|2019 | Tuesday||
Igor Moiseyev State Ensemble of Popular Dance Concert
World premiere: 21 Dec 2012 Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia
Igor Alexandrovich Moiseyev (January 21 [O.S. January 8] 1906 – November 2, 2007) has been widely acclaimed as the greatest 20th-century choreographer of character dance, a dance style similar to folk dance but with more professionalism and theatrics.
Born in Kiev, the only child of a Russian lawyer and a French-Romanian seamstress. His family lived in Paris until he was 8, and throughout his life he spoke to Western journalists in fluent French. Moiseyev graduated from the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school in 1924 and danced in the theatre until 1939. His first choreography in the Bolshoi was Footballer in 1930 and the last was Spartacus in 1954.
Since the early 1930s, he staged acrobatic parades on Red Square and finally came up with the idea of establishing the Theatre of Folk Art. In 1936, Vyacheslav Molotov put him in charge of the new dance company, which has since been known as the Moiseyev Ballet. Among about 200 dances he created for his company, some humorously represented the game of football and guerrilla warfare. After visiting Belarus he choreographed a Belarusian "folk" dance Bulba ("Potato"), which over the years indeed became a Belarusian folk dance. According to the Encyclopжdia Britannica, Moiseyev's work has been especially admired "for the balance that it maintained between authentic folk dance and theatrical effectiveness".
Moiseyev was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1953, Hero of Socialist Labor in 1976, received the Lenin Prize (1967, for the dance show A Road to the Dance), four Stalin/USSR State Prizes (1942, 1947, 1952, 1985), Russian Federation State Prize (1996), was awarded numerous orders and medals of the Soviet Union, Spain and many other countries. On the day of his centenary, Moiseyev became the first Russian to receive Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 1st class — the highest civilian decoration of the Russian Federation. In 2001, he was awarded the UNESCO Mozart Medal for outstanding contribution to world music culture. He died in Moscow in 2007.
A boy nicknamed Piggy-wiggy is walking with his parents in the Tauride Garden. As soon as he sees a dirty puddle, the little rascal makes a beeline for it. Attempting to assert his independence, he keeps slipping out of his mother’s grasp who is trying to shake the mud off his clothes.
Passersby appear, including Wizard and a little girl called Fresh as a Daisy. Everyone admires Fresh as a Daisy, who is as pretty as a picture, but no one wants to talk to the grubby little boy. Uncle Croc is the only person who seems to understand Piggy-wiggy and therefore the latter looks on him as his friend. Pretending he is totally oblivious to Fresh as a Daisy, the little terror parades his grubbiness.
His parents are upset, but Wizard calms them down. Enter Chimney-sweep and his gang: Piggy-wiggy is the only person to notice them. Feeling uneasy, the little boy hides behind Uncle Croc’s back. Engrossed in their photography, Mama and Papa walk off in the opposite direction. Uncle Croc, friend to Piggy-wiggy, leads him to his parents. Wizard and Fresh as a Daisy are standing right by them. The children meet but, running off in different directions, they do not make friends.
Dead of night. Kitty wakes up and stretches herself. But suddenly something very odd starts to happen... Wizard climbs through the window into the bedroom. Muttering “Chukokkala, Chukokkala”, he touches everything he comes across with his magic, shining cane, and the things begin to come alive. Wizard disappears through the doors into Piggy-wiggy’ parents’ bedroom. Gradually, Piggy-wiggy wakes up. He carefully pulls up his eiderdown which is falling off his bed, but it flies away from him and, for some reason, everything he tries to pick up, he drops. Due to the little boy’s clumsiness, Candle ends up in the stove. The domestic utensils and toys are indignant. Closing ranks, they surround Piggy-wiggy and advance on him with threatening look. The little boy pretends this does not frighten him in the slightest. He chases them all off with Papa’s newspaper and is left entirely on his own.
The doors are flung open and Moidodyr appears on the threshold. Great Wash-basin’s army immediately occupies the stage. Sponge-in-Chief is in charge of the parade. Piggy-wiggy tries to hide from Moidodyr’s army. Making a fool of Sponge-in-Chief, he tears round the room and eventually manages to escape. Everyone rushes off in pursuit of the little boy.
Tauride Garden. The World of the Chimney-sweep
Piggy-wiggy does not recognize his beloved Tauride Garden. He is trying to find his friend Uncle Croc whom he hopes will save him from Sponge-in-Chief’s intolerable harassment. Uncle Croc’s cloak flashes here and there between the chimneys, Piggy-wiggy flings himself after it, but all this is no more than a mirage. Chimney-sweep’s suite and his Guttersnipe underlings do their best to confuse Piggy-wiggy and lure him into their world of soot and lamp-black.
Suddenly Sponge-in-Chief falls upon the little boy, the cunning Guttersnipes, however, immediately get rid of her. Enter Chimney-sweep: he and his gang pull wool over Piggy-wiggy’ eyes. And when it seems the rascal’s fate is all but decided, Fresh as a Daisy puts in an appearance. The little girl is wearing a snow-white dress, while floating round her are a mass of different coloured soap bubbles — this frightens off Chimney-sweep and his stooges. Fresh as a Daisy presents Piggy-wiggy with a magic shell, it is as if she is giving him a chance of changing himself and his life — all he has to do is to go home. The little boy puts the shell on one side: he is fine where he is. This is just what Chimney-sweep is waiting for. The Guttersnipes seize Fresh as a Daisy. But, suddenly, thunder claps are heard and the rain starts pouring down; a bright rainbow forces the Guttersnipes to retreat. Accompanied by the Raindrops, Fresh as a Daisy leaves Chimney-sweep’s garden.
The little boy is left on his own: he realizes he is in no way different to the inhabitants of this dirty spot. The though the nearly caused Fresh as a Daisy’s undoing, makes Piggy-wiggy feel really ashamed. He decides to go home.
In Piggy-wiggy’ room, Moidodyr’s suite are dancing and preparing to give the little boy a welcome. Great Wash-basin is carefully monitoring the proceedings. A parade of bathroom accessories is underway.
Enter the young owner of the room and, behind him, the exhausted Sponge-in-Chief who is so tired she immediately collapses. Hanging his head, Piggy-wiggy asks Moidodyr’s forgiveness. He is ready to wash himself clean and, together with Sponge-in-Chief and Generalissimo Soap, he jumps into the bath. After his bath, he is seized by Towel who carries him off to the cupboard to get dressed.
Enter Wizard and Fresh as a Daisy.
The little boy emerges from the cupboard transformed, he holds out his hand to Fresh as a Daisy who, in turn, holds out hers and their palms meet.
His parents return home. When they see their clean and handsome son, they are overjoyed at the transformation. But the little boy knows full well it is Fresh as a Daisy and Wizard whom he has to thank for this miracle.
1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
Bol'shaya Dmitrovka Street, 4/2, Moscow, Russia