Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris
Ballet in 2 acts, 13 scenes
Co-produced by Astana Opera and Les Ballets Roland Petit Foundation (France)
The author of the libretto (based on the novel by Victor Hugo) and choreographer is Roland Petit. Set design by René Allio, costumes by Yves Saint Laurent. Revival of Choreography – Luigi Bonino, Assistant – Gillian Whittingham. Music Director and Conductor – Arman Urazgaliyev.
The premiere took place on December 11, 1965, at the Paris Opera.
In 1844, Jules Perrot staged the ballet “La Esmeralda” based on Victor Hugo’s novel. However, Roland Petit changed back the original title to assert his interpretation: “I want the Middle Ages to be forgotten, so that the tragic sense of Victor Hugo’s creation become clearer to the audience".
It is not the beautiful gypsy, who is in the centre of his ballet, but Quasimodo. The choreographer, who was also the first performer of this part, did not need to put on a disfiguring costume and make-up – he ‘danced’ his hump. Quasimodo’s regeneration – from the dog-like loyalty to his ‘master’ Claude Frollo to the heroic attempt to save the innocent Esmeralda and take revenge for her death – is convincingly presented on stage.
The sharp grotesque, imbued with modern plasticity, accentuates perfect beauty of classical dance in the ballet “Notre Dame de Paris”. The harsh reality and grim fantasy are intricately combined in this monumental tragic spectacle. If the 19th century “La Esmeralda” had an obligatory happy ending, the lone miserable Quasimodo is the only character who is left alive in the severe 20th century performance.
The celebrated fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who has created the costumes for the ballet, shocked the whole Parisian beau monde by having dressed the heroine in staggering mini – miniskirts were timidly coming into fashion in those years. However, he was sure that the beautiful and conquering all men Esmeralda should enter the stage wearing such a white-lilac mini-dress.
It was a victory of Roland Petit and his team of directors: almost immediately after the premiere, “Notre Dame de Paris” became a classic of the world choreography.
Performed with one intermission
Running time: 2 hours