Svetlana Zakharova (Rus. Светлана Захарова) and Sergei Polunin (Rus. Серге́й Полу́нин) in Giselle, music by Adolphe Adam, choreography by Jean Coralli, Juler Perrot, Marius Petipa, new version by Ludmila Semenyaka. Conductor Aleksei Baklan. Shot on 2.8.2015 in Teatro Di San Carlo, Naples, Italy.
Svetlana Zakharova (Rus Светлана Захарова) is currently principal with Bolshoi Theatre and Teatro Alla Scala (La Scala). Svetlana was born in Lutsk, in the Ukraine 1979. She joined the Kiev Choreographic School where she trained mainly with Valeria Sulegina. Svetlana was allowed to continue her training at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. Instead of the expected second course, she was admitted directly to the third, the graduating course (in the class of Yelena Yevteyeva, the distinguished Kirov ballerina of the previous generation). While still a student at the Vaganova Academy Svetlana already performed on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1996 Svetlana graduated from the Vaganova Academy, she was just 17. A year later she was promoted to principal dancer. In the Mariinsky company Svetlana was taken under the experienced wings of Olga Moiseyeva, with whom she would build a lasting rapport. Preparing all the new roles with her, Moiseyeva quickly became the key-figure in Svetlana’s artistic development. As of October 2003 Svetlana started dancing as a principal with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. At the Bolshoi she is rehearsing her roles with Ludmilla Semenyaka.
Sergei Polunin (Rus.: Сергей Полу́нин; born November 20, 1989) is a ballet dancer who was formerly a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet and is currently a principal dancer with The Stanislavsky Music Theatre (Moscow) and the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Novosibirsk) in Russia. Polunin was born in Ukraine, Kherson. From the age of 4 until 8 he trained at a gymnastics academy and then spent another four years at the Kyiv State Choreographic Institute. His mother Galina Polunina moved with him to Kyiv while his father Vladimir Polunin worked in Portugal to support them. After Sergei Polunin graduated from the Kyiv Choreographic Institute he joined the British Royal Ballet School at the age of 13 in 2003, sponsored by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. He became a first soloist at the Royal Ballet in 2009. In June 2010 Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal. After two successful years, on January 24, 2012, Polunin announced his resignation from the company with immediate effect. Several months later, in summer 2012, Polunin was invited to Russia by its famous ballet dancer and an artistic director of ballet of the two Russian theatres Igor Zelensky, and became a principal dancer with The Stanislavsky Music Theatre and Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Jean Coralli (1779 – 1854), born Jean Coralli Peracini, was a French dancer and choreographer and later held the esteemed post of First Balletmaster of the Paris Opera Ballet. He is best known for the creation of the Romantic ballet Giselle (1841) which he choreographed in tandem with another French dancer, Jules Perrot.
Ludmila Semenyaka was born in St. Petersburg in 1952, January 16. She finished the ballet school (now the St. Petersburg Academy of Russian Ballet n. a. A.Y. Vaganova). In 1970 she joined the Ballet Company of the Leningrad State academic opera and ballet theater n.a. S. M. Kirov (now Mariinsky) where she rehearsed under the guidance of Irina Kolpakova and made a surprisingly rapid progress. Her real career started at the Bolshoi Theater where she moved in 1972. The great Galina Ulanova became her teacher-repetiteur. Afterwards she also worked under the guidance of Marina Semenova, Nina Timofeeva, Marina Kondratyeva. Leading roles in all classical ballets and in all ballets produced by Grigorovich which were on at the theater at that time appeared in her repertoire one after another.
She débuted as a choreographer in 1999, when she prepared a choreographic piece From role to role to music by W.I. Mozart for her solo in the Concert Hall n.a. P.I. Tchaikovsky. She staged The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by B. Asafiev, Giselle 2010, she was the author of the new version of the libretto and original choreography, using choreographic fragments of L. Ivanov, M. Petipa, A. Gorsky)
Giselle (French: Giselle ou les Wilis) is a ballet in two acts, music by Adolphe Adam, and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. The librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine. The ballet tells the story of a lovely peasant girl named Giselle who has a passion for dancing, and when she finds out the man she loves is engaged to someone else she dies of a broken heart. Giselle was first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France, on 28 June 1841. The choreography in modern productions generally derives from the revivals of Marius Petipa for the Imperial Russian Ballet (1884, 1899, 1903).
The version passed down to the present day was staged by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet (today the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet). Petipa staged his definitive revival of Giselle in 1884 for the Ballerina Maria Gorshenkova, but made his final touches to the work for Anna Pavlova’s debut in 1903. Petipa’s final work on Giselle was notated in the Stepanov method of choreographic notation around the turn of the 20th century, and is today held as part of the famous Sergeyev Collection in the Harvard University Library Theatre Collection.
Photos by Jack Devant ballet photography © with kind permission of the Teatro Di San Carlo, Svetlana Zakharova and Sergei Polunin, special thanks to Giulia Romito.