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«Metamorphoses» Dance & Plastic Studio

A Flower of Kupala

BalletMusic and libretto by Sergey Smolyaninov. The premiere was in 1993.


There is a summer solstice celebration - Ivan Kupala day in a Slavic village. One rite follows the other. Yarilo is awakened and he chooses the most beautiful girl. It’s Marja. She performs a praying dance for rain. Ivan admires Marja. And here comes the rain. It gives rises to blossoming of flowers and grass. The next rite is a holiday’s spell – the lighting of Kupala’s fire. Scorched grasses scatter. Only a flower of Kupala is not afraid of the fire as he is related to it. Extraordinary beauty of the flower charms Ivan and he forgets Marja. As if from nowhere a Witch appears and she intends to kill Ivan. The flower of Kupala decoys him to the forest and grasses twine a path for Marja not to follow his beloved...

2. Scene 2: THE FOREST

The flower’s shining dispels the darkness of the forest. And Ivan gets into impassible grasses. They twine and befuddle him. Round dances of languishing mermaids lull him. He is going to turn to stone. But it’s a miracle! An image of the flower of Kupala flashes in front of the dying Ivan. This vision gives him strength. Ivan breaks a deadly ring, rushes to the flower and picks it!


The celebration is in progress. Only Marja yearns for Ivan and looks for him… Villagers start jumping over the bonfire. The Witch appears again at the height of the merriment. She wants to revenge herself for the lost flower of Kupala. It is necessary to put out the bonfire. The mermaids come to help the Witch. The fire is extinguished… People stand rigid with terror. But what’s it? Ivan comes back with the flower of Kupala! The Fire regains its vigours, the flame rises driving the Witch and mermaids away. People sing and dance in a joyful ring. But where is a treasure intended for the one who finds a forest miracle of June nights? Ivan admires the flower of Kupala. Suddenly a maiden figure appears... Marja!...

Students from the 3rd to the 7th year as well as graduates participate in the ballet:
  • 14 villagers (the 5th – 7th year and graduates) including Marja, Ivan, Vatafin – a wizard and healer;
  • Yarilo – a ritual idol (2 performers of the 7th year and/or graduates);
  • 6 mermaids (the 4th – 5th year);
  • 12 flower-grasses (the 3rd – 4th year);
  • the Bonfire (1 performer of the 5th – 6th year);
  • 6 lights (the 3rd – 4th year);
  • 6 witches, including the main Witch (the 6th – 7th year).
“A Flower of Kupala” ballet was performed besides St. Petersburg:
in 1994 – the USA, Alabama, Birmingham city, on invitation of “Exaltation” ballet school
in 1995 – Sweden, Malmo city, on a central ground of the International festival
in 2006 – France, within the frame of the humanitarian programme of the French-Russian Association in Nantes city.

A Dance as an inexhaustible Creativity,

all-triumphant Love

and wise philosophy of Life

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