Absolute pitch by Chabukiani, 100th year farewell and birthday tribute

Uploaded by ditogam on 26.02.2011

The name of the great dancer Vakhtang Chabukiani stands like a palace in the world of ballet.
20th century's male dance, which we can see today, has a great debt to him.
Fire, passion, heroic action … exactly these kind of words were used for describing Chabukiani's dance.
But for me, the most exact definition was given by English writer Iris Morley:
Trying to describe this unusual and magnificent dancer can only be met with the same difficulty as when trying to describe a tornado…
The route of Vaghtang Chabukiani to the legendary stage of Kirov/Marinsky theatre was as rapid as difficult.
The boy was born in Tbilisi, in a poor family, from the childhood he was helping parents:
he was making toys, weaving baskets, which had to be sold.
Once, he delivered the order of Christmas tree decorations to the head of the dance studio - Maria Perina,
who became his first teacher. The classes were not in vain , the boy literally raved about ballet.
Soon you could see the first fruits; sometimes appeared the opportunity to dance in the crowd of the Tbilisi Theatre stage.
The decision to devote himself to the ballet ripped, when on a tour to Tbilisi came artists from the Leningrad.
In 1926 Vakhtang Chabukiani, 16 year-old boy, arrived in the northern capital to enter the school of ballet.
He was recalling: "Leningrad greeted me with autumn rain, I splashed through the wet bar in my shorts, coat was sold, I passionately was freezing".
Although he was already overgrown, teachers saw his superb possibilities, allowed him for evening courses and then enter Ballet School.
Nine-year course he graduated in three years and in 1929 a talented graduator Vakhtang Chabukiani took to the stage of Kirov, where he immediately offered to all the principal roles.
The male dance sought to upgrade. Refined Art of Vaslav Nijinsky, conquered Europe, was not actually required for post-revolutionary ballet art.
Already has been produced "Red Poppy" on the stage of Bolshoi Theater with Catherine Geltzer and Asaph Mossererom as Chinese Conjurer.
Maria Simionova and Alexei Ermolaev were dancing in a new style.
Dancers and choreographers were more thinking about the role of the male dance in classical ballet.
Perhaps there was not one role, when Chabukian not interfering in the choreography of baletmasters.
But all what was offered by him, choreographers perceived with admiration and gratitude.
Vladimir Vasiliev: I remember when whole Moscow impatiently was waiting, when this "genius of the dance" will come …. no one was calling him differently.
Because there is such huge amount of variations created by him in old classic ballets,
I thought that each variation in male repertoire had some great sign of his talent, his inspiration, his movement …
He had a tale, whole dance tale … he was such connected … all movements were connected..
They stopped to be exercises … it was wonderful dance. The man, who had moderate jump, but you imagine that he is hovering in the air …
He could be refined prince in classical ballet, and was able to convey passion of folk dance.
Great choreographers: Vainonov, Zakharov, Lavrovsky, Vaganova, Lapuhov, sought to take him in their ballets.
However choreographers had to be very careful when they were giving the role to Chabukiani.
His dance was shifting the accents.
All were admitting, that role of Andrei in ballet Taras Bulba - strongly pushed back the positive roles of the main personages- Taras and Astaf.
The sympathy of the audience was on the side of traitor.
The glory of the dancer thundered out of the bounds of Soviet Union.
26 years before historical tour of Bolshoi theatre in 1956,
Vakhtang Chabukiani, accomplished with Tatiana Vecheslova went to the tour in USA to show the Soviet ballet to the new world.
After the Carnegie Hall appears, newspapers were writing: Vecheslova and Chabukiani took New York with storm.
Tatiana Vecheslova: How many times, when I was dancing with him, I was standing backstage and waiting my turn,
I was forgetting about everything in the world, enchanted by his powerful talent.
Our USA tour in 1934 is very memorable for me.
On the one of our concertos and our rehearsal came our ex-actors: Piotr Vladimirov and Giorgi Balanchivadze, at the present time famous as George Balanchine.
And at the one of these rehearsals, Vladimerov, who saw the art of Chabukiani admitted:
"If the nature gifted the half of your talent to me, the world would be on knees in front of me."
It was risky to dance with him, because he was not the partner who only stands on back and sustain dame.
Do you understand? You need to sustain when she is making two … seven turns.. but this is not important.
When you danced with him, you always felt like on a knife edge. For example, when I was going on big sustain, I thought: maybe he could not lift me …Why?
He was amazing partner… because he always was in dance and he not just thinking how to sustain;
and even when he was sustaining, at the same time he was also dancing.
All kind of art in Soviet Union was looking for new and revolutionary themes and new means of expression.
