Carnaval

Music: Robert Schumann, orchestrated by Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakovv, Liadov, Tcherepnin, and Arensky.
Choreography: Michel Fokine.
Plot: Michel Fokine, Leon Bakst.
Sets, costumes: Léon Bakst.

Premiered on March 5, 1910, by the Ballets Russes in Saint-Petersburg (Pavlov Hall). French premiere on June 4,1910, in Paris (Opéra Garnier).
Dancers at the permiere: Tamara Karsavina, Vaslaw Nijinsky, Vera Fokina, Ludmilla Scholar, Bronislava Nijinska, Leontiev, Meyerhold.



Carnaval (Russian: Карнавал) is a ballet of the Ballets Russes, based on the music of Robert Schumann's, Carnaval, for piano, as orchestrated by Aleksandr Glazunov, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatole Liadov, Alexander Tcherepnin. It was choreographed by Mikhail Fokine to his own libretto, with costumes designed by Léon Bakst, and premiered in Pavlovsk on 5 March (old style, 20 February) 1910.

The leading dancers of the Imperial Ballet were engaged in the production: Tamara Karsavina (Columbine), Leonid Leontiev (Harlequin), Vera Fokina (Chiarina), Ludmila Schollar (Estrella), Bronislava Nijinska (Papillon), Vsevolod Meyerhold (Pierrot), Vasily Kiselev (Florestan), Aleksandr Shiryaev (Eusebius). The ballet became world-famous due to its production by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Teater des Westens, Berlin, 20 May 1910), with new sets and costumes by Bakst, with Lydia Lopokova as Columbine and Vaslav Nijinsky as Harlequin. On 14 September 1933, the ballet was revived in London by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (staged by Woizikovsky) for Alexandra Danilova (appearing as Columbine).

Plot outline:
The curtain rises on three ladies pursued by three swains. Then Chiarina and Estrella appear. Suddenly Pierrot appears anxiously through a curtain and dances with long sleeves flapping, as if in search of love. Harlequin bounds in and teases him.

There is a scene with the dreamy Eusebius and Chiarina, one with Estrella and Florestan, and another with Pierrot trying (and failing) to catch Papillon in his hat.

Columbine and Harlequin tease the pompous Pantalone and are eventually betrothed. The Philistines are routed by all the dancing couples, and Harlequin binds Pantalone with Pierrot's sleeves.

For the benefit performance, the chasing of the Philistines took place in the audience, but this action later took place on stage.

Among the outstanding variations were the solo by Harlequin, where he finished one series of pirouettes by slowing down and sitting on the final chord, a pas de trois by Estrella and two friends, and a duet by Harlequin and Columbine, in which his steps were performed to the melody of the flute and clarinet and hers, in counterpoint, to the strings.