28 Dec 2015

Emblematic roles from Bulgarian ballet performances. Actors’ realization and achievements

01 September, 2013 – 01 September, 2016

Author: Prof. Anelia Yaneva, DSc, Music Department

Degree of exploration of the research object:
Among the works on ballet published for the time being, I’d mention Ana Alexandrova’s book Bulgarian Ballet Theatre, where most of the ballet productions are presented with biographies and the author’s opinion of their memorable roles as well as certain books about the careers of some performers, who later took to choreography: Anastas Petrov (in Violeta Konsulova’s book); Kalina Bogoeva, Biser Deianov, Peter Lukanov (in books by Ana Alexandrova); Nadia Vinarova, Nina Kiradjieva, Lili Beron, Zhivko Biserov (in my books).
All the books, given above, focus on the careers of certain performers. Comparisons, if any, between the performers, are marginal. The reason for this lies in the chosen research foreshortening, focusing mainly on the careers of the performers.
For the purposes of this study I’d propose an approach and structure allowing for avoiding the threadbare encyclopaedic pattern of a series of portrayals, focusing on those key roles from Bulgaria’s repertoire that have been a touchstone of masterly performance rather on the careers of certain soloists. On this ground the performers themselves will be classed in a way bringing to the fore their actual contribution to the development of Bulgarian ballet theatre, which is the main goal of the study.
The timeline of the study spans 85 years: from 1928, when professional ballet emerged in this country well until 2013, when the 85th anniversary of Bulgarian was marked.
The study seeks to explore emblematic roles of classical, modern and Bulgarian ballets staged here with the selection of titles and roles being derived from their contribution to the building of the ballet repertoire in this country.

A. Emblematic roles of classical ballets staged in Bulgaria:
1. Odette–– Odile –– Siegfried (Swan Lake);
2. Giselle––Albrecht (Giselle);
3. Auroraа––Desire (Sleeping Beauty);
4. Kitri––Basil (Don Quixote);
5. Sylphide––James (La Sylphide);

B. Emblematic roles of modern ballets staged in Bulgaria:
1. The Miraculous Mandarin––the girl (The Miraculous Mandarin);
2. Carmen––Don José––Escamillo (Carmen);
3. Mekhmene Banu––Shyrin (Legend of Love);
4. The Mistress of the Copper Mountain––Danilo (The Tale of the Stone Flower);
5. Jesus––Judas––Mary Magdalene (The Rehearsal).

C. Emblematic roles of Bulgarian ballets:
1. Demna––Naiden––Struna (The Fire Dancing Woman);
2. Kara Ivan––Maria––Lazar (Goat’s Horn);
3. Papesse Jeanne of the ballet of the same name;
4. The Scholar––The Shadow––The Princess (The Shadow);
5. The Poet––He––Green Play (Green Play).

Roles are searched that are not only memorable, but also with various interpretations. The conclusions of the author will be supported by rich evidential material: excerpts from reviews and opinions about various performances of the same role published in the press. This will give a more general idea of the nature and specifics of a role as well as of the most memorable performer’s realizations. Biographical information about the performers presented in this work such as career, roles, awards, will be appended in a supplement.