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MIHAIL CHEMIAKIN. SKETCHES FOR THE "MAGIC NUT" BALLET

24 november 2005—13 december 2005
On the threshold of the New Year and Christmas, the State Russian Museum introduces the work by Mihail Chemiakin after Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann's tale. In 2001 the Stroganov Palace showed sketches of the artist for The Nutcracker by Pyotr Tchaikovsky at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. This exhibition is dedicated to Mihail Chemiakin's new work — staging of The Magic Nut after Ernst Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King tale, music by Sergei Slonimsky. The world premiere of The Magic Nut was held in the Mariinsky Theatre on 15 May 2005. Mihail Chemiakin is a creator of the libretto, scenography and costumes, director and artist. The Magic Nut is a prologue to The Nutcracker, the history how the nephew of Drosselmeyer was turned into a nutcracker for having broken a spell on princess Pirlipat. "This is a story about all the indifferent to everyone but themselves, voracious people and mice, a noble young man — saviour, a revengeful sovereign of mice, an ungrateful princess and a vain and stubborn tyrant (progenitor of Hans Christian Andersen's and Yevgeny Shvarts' kings)." Sketches, enchanting costumes and scenery design by Mihail Chemiakin step by step introduce the viewers to the peripetia of the "funny and sad, grotesque and romantic" plot. The artist expresses the fight between the forces of good and evil contrasting light and colour: dark "rat?s" theme is contrasted to vivid fantastic compositions of the "noble" world of the good. At the same time, this ballet is a tale for children, therefore good humour, gentle smile and fantastic miracles are always present in the cycle of the artist's sketches. The choreographer Donvena Pandoursky aimed at finding a plastic resolution of reviving Chemiakin's characters on the stage, remaining true to his spirit. She thinks the main key of the performance is "an unquenchable wish to do good even if one is wronged by life." This exhibition enables its visitors to form an idea of theatrical oeuvre of Mihail Chemiakin, one of the leading contemporary artists. Mihail Chemiakin writes: "I think that public have long been missing aesthetics, light and colour. The way I have started paving in the theatre is fully topical and wanted."
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