet of Phrygia and Spartacus and the duet and solo of Cleopatra and Antony. 


If you want to meet the legacy of one of the most intelligent and elegant Soviet choreographers and see his version of Mikhail Fokine’s old performance, follow our announcements. Tickets for the Festival events will be on sale from 20 September.