Lost Souls

Igor Stravinsky, Max Richter / Bronislva Nijinska, Krzysztof Pastor, Wayne McGregor

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Ballet evening in three parts


Music: IGOR STRAVINSKY (Largo from Symphony in E-flat major and In Memoriam Dylan Thomas)

Direction and choreography: WAYNE McGREGOR 

Premiere: 16 November 2019

Les noces (English: The Wedding), described by Igor Stravinsky as ‘Russian choreographic scenes’, is the less known, although equally brilliant, part of the composer’s diptych inspired by the folklore of old Russia. Completed ten years after the premiere of The Rite of Spring, which examines rites performed to pacify nature, Les noces is an exploration of wedding customs. The end-result is a dramatic cantata inspired by folk songs. The orchestration is dominated by percussion elements and toccata sounding pianos; the music is full of dynamism and fervent rhythm. The classic choreography by Bronislava Nijinska is the finest work of this highly talented artist who despite being equally talented as her brother Vaslav Nijinsky is still in his shadow. The dancers’ bodies often intertwine to form architectural combinations. The scene when the bride has her hair braided ends with female dancers forming a ‘human plait’. In Do not go gentle… Krzysztof Pastor also uses Stravinsky’s music. The composer wrote the dirge canons and a song to a poem by Dylan Thomas soon after the poet had promised to write a libretto for Stravinsky, yet died before he could keep his word. The music is sorrowful, nocturne-like, lamenting, and strikingly different to the orgiastically exuberant Les noces. Infra by Wayne McGregor, one of the most prominent representatives of the middle generation of choreographers, is a highly emotional piece danced to elegiac music by Max Richter. Staged for the first time over a decade ago, it has been receiving enthusiastic reviews all over the world ever since. Now, that is what you call a truly climatic ending.


Polish National Ballet
Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera


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    Les Noces (The Wedding)




    This ballet depicts a Russian peasant wedding at the beginning of the Christian era, when the pagan rituals were still retained as family traditions.

    1st Tableau: Benediction of the Bride

    While friends braid her hair, the young Bride laments the uncertainty of her arranged marriage. Though the maidens try to comfort her, the Bride sobs with fear. Her parents bless her.

    2nd Tableau: Benediction of the Bridegroom

    In the company of friends, the Bridegroom celebrates prior to his wedding day. His Parents bless him.

    3rd Tableau: Departure of the Bride from the Parental Home

    The Bride is escorted from her parents’ home by her friends and by four matchmakers. The Bride’s mother laments the loss of her daughter.

    4th Tableau: The Wedding Feast

    Inside the „izba” the newlyweds bid farewell to their parents in their new home. Villagers and guests celebrate the wedding feast. The Bridegroom promises the Bride a life of happiness.


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