Alisa Sodoleva debut as Odile in Swan Lake, Mikhailovsky Theatre

Alisa Sodoleva (Rus. Алиса Содолева) debut as Odile, Leonid Sarafanov (Rus. Леонид Сарафанов) as Prince Siegfried and Mikhail Venshchikov (Rus Михаил Венщиков) as Evil Genius in Swan Lake pas de deux, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, Alexander Gorsky, Asaf Messerer, revised by Mikhail Messerer. Shot on 16.4.2915 in Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.

Alisa Sodoleva debut as Odile

Alisa Sodoleva debut as Odile

Alisa Sodoleva debut as Odile


Alisa Sodoleva  (Rus. Алиса Содолева) is currently first soloist with Mikhailovsky Ballet. She was born in Minsk, Belarus. In 2010 Alisa graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy and the same year joined the Mariinsky Ballet. In 2015, she joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet and performs principal and solo roles.

Leonid Sarafanov (Rus. Леонид Сарафанов) is principal with Mikhailovsky Ballet. He was born in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2000 Sarafanov graduated from the Kiev State School of Choreography and in 2002 joined the Mariinsky Ballet Company. He’s a guest principal with the Teatro alla Scala (Milan), Tokyo Ballet, The Vienna State Opera. He performs principal roles in classical and contemporary repertory. In 2006 he was awarded the International Benois de la Danse Prize. In January 2011 he joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company.

Complicated history with Pas de Deux

Petipa choreographed Sobeshchanskaya’s pas de deux to music composed by Ludwig Minkus, who held the post of Ballet composer to the St Petersburg Imperial Theatres. The piece was a standard pas de deux classique that consisted of a short entrée, the grand adage, a variation for the dancer, a variation for the ballerina, and a coda.

Word of this change soon found its way to Tchaikovsky, who became very angry, stating that, whether the ballet is good or bad, he alone shall be held responsible for its music. He then agreed to compose a new pas de deux for the ballerina, but soon a problem arose: Sobeshchanskaya had no reservations about performing a pas to Tchaikovsky’s new music, but she wanted to retain Petipa’s choreography, and she had no wish to travel to St. Petersburg again to have the Ballet Master arrange a new pas for her. In light of this, Tchaikovsky agreed to compose a pas that would correspond to Minkus’ music to such a degree that the ballerina would not even be required to rehearse. Sobeshchanskaya was so pleased with Tchaikovsky’s new version of the Minkus music that she requested he compose for her an additional variation, which he did.

Until 1953 this pas de deux was thought to be lost, until an accidentally discovered repétiteur was found in the archives of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre among the orchestral parts used for Alexander Gorsky’s revival of Le Corsaire (Gorsky had included the piece in his version of Le Corsaire staged in 1912). In 1960 George Balanchine choreographed a pas de deux to this music for the Ballerina Violette Verdy, and the Danseur Conrad Ludlow performed on the City Center of Music and Drama in New York City under the title Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, as it is still known and performed today. /Wikipedia/

Photo by Jack Devant ballet photography © with kind permission of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, special thanks to Mikhail Messerer, Valeria Derkach and Darina Timofeeva.

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