What is the special meaning behind the broadcast of 'Swan Lake' on Russian TV?
Kent G Becker
' Swan Lake ' is a ballet piece composed by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky , and is played by many ballet companies even today, and is repeatedly used as the subject of movies and literary works. increase. In Russia, where such 'Swan Lake' was born, it is said that broadcasting 'Swan Lake' on TV has a special meaning, and the Russian tabroid newspaper Novaya is known for its critical tone to the Putin administration. ・ Gazeta explains the meaning.
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On March 4, 2022, Russia's independent TV station Dozhd , which had been critical of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, announced that it would be suspended under pressure from authorities. After all the staff announced their resignation on the live broadcast, a monochrome video of 'Swan Lake' was shown on the distribution screen. This day was the 145th anniversary of the premiere of 'Swan Lake' on March 4, 1877, but broadcasting 'Swan Lake' has a deeper meaning.
The Entire staff of the Russian TV channel “the rain” resigned during a live stream with last words: “no war” and then played “swan lake” ballet video (just like they did on all USSR tv channels when it suddenly collapsed) # UkraineRussianWar #Ukraine #UkraineWar #Putin #Russia pic.twitter.com/NAkWlghe0r— Chilly Chills (@WeeliyumF) March 3, 2022
'Swan Lake' is a story about the tragic love between Princess Odette, who was transformed into a swan by the curse of the devil, and Prince Siegfried, who fell in love with Odette. In 1875, when Tchaikovsky was asked to compose 'Swan Lake,' the artistic value of ballet music was thought to be lower than that of opera and symphony, but Tchaikovsky offered the amount offered by his client, the Bolshoy Theater . He said that he accepted the composition because he was happy and he had always wanted to make ballet music.
It is said that the premiere in the spring of 1877 was not well received by critics, but it was still included in the Bolshoi Theater repertoire until 1883. Although it was not replayed for a while after 1884, the second act of 'Swan Lake' was screened at the memorial concert in February 1894, which was held in response to the sudden death of Tchaikovsky in 1893. rice field. Since this performance became popular, the script, choreography, and music were revised and the entire performance was replayed. Since then, many choreographers have created revised versions of 'Swan Lake,' with variations ranging from tragic endings to happy endings.
Novaya Gazeta points out that Soviet politicians used ballet to authorize Russia and often invited official foreign delegations to ballet. Among them, 'Swan Lake' was often performed for foreign delegations, and ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, who played Princess Odette more than 800 times, was also visited by the leaders of each country in her autobiography. It mentions that Nikita Khrushchev, who accompanies him as a representative of the Soviet Union, has seen 'Swan Lake' many times. In addition, the Soviet Supreme Leader Joseph Stalin frequently visited the Bolshoi Theater and watched 'Swan Lake' on February 27, just before his death on March 5, 1953.
In addition, in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, when 'Swan Lake' was broadcast on TV at an unscheduled time, it was said that 'someone who should be in mourning died'. For example, when big Soviet politicians such as Leonid Brezhnev in 1982, Yuri Andropov in 1984, and Konstantin Chernenko in 1985 died , 'Swan Lake' was broadcast on TV .
Also, when a coup d'etat aimed at Mikhail Gorbachev occurred on August 19, 1991, 'Swan Lake' was broadcast on all TV channels. After all, the coup was attempted, but the Soviet Union's footsteps were disturbed and headed for collapse.
This is because a Soviet TV station member said, 'Tchaikovsky completed' Swan Lake 'in the week of Radonitsa (Swan Lake) in memory of the dead in the Russian Orthodox Church.' It is said that it was triggered by the broadcast. In particular, 'Swan Lake' is well known because the composer is Tchaikovsky, and it has a melancholic impression associated with the story of tragic love, so it may be expected to have the effect of appealing to the people. , Novaya Gazeta said.
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In addition, 'Swan Lake' is scheduled to be screened at a Russian movie theater on March 11, but this is part of a project called Theater HD , which screens a masterpiece play at a movie theater.