Monday, September 20, 2010

Ana Karenina

My wife and I had been looking forward to the premiere of Ana Karenina, a modern dance production by Anželika Cholina.  We weren't disappointed.  Cholina appeared to take the story from the point of view of Ana, creating a dream-like atmosphere in which Ana wrestles (at times quite literally) with the tempest of emotions inside her.  The Kitty-Levin story serves more as counterpoint, with Levin portrayed as an oafish man, dogging Kitty through the first act before bringing her to his estate and marrying her in the second act.

Beata Molytė shines as Ana, overwhelming the rather sober looking Vronsky, as portrayed by Gintaras Visockis.  Torn by her passion for Vronsky, her place in society and her love for her son, Ana plays out these emotions on stage, at times bordering on the hallucinatory, in keeping with the emotions she for the most part kept suppressed in the novel, until her tragic end, which Cholina handled beautifully.  She portrays Ana as disappearing into the darkness, with the clatter of chairs against the stage floor serving as the wheels of the train.

Juozas Statkevičius' form fitting costumes wonderfully evoke the period.  The lighting could have been better, as the hanging chandeliers created a rather odd haziness to the ballroom and other group scenes, such as the marvelous horse race in which Vronsky takes a fall.  Ana can not disguise her emotions, much to the chagrin of her husband.

Seems Cholina pretty much followed the format of the original ballet, which was also divided into two parts, and featured the music of Rodion Shchedrin.   Cholina used the music of Alfred Schnittke.  

Here's a clip with Cholina on the production.  Photos from a/ch, and


  1. Gintaras, you should be writing a book! There's an entire education on Russian culture at this site.

    And thanks for all the movie links. I'll follow up on them this winter. (I might as well be living in Siberia once winter sets in up here.)

  2. Thanks for the kind comments, av. It's more a guide than a book. I tread cautiously on a lot of this material, as there are others who know far more than I do on these cultural milestones.

    Please share your impressions over the course of the long winter.

  3. Up here in Siberia there will be lots of time for movie watching over the long winter months. If I ever get a copy, also hope to read the "War and Peace" history before year end.