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Diana Vishneva's Context festival

Saint Petersburg

The Buffoon
. Schaherazade

New Opera Theatre
Starting time
2 h 10 min with one intermission

Perm Ballet


One-act ballet to the music of a symphonic suite Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov choreographed by Alexey Miroshnichenko

The ballet was inspired by an inexhaustible culture of the East and life of one of the most amazing women of the 20th century — the last Empress of Iran Farah Pahlavi.

This is the second stage production by choreographer Alexey Miroshnichenko that was inspired by historical facts (his Cinderella of 2016 which was the reflection of the Soviet ballet world, received the “Golden Mask” Award). And that’s his first ballet without pointe work.

Alexey Miroshnichenko has worked on this ballet along with the artists whom he used to collaborate with. Set designer Alyona Pikalova has masterfully placed artifacts and items of Persian art into a symbolic world of the performance. Tatiana Noginova’s ballet costumes design reflects true spirit of that historic period. Stage lighting set by Alexey Khoroshev has built an imaginary world that is on the borderline between reality and a fairy tale. Finally, musical director of the premiere Artyom Abashev is playing with our perception of time and space, making the symphonic suite by Rimsky-Korsakov shine with all the shades one can imagine.

Libretto author and choreographer: Alexey Miroshnichenko

Musical Director and Conductor: Artem Abashev

Set Designer: Alona Pikalova

Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova

Lighting Designer: Alexey Khoroshev

Assistant Set Designer: Svetlana Nechaeva

Production Science Consultant: Lana Ravandi Fadai


Empress Farah Pahlavi: Diana Vishneva



The Buffoon

Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet choreographed by Alexey Miroshnichenko

Following a success of Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps in 1914 founder of Les Ballets russes Sergei Diaghilev ordered Sergei Prokofiev, aged 23, for the ballet a la Russian booth (balagan). He suggested the composer the book compiled of the Perm province folk tales as a reference point.

After Prokofiev had selected some stories about a witty buffoon who played out silly rich men, he wrote the libretto and soon after got the ballet score for clavier completed.  However, the World War I stopped him from finishing the work so The Tale of the Buffoon Who Outwits Seven Other Buffoons premiere was postponed to 1921.

Up to the 1920s Diaghilev had broken with previous choreographers so he had to engage artist Mikhail Larionov not only to set design but also to staging. The impresario got a young Pole Tadeusz Slavinsky involved as a translator of the piece to the language of dance.

Libretto by Sergei Prokofiev

Scenography by Mikhail Larionov

Musical Director and Conductor: Teodor Currentzis

Choreographer: Alexey Miroshnichenko

Production Designer: Sergey Martynov

Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova



  • Alexey Miroshnichenko, Russia
Alexey Miroshnichenko

One of the leading Russian choreographers working in the neoclassical style. Artistic director of the Perm Ballet.

Since 2009 Alexey Miroshnichenko has been a head of the Perm Ballet, for which he choreographed Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe (2010), Variations on a Rococo Theme to music by Tchaikovsky (2011), Prokofiev's The Buffoon (2011), The Bluebird and Princess Florine to music by Adam (2014), Shostakovich’s Hypothetically Murdered (2015), Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (2015), Prokofiev's Cinderella (2016), and Stravinsky's The Firebird (2017).

Under Miroshnichenko’s leadership the artistic strategy of the Perm Ballet has repeatedly earned the highest respect of the professional community, receiving two special prizes at the ‘Golden Mask’ National Theatre Award (2012 and 2013). Miroshnichenko is a laureate of various international competitions: the Vaganova-Prix (1998) and ‘Arabesque’ (2010), winner of ‘Soul of Dance’ Award 2015 of the Ballet magazine in nomination “Magician of Dance”.