Act curtain for Bogatyri by Nathalia Goncharova
The Ballet Russe Collection
Ballet in 5 scenes.
Choreography and libretto by Leonide Massine.
Music by Alexander Borodin (B-minor Symphony, unfinished
A-minor Symphony, and Nocturne from Second String
Scenery by Nathalia Goncharova.
Premiere: New York, October 20, 1938, by the Ballets Russes de
"The complicated story, taken from legends of the knights of
Vladimir, first Christian Prince of Russia, dealt with battles
between the Bogatyri and the Tartars and the rescue of a princess
from a monster. Whatever emotions this scenario might have stirred
in the Russian audiences, to Americans it meant little and only
Nathalie Goncharova's opulent designs won praise. In 1941 Massine
revised Bogatyri, simplifying the plot, eliminating
characters, and using only the B-Minor Symphony."
Jack Anderson, The One and Only: The Ballet Russe de Monte
The famous dance critic John Martin had this to say about the
"...obscure in story, unimaginative in choreography, and swallowed
up in scenery".
New York Times, October 24, 1941
Bogatyri represents one of the most extensive series of
drops in the Butler Ballet's collection. Unfortunately, the tags
identifying the different pieces are not always clear, and it is
difficult to reconstruct clearly what drop goes with what piece;
some drops may have served for more than one scene, or perhaps
there are in fact some missing pieces. The author has tried his
best to re-assemble the sets in a logical order, but some of that
Below are the sets for the different scenes.
Prologue (reconstructed image)
Presumed Scene 2 legs and borders
Scene 4 backdrop
Scene 5 with portals (composite
Purple border with medallions
Scene 1 - labeled "Garden Scene"
Scene 3 legs and borders
Scene 5 backdrop
Portal with purple border (unidentified
as to which scene it went with)