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Submitted By johnburkinshaw
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The contemporary ballet Petrouchka, was originally composed in 1910. The ballet tells the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets. The three puppets are brought to life by The Charlatan during St. Petersburg's 1830 Shrovetide Fair and begin to develop emotions. Petruchka a traditional Russian puppet, made of straw and with a bag of sawdust as his body is in love with the Ballerina. The Ballerina rejects Petrouchka and begins to fall for the Moor. Hurt and angry from the rejection of the Ballerina, Petrouchka challenges the Moor to a duel. Petrouchka attacks the Moor, but quickly realizes he is too small and weak. Consequently, Petrouchka runs away with the Moor chasing him from behind. The Moor, soon after kills Petrouchka with a blow of his scimitar. Petrushkas ghost rises above the puppet theatre as night falls. He shakes his fist at The Charlatan, and then collapses in a second death. The original choreographer Michael Fokine deliberately differs the Moor and Petrouchka’s choreography. The movements of the self satisfied Moor, an extrovert, are large and turned out. While the movement of the pathetic, frightened Petrouchka, an introvert, are small and turned in. Fokine had three geometric visions for the posture and the manner in which the puppets moved. The moor is a square, the Ballerina a circle, and Petrouchka a straight line. Petrouchka is often said to depict the tensions of Russia, pre Russian Revolution. The ballet depicts the bitterness between those who stayed in Russia and those who achieved artistic success in Western Europe. In the final moments of the ballet, Petrouchka hangs over the top edge of the Charlatan’s tent and, with puppet-like gestures of his arms, curses and mocks his owner, to hysterical outcries in the orchestra. These final moments are often interpreted as a final triumph for the artistic spirit that has deeply...

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