St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Brilliant Divertissement

choreographic miniatures

Performance by the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre


Soloists of the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre

Running time 1 hours 55 minutes

Age category 6+


Choreography – Leonid Yakobson
Stage designers – Nikolai Yakobson, Leonid Yakobson (junior)
Costume designers – Tatiana Noginova, Anna Yakushchenko, Vyacheslav Okunev
Lighting designers – Kamil Kutyev, Margarita Fominskaya, Evgeny Gansburg

Leonid Yakobson, a luminary of 20th-century choreography, has often been heralded in the same breath as esteemed figures such as George Balanchine, Roland Petit, and Maurice Béjart. A distinguished alumnus of the Leningrad Choreographic School – now known as the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet – he impeccably mastered the classics. Yet, driven by a fervent desire for artistic liberation, Yakobson ventured beyond the constraints of academia. Thus, the distinct Yakobsonian theatre was born – a daring, vivid tapestry of imagination, resplendent in its whimsy and originality.

Following the tour of "Choreographic Miniatures" (today known as the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre) in Paris, the local press acclaimed, "The troupe's modernity shines not only in its mood but also in its choice of music – Honegger, Debussy, and its affinity for visual arts: Chagall, Rodin. It's evident that Leonid Yakobson was not bereft of imagination or audacity. To transcend the orthodoxy of the academic style, he embraced the singular path of character dance, replete with evocative gestures and creative flourishes. The Leningrad modern ballet suggests that when Soviet performers immerse themselves in contemporary dance, the world ought to take earnest heed."

Yakobson's genius most resplendently manifested in his smaller-scale works. His series of miniatures, Rodin and Classicism-Romanticism have achieved iconic status, along with the one-act ballets: Wedding Procession to the music of Shostakovich, Brilliant Divertissement set to Glinka's compositions, and Exercise XX choreographed to Bach's melodies.

Today, these masterpieces can exclusively be witnessed through performances by the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre. In the 2023-2024 season, the playbill will showcase several programmes, composed of works expressly crafted for the grand maestro of Leningrad's signature theatre.

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