Vakhtang Chabukiani didn't need to make an effort on himself or enter into a compromise.
Romance, revolution and the spirit of rebellion was covered in his blood.
Heroic and epic ballet "The Heart of Mountains" of Andrew Balanchivadze, became the first independent work Chabukiani as a choreographer
where he also played the main male role.
His second ballet - Laurencia (by Lope de Vega drama - Fuente Ovejuna), was devoted to the Spanish people for their fight for the liberty and freedom.
This ballet lately was performed also in Tbilisi Theatre and Moscow, on the stage of Bolshoi.
Chabukiani wrote: One of the main mistakes of our choreographers is attempting to put queue of dances,
connect them artificially, and customize them for the subject … it is fundamentally incorrect …
it's not such important, these dances are classical, acrobatic or characteristic, the form will come from the content.
Maya Plisetskaya: After big interval Vakhtang Chabukiani came to Moscow.
For this time, he came like a dancer and ballet master. He came to produce Laurencia.
I have to say, that I always loved to dance, but did not liked to work.
With his explanation he managed to make me very interest to work; and finally I loved this ballet.
Vladimir Vasiliev: I think Vakhtang equally was remarkable choreographer and executive dancer.
And therefore, when he faced with the classic repertoire, and had to dance a variation in the old classic ballets which was before him,
they were not suitable level for him. He was converting all variations,
and after his performances, nearly all of them become classics.
Chabukiani, with his phenomenal technique and passionate temperament, was not comfortable with as fashionable dram-ballet,
with its conditional pantomime, as in the bounds of refined classical dance.
The pantomime role of Solor in Bayadere, he turned to a technical virtuosic, almost equal to the difficult role of heroine.
Nikolos Tsiskaridze: It's obvious, that today Byiadere exists because of him. We are in a huge debt to him.
It is nearly his creature … Solor became sound like heroic, because he gave such movements
to it and developed the whole line of the dancer, that it became completely other.
The war divided his life on two parts. In 1941 he returned to Tbilisi, became chief ballet master and principal dancer of Tbilisi Theatre.
Veriko Anjaparidze: On the stage of Tbilisi Theatre suddenly appeared divine youth, this youth filled our hearts.
To talk about him is very easy and at the same time too hard.
Easy, because there exist only one word: The happiness … happiness. He gifted me happiness …
He completely changed repertoire of the theatre. On the stage appeared new versions of Giselle, Don Quixote, Shopinian, Swan Lake, Laurencia.
By his invitation, on the scene of Tbilisi Theatre were performing Maia Simionova, Natalia Dudinskaya, Galina Ulanova and many others.
Of course, having appeared in his native Tbilisi, Chabukiani could not avoid the national culture.
Heroism of Georgian folklore inspired him and with collaboration of Georgian composers, he created ballets: Tale about Trielle, Gorda, Sinatle.
One of the greatest events of the Theatre became the premiere of the ballet Othello by Shakespeare's tragedy.
This ballet on the Machavariani's music and designing by Simon Virsaladze, had deafening success.
It was performed in Moscow, and on 1960 Chabukiani took the ballet to the Leningrad stage of the Kirov.
Galina Ulanova, incomparable ballet Juliette, admired Chabukiani's Othello.
There were also critics: Chabukiani made spectacle exclusively for his possibilities and with other performer ballet cannot live. Partially they were right.
Indeed, no one had such unique technique and fire passion.
No one could know that Otello could be the last ballet of Chabukiani.
Vakhtang Chabukiani: There is no modern choreography in nature. This is ecliptics - fisculture, gymnastics, acrobatics, pornography …
I do not admit it … …. This is pollution of crystal fount … esthetics, nobility, idea … but this formalism, ideological emptiness, I do not perceive these...
Nikoloz Tsiskaridze: The very first meeting with him held on his 75th anniversary at Tbilisi Theatre.
His ballet - Gorda was recreated. But most interesting was, that at that time Vakhtang was barely moving, he was walking with stick, he had problems.
Then came out Vera Tsignadze, and the music from Otello started with the part where Othello see Desdemona first time.
Vera Tsignadze came out thought whole parterre with the flowers, I do not remember if it was roses or tulips.
She climbed on the stairs, came to the feet of Vakhtang and spilled these flowers.
And suddenly, this very, very old and very sick looking person, turned into a handsome man.
And when he began dance like this .... the energy, which was coming from him… it was feeling, like everything will be exploded.
Chabukiani's dance was fiery, passionate, as the titles of the ballets he danced:
The Heart of Mountains, Flames of Paris, "Sinatle" - which means "The Light".
He was called as eagle hovering in the sky, or he was Icarus flying to the sun …