Scheherazade

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Mauro Bigonzetti, long-standing artistic director of the Aterballetto, Reggio Emilia, is a great modern dance innovator, one of the world’s most feted ballet creators and a sensitive storyteller. Blending contemporary and classical idiom, he reveals and depicts the beauty of the human body almost like a sculptor, yet his works are far from academic. Bigonzetti has previously worked with the Czech National Ballet on three occasions. In 2016, Prague staged to great acclaim his Vertigo; in 2019, the Estates Theatre hosted the world premiere of Kafka: The Trial; and in the 2023/24 season, the State Opera presented his choreography to Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden within the unique project Holo Harmonies.

Nikolai Rimsky­-Korsakov did not compose the symphonic suite Scheherazade with a view to having it set to dance. Fully bringing to bear his extraordinary sense for refined and ample orchestration, and inspired by his travels in Asia, he created a wonderful piece of music, teeming with lovely, wistful melodies and dramatic commotion. Rimsky­-Korsakov’s Scheherazade was first adapted as a ballet by Michel Fokine. The 1910 production, featuring Léon Bakst’s opulent scenery, was the sensation of the Ballets Russes season. Staged worldwide, it has become an integral part of global culture.

One of the first erotic choreographies, Fokine’s piece was also a celebration of physical beauty. An artist possessing immense imagination and flair, Mauro Bigonzetti will leave the audience spellbound with  theatre magic.

National Theatre Orchestra

Program and cast

Choreography - Mauro Bigonzetti

Music - Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

Sets and lights - Carlo Cerri

 

Premiere: World premiere: 28 November 2024 at the National Theatre

Prague National Theatre

The National Theatre today

 

The historical building of the National Theatre, constructed in 1883, is generally considered the prime stage in the CzechRepublic. It is the flagship of the National Theatre institution, today amounting to five buildings and encompassing four companies. You can see there Opera, Drama and Ballet performances.

 

Idea of building a stately theatre for the Czech nation

 

The National Theatre is the embodiment of the will of the Czech nation for a national identity and independence. Collections of money among the broad mass of the people facilitated its construction and hence the ceremonial laying of its foundation stone on 16 May 1868 was tantamount a nationwide political manifestation.

 

The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialise through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers.
 

By car

To the centre (OldTown), approach on Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk embankment) in the direction from the Dancing House, at the crossroads in front of the National Theatre turn right to Divadelní street and then right again to Ostrovní street to the National Theatre car park. Parking costs 50 CZK/h.

 

By tram

By daytime trams Nos. 6, 9, 18 and 22 and night trams Nos. 53, 57, 58, 59 to the stop “Národní divadlo” – in front of the NT historical building; by daytime tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”.

 

By metro

To the station “Můstek”, line B (yellow), and then by foot on Národní street; or to the station “Karlovo náměstí” and then two stops by tram No. 6, 18 or 22 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. To the station “Staroměstská”, line A (green), and then two stops by tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. 

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