Don juan/tale of a buffoon
Don Juan – Mikhal Shtipa
“Ideal” – Alina Dulesova, Olga Skripchenko
introduction poem to Don Juan recorded by actor
Buffoon – Jaroslav Tkachuk
His wife – Elena Michailova, Tatiana Kolesnik
Merchant – Rostislav Pidoprygora
Goat – Elisaveta Shapoval
Matchmakers – Alina Dulesova, Ksenia Stecenko, Elena Nestulei
The ballet Don Juan is inspired by tone poem of Richard Strauss, post-romantic German composer, who is well known to the Czech audience mainly as author of favourable operas. The music score as well as its theatrical form are based on a poem written by Austrian romantic writer Nikolaus Lenau. The dramatic poem brings one of possible views on the iconic figure of Don Juan: Lenau pictured him not as reckless flirt but a romantic idealist who is on search for an Ideal in the world of earthly pleasures and seeks the Ideal as impersonated in women. As an interpreter of the title role, we have invited Principal Dancer of the National Theatre Ballet, Mr. Mikhal Shtipa.
Don Juan /excerpt from the poem as a basis for libretto/
Fain would I run the magic circle, immeasurably wide, of beautiful women’s manifold charms, in full tempest of enjoyment, to die of a kiss at the mouth of the last one. O my friend, would that I could fly through every place where beauty blossoms, fall on my knees before each one, and, were it but for a moment, conquer…
It was a beautiful storm that urged me on; it has spent its rage, and silence now remains. A trance is upon every wish, every hope. Perhaps a thunderbolt from the heights which I condemned, struck fatally at my power of love, and suddenly my world became a desert and darkened. And perhaps not; the fuel is all consumed and the hearth is cold and dark.
[Translations, Del Mar – source: http://www.mercuryorchestra.org/notes_strauss.html]
Tale of Buffoon is a short ballet based on score written by Sergei Prokofiev that was completed in 1921. The ballet music was composed by Prokofiev, young but already renowned composer, to the order of Sergei Diaghilev, famous impresario of world known company Les Ballets Russes that had a revolutionary impact on ballet those days. The first version of the composition had to be reworked after Diaghilevs wishes. The ballet was named Buffoon (or Clown), in abroad usually with the title Chout that uses transcription of the original Russian word for the title person. The original title was Tale of a Buffoon Who Seven Other Buffoons Outwitted. The premiere was in Paris, in stage design by modernist Michail Larionov and it was quite a success. Especially the music was warmly received by such famous composers as Igor Stravinsky and Maurice ravel. The title role will now be danced by Jaroslav Tkachuk, Soloist of the National Theatre in Kyiv.
Tale of a Buffoon Who Seven Other Buffoons Outwitted /libretto/
The main character of the ballet is a clown – buffoon, whose jokes are not only smart but often also dangerous. The ballet starts with a scene where buffoon contrives a murder of his wife and resurrects her with a magic whip. Seven other buffoons have a strong desire for the whip and buy it from him. When trying the whip on their own wives, the magic does not work. Thu buffoons hence launch out to revenge their wives but the cheater always fools them. He dresses up as woman and works off his own sister, whom the buffoons kidnap and make her work for them in their home as housewife. A rich merchant comes to them to choose one of their daughters as a wife but he chooses the masked buffoon. When the merchant leads the lad to his bedroom, he manages to escape and bait a goat in bed instead of him. The merchant is horrified; he believes that he married a werewolf. He kills the goat when suddenly the buffoon appears with a retinue of soldiers and claims reparation for his missing sister. Finally buffoon takes the reparation from the merchant, this makes him very rich and he returns to his wife.
The libretto was written by both Prokofiev and Diaghilev after national Russian fairytales listed in a collection which was created by renowned Russian ethnographer and collector of folk literary art A. N. Afanasiev.
Remarkable Ukrainian dancer, choreographer, ballet master and pedagogue.
Gachenko started his professional career in the Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble Pavlo Virsky, one of the most famous folk ensembles ever. He stated his dance career when still studying. In 1972 he got through audition in the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Kyiv, but he decided not to join in the moment and waited two years. When dancing in the National Theatre, he danced in repertory which amounts about 30 productions, he met many important choreographers and composers of the time.
