In the Jungle 

one-act ballets

XV International Ballet Festival MARIINSKY


Conductor: Valery Gergiev

Bambi: Vasily Tkachenko
Falina: Valeria Martynyuk
Bambi's Mother: Maria Sheviakova
The Old Leader: Dmitry Pykhachov
Ronno: Nail Yenikeyev
The Chief Hunter: Konstantin Zverev
The Butterfly: Anastasia Asaben
The Squirrel: Tamara Gimadieva
The Grasshopper: Shamala Guseinova
The Hare: Rafael Musin
The Fox: Alexander Saveliev
The Hedgehog: Daniil Lopatin
The Beetle: Alexander Fyodorov
Magpies: Alexei Nedviga and Vladislav Shumakov


Composer: Andrei Golovin
Choreographer: Anton Pimonov
Librettist and Designer: Anna Matison
Lighting Designer: Alexander Sivaev


In a secluded corner of the forest in a dark grove Bambi the young deer has been born. Still barely an infant he is already standing, trembling on his legs. The different sounds of the forest startle him. He takes one step and then another and joyfully leaps through the woods. His mother tenderly watches her son.
Each deer is a prince by birth, and the residents of the forest are keen to meet the new prince. While playing, Bambi bumps into the Hedgehog who curls up into a ball. He is initially annoyed, but then graciously welcomes the young deer. A beautiful butterfly flies past in haste – Bambi really wants a closer look! The polite and well-brought-up Hare starts a conversation with the young prince. Bambi makes friends with the timid Squirrel, the Beetle, the Grasshopper and the haughty Fox – so many acquaintances... But suddenly his heart freezes with joy – he sees other deer just like him. It is the beautiful Falina and the noble Ronno. The young deer make friends, moving across the meadow and chasing each other. The playing children are watched by an elderly stag. He keeps his eyes on Bambi – his son – and then disappears behind the trees. Bambi carefully watches the Old Leader and only a nut dropped by the Squirrel rouses him from his torpor.
Spring and summer pass in carefree games. The children mature and emerge into powerful adolescent deer. Bambi keeps an increasingly keen eye on Falina; he really likes her. But he’s not the only one who likes her.
Winter follows autumn and the ground is deeply covered with snow. There is no more time for play – the whole day is spent looking for food. While seeking out moss or other withered grasses the deer dig the snow with their hooves. On one such gloomy day Bambi hears a terrifying noise – it is the shot of the Hunter’s gun. In panic the beasts plunge into the undergrowth and Bambi’s mother is left lying alone in the snow. Bambi runs to her to help, but he sees that Falina is in danger – the hunter as aimed his gun at her. Infuriated, in one powerful leap he kicks his enemy down and saves his friend. But at the same time the hunters take his mother away. Bambi will never see her again.
One day all that was bad is in the past. Bambi and Falina spend all their time together and Bambi forgets about everything other than his darling. But Ronno, sensing he may be a rival, is furious. He challenges his rival to a duel and when Bambi refuses to fight he insults Falina. Protecting her, Bambi attacks Ronno himself and emerges victorious. Ronno has to take his leave. But Bambi is annoyed at having quarrelled. He retreats into the grove to be alone.
At the same time, people appear once again in the forest. They have come to cut down the largest tree – an oak which is the Squirrel’s home. In despair it asks for Bambi’s help.
Someone has to get rid of these uninvited intruders – the forest-dwellers need a new leader, someone brave and strong. The majestic Old Leader calls his son and passes on his crown. The new leader goes to the tree which has been cut down and sends the people fleeing and peace and tranquillity are restored to the forest.
Soon Falina and Bambi have two children of their own – Geno and Gurri.

Premiere: 13 March 2015, Mariinsky Theatre

Running time: 30 minutes

"The productions Bambi and In the Jungle are connected by a common story: the first is based on Felix Salten’s novel Bambi while the second is a continuation based on the subsequent Bambi’s Children. I believe that you have to speak with children from the very start the same way you speak to adults. And I am trying to stage these productions as “adult” ballets. For me it is important for children to be able to understand my choreography, indeed for people of all ages to understand what it is all about. And these ballets are about kindness..."
Anton Pimonov

Age category 6+

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