BOGOTA – Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” a work that broke with the artistic conventions of the early 20th century, will be given a fresh look thanks to Spanish puppet company Per Poc’s involvement in two performances of the ballet this weekend in the Colombian capital.
“Producing this ballet is a dream come true” for the company since “it was originally performed with puppets,” Per Poc co-director Anna Rodriguez told EFE ahead of the performance of the ballet on Saturday and Sunday at Bogota’s Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo.
“Petrushka” is a ballet composed in 1911 by Stravinsky (1882-1971) that tells a story of love, jealousy and rage involving three puppets – Petrushka, the Ballerina and the Moor. It is set in Russia in the 1830s at the time of an armed rebellion in partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire.
The first act takes place in Saint Petersburg’s Admiralty Square, where a magician attracts an audience and gives life to the three puppets.
The problems start when the puppets come to life and acquire human traits and positive and negative emotions, said Rodriguez.
“This is an inspiring and beautiful play that was challenging for us, but at the same time we’re excited to present it,” she added.
This version of the ballet burlesque will have four puppeteers on stage, a realistic set design based on the Russia of Stravinsky’s youth and music for four-hands piano (as the composer originally intended) featuring Russian pianist Sergey Sichkov and the Bulgarian pianist Radostina Petkova.
“We took on a big challenge for the version we’ll present in Bogota. Stravinsky signified a big step forward for music and 20th-century ballet, and we’re pleased to put on this presentation,” Rodriguez added.
The company hopes to see a “full house” for this weekend’s performances and that theater-goers “enjoy what we’ve created with all our heart,” Rodriguez said.