The XXXIV Rudolf Nureyev International Classic Ballet Festival in Kazan was opened with A Thousand and One Nights, a brilliant ballet of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. On May 13 and May 14, 2021 the ballet, which is unique in terms of beauty and technique, was represented at the M. Dzhalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. The ballet was choreographed by Eldar Aliev, Artistic Director of the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre and Honored Artistic Creator of Russia. The key parts were performed by leading ballet soloists of the Primorsky Stage including Anna Samostrelova, Sergei Umanetc, Irina Sapozhnikova, Kanat Nadyrbek, Lilia Berezhnova, Denis Golov, Katerina Floria, and Guilherme Junio. Financial support for the tour was provided by the Primorsky branch of Sberbank.
The music for A Thousand and One Nights was written by Fikret Amirov, an Azerbaijan composer. To backcast the coloring of the Middle East, the composer used an endless repertoire of percussion instruments and included an Azerbaijan tar (‘traditionally crafted long-necked lute’) in the score. The female chorus and the soprano part sung by Anastasia Kikot, a soloist of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, gave a special tint to the tone color.
Eldar Aliev staged the ballet in America and Europe over the years. His new version was created specially for the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. The choreographic solution was generally neoclassical with the scenic plastique reflecting the colorific charms of Oriental dances. Today the Primorsky State Ballet Company numbers 90 dancers and allows choreographers to create large-scale performances such as A Thousand and One Nights that includes, apart from sophisticated dance scenes, 13 consummate solo parts.
The sets and costumes were designed by Pyotr Okunev, Chief Designer of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. The sets for the ballet were mainly made in Saint Petersburg, in the oldest scenery shops of the Mariinsky Theatre, and partially – in the scenery shops of the Primorsky Stage. Over 200 gorgeously decorated costumes were made from unordinary combinations of specially dyed fabrics manually embroidered by experienced masters from Saint Petersburg.
Those two evenings the Symphony Orchestra of the M. Dzhalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre was under the baton of Ayyub Guliev, Principal Conductor and Musical Director of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater and Honored Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It was Ayyub Guliev who held the baton at the premiere of A Thousand and One Nights opening the V International Mariinsky Far East Festival, Vladivostok, in August 2020.
Roman Shtepa, Deputy Director of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre:
“The Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre is proud that we were honored to open such an important event as the International Festival of Classical Ballet named after Rudolf Nureyev with our ballet“ A Thousand and One Nights ”. We are sincerely grateful to the Primorsky branch of Sberbank for financial support in organizing and conducting this tour."
Sergey Radyushkin, Managing Director of the Primorsky branch of Sberbank:
“It is important for Sberbank to support art, especially in the region where we live and develop. We are glad that thanks to the bank's help, the ballet “A Thousand and One Nights” staged by the Honored Artistic Creator of Russia, Artistic Director of the Ballet Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre Eldar Aliev was able to see even more spectators. I am sure that this performance has adequately represented Primorye at the International Festival and has become a real gift for admirers of ballet art."