Doctor Zhivago, one of the most beautiful and touching love stories in the world of art, is a famous novel by the Russian writer Boris Pasternak, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. In his outstandingly personal and philosophical story the author also contemplates on different aspects of system and the impact of the Revolution on humans and their social devaluation – the themes that were of course rather inconvenient for the authorities in the then Soviet Union. Therefore, in the face of great pressure put upon him, the writer had to renounce the prestigious prize.
After that his Doctor Zhivago remained rather unwonted at home, where the novel only re-established its true value after the social changes that occurred in the 1990’s. In the meantime, the novel became a huge success in the West, where it was translated into many languages. Particularly exposed in the novel’s renowned British-American film version, directed by David Lean in 1965, was an intimate story about the romance between Doctor Zhivago and Lara, which, after enthralling the audience and the film world alike (and receiving six Oscars and five Golden Globes), became a cult classic. Due to the fact that it has successfully filled the auditoriums in Australia and Sweden, its eponymous musical production was recently premiered in the USA and more and more of its screen adaptations are presented all over the world as well. Ballet adaptation of this immortal classic was never staged before. This famous saga is thus revived on our stage for the very first time as a story ballet, based on memorable love drama and the everlasting question of personal freedom.
This performance is staged on the music by Dmitri Shostakovich, a famous Russian composer and pianist, and a great figure of the music world of the 20th century. The composer, who marked the period in music, following that of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, is known for his subtle amalgamation of music styles (Neoclassical and Post-Romantic). His magnificent music that encouraged the mankind to meditate on the questions of humanism is complemented by some other, equally exciting music pieces, conceived by such extraordinary composers as Rachmaninov, Myaskovsky, Vasks and Schnitke. All this resulted into a fusion of music, which is full of sharp contrasts and grotesque. Performance is conceived by the famous ballet artists, the brothers Jiři and Oto Bubeniček, who completed their careers with the John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet and the Semperopera Ballet, respectively, and have been since authoring successful productions on reputable dance stages around the world.