He was influenced mostly by two ballet masters and directors known also abroad: Anatolii Shekera and Henrich Mayorov. They formed him as two different personalities: Shekera as choreographer worked with a given libretto, created the work first in his imagination and then staged it in the same way with the company. Mayorov was impulsive and open type of choreographer, who worked with improvisation and impulsive ideas and who gave a lot of space to his dancers. Gachenko got his first independent task as an assistant of choreography from A. Shekero, when he was to stage ballet Spartacus with the Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Kharkov (1978); it was also his first experience with another ensemble.
In 1976, he was accepted in the studies at the State Institute for Theatre Arts of A. V. Lunacharsky (GITIS) in Moscow. In 1980 he passed the final exams and in 1982 defended his diploma work on the stage of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of the Ukraine in Kyiv. The diploma work consisted of following choreographies: 1. I. Stravinsky – Half of the Twentieths, 2. R. Strauss – Don Juan, 3. J. Haydn – 98th symphony Artist and Muse, 4. C. Debussy – Syrinx and Moonlight, 5. I. Hlinka [LK1] - Majestic grand pas.
He then started to devote himself more to choreography. In 1983 he was awarded as diploma holder of the Ukrainian competition of ballet dancers and ballet masters in Kyiv, in 1984 laureate of the whole-union competition of ballet dancers and ballet masters in Moscow for choreographies What Will Be Forever? and Sorry, It Didn’t Work on A. Schnittke music.
In 1986 Gachenko worked on a special project, staged lecture and concert in one called Path into Dance, one-man show, which he made and danced himself. He became artistic director of the Kyiv Ballet on the Ice company.
In 1987 premiere of his production May Night on E. Stankovich’s score was premiered. The composer worked after Gachenko’s libretto, the choreography was staged in two months by the Kyiv Children’s and Youth Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Premiere took place at the main auditorium of the Ukrainian Palace.
During the years 1989 and 1992 he was employed by Igor Afanasyev as a main ballet master in the Kyiv Show Theatre. He rates this period as most productive for him from the artistic point of view. During three years, they created 15 shows and concerts. But with Afanasyev’s departure to the USA and start of the crisis in the Ukraine, this futile period ended. In 2010 Gachenko returned to ballet by means of pedagogical cooperation with the Dance Academy of Serge Lifar in Kyiv, where he created several productions for the young dancers. Most successful of them was short ballet based on the score of S. Prokofiev, Tale of a Buffoon, Who Seven Other Buffoons Outwitted, which was very warmly accepted by the critique as well as the audience. The original ballet was created in the twenties and presented on the repertory of Les Ballets Russes as Buffoon (Chout) and it will now have its Czech premiere in our composed evening.
He was born in Brno. In 1990, he began his studies at the Dance Conservatory in Brno which he successfully completed in 1998. He then joined the ballet company of the National Theatre in Brno where, from the very beginning, he was cast in numerous solo parts in key pieces of the ballet repertoire. Subsequently, in 2000 he was appointed soloist. During his 7 years´ engagement in the ballet ensemble of the National Theatre in Brno, he became a regular guest on the stage of the National Theatre in Prague, where in the 2004–2005 season he was engaged as soloist. After several successful seasons, during which he had an opportunity to dance in all significant pieces of the repertoire mainly in leading roles, he was appointed the first soloist in 2009.
Elegance, natural refinement, perfect body proportions and especially his reliability as a partner and technical disposition have always ranked him as a "danseur noble". Thanks to the natural acting, however, he has repeatedly proven that he is also able to portray even the most demanding dramatic roles, requiring deeper reflection.
At the National Theatre he has danced a variety of roles in the classical and contemporary repertoire: Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake (V. Harapes and R. Mazalová, 2004; (H. Vlacilová and P. Dumbala, 2007; (K. Greve, 2009), Jean de Brienne in Raymonda (J. Grigorovich, 2004), The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker (J. Grigorovich, 2004), Albert in Giselle (Ch. Hampson, 2004), (H. Vláčilová, 2012), the Prince in The Nutcracker - A Christmas Carol (Y. Vàmos, 2004), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Y. Vàmos, 2006), Othello in the ballet Othello (Y. Vàmos, 2010), Lensky in Onegin (J. Cranko, 2005), Escamilio in Carmen (M. Ek, 2008), James in the ballet La Sylphide (A. Bournoville, 2008), Father in Cinderella (J. Ch. Maillot, 2011), the Prince in Cinderella (P. and P. Smok Dumbala, 2007), the Prince in Sleeping Beauty (J. Torres, 2012). He has also appeared in the following ballet productions: Tchaikovsky, Pas de deux in the ballet performance Ballet Mania (G. Balanchine, 2005), Maria's Dream in the ballet performance Ballet Mania (P. Zuska, 2005), Album Familiar (C. Janssen, 2004), Petite Mort (J. Kylián, 2007), Sinfonietta (J . Kylián, 2005), A Little Extreme (P. Zuska, 2009), 1st symphony D-dur (P. Zuska, 2010), Empty Title (P. Zuska, 2010), Brel-Vysotsky-Kryl / Solo for Three (P. Zuska, 2007), In the Middle Somewhat Elevated (W. Forsythe, 2012).
In the 1998-1999 season he was awarded the Philip Morris Flower Award for the greatest talent in the field of classical dance, and three years later won the main prize Philip Morris Flower Award. In 2000 he took part in the Competition of Dance Artists of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic in Brno, where he won second prize. In 2004 he was nominated for the Thalia Award for the role of Solor in the ballet La Bayadere and in the same year he was also awarded the Audience Award. In March 2005 he was awarded the Thalia Award for the role of Albert in Giselle. In 2007 he received the Award of Commercial Bank KOBANADI for best premiere performance in the ballet piece Brel - Vysotsky - Kryl / Solo for Three, where he played the lead role, and subsequently, in the same year was awarded the Thalia Award for the same role.
During his engagement in the National Theatre in Brno and as a guest dancer in various ballet ensembles in the Czech Republic and Slovakia he has played the following roles: Prince in Swan Lake, Colas in La fille mal gardée, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, the Prince in The Nutcracker, Spartacus in the ballet Spartacus, Solor in La Bayadere, Phoebus in Notre Dame de Paris, Des Grieux in Manon, Armand in Lady of the Camellias, Escamilio in Carmen, the Prince in The Sleeping Beauty, Albert in Giselle, Sarapo in Edith Piaf, the Prince in Cinderella, Daphnis in Daphnis and Chloé, also participated in the ballet Andersen and Les Sylphides. He has appeared as a guest dancer in the ballet Giselle in Yekaterinburg, in Swan Lake in Helsinki, Giselle and The Lady of the Camellias in Taiwan. He has danced on many leading international stages in Germany, Austria, Spain, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Japan, China, Taiwan, Russia, USA and South America.
He was born in a small town Zaporozhie in the Ukraine. He has devoted himself to dance since he was a child, and even before he started his study at the dance academy, he participated on various dance festivals and competitions, in the Ukraine as well as abroad. In 2007 he begun his studies at the Kyiv Municipal Ukrainian Dance Academy named Serge Lifar, where he studied classical and national dance four years. His leading pedagogues were Michail M. Motkov, Ukrainian Artist of Worth, and Sergei N. Pavluchenko. At this times, Tkachuk already danced in following productions: Scythian suite (ch. Oleksandr Nesterov), Peer Gynt (ch. Vadim Pisarev), Coppélia (ch. Sergej Bondur) and even in the Tale of a Buffoon (ch. Viktor Gachenko). In 2011 he became member of the Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named T. Shevchenko in Kyiv. He joined the company on numerous tours abroad: Germany, Spain, Switzerland, France, Portuguese, Canada, Oman, Argentina, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and so on. He dancer in ballets Snow-white and Seven Dwarfs, (as Eger), Swan Lake (as a clown), Nutcracker, Chipolino, Viennese Waltz, Caprisy (as a bagger), Romeo and Juliet, La Bajadere, Firebird (as Czarevitch Ivan), Petrouchka, Legend of Love (as a clown) etc. He participated on projects of Denis Matvienk: ballet Romeo & Juliet (as Tybalt) and gala evening Ballet Stars.
In the theatre, he cooperated with such ballet masters as Viktor Litvinov, Sergei Bondur (Ukrainian Artists of Worth) and Eduard Klyug (artistic director of the National Theatre of Slovenia). In 2011 he also participated on the International Ballet Competition named after Serge Lifar.
In 2013 became laureate of the international ballet competition “Idea Flow” (under the leadership of M. Matkov).