Terteryan’s Ballet “Richard III”

Nelli Avetisyan

Terteryan’s Ballet “Richard III”

The ballet created in 1979 was originally called Richard III (based on Shakespeare’s tragedy), which is reflected in the title of the handwritten score. Only some years later was the note-graphic edition entitled The Monologues of Richard III. The authors of the libretto are R. Kaplanyan and V. Galstyan, who wrote very exact, concise, generalized-symbolic contents of the ballet performance which served as the initial impulse for the creation of the musical drama on such an extremely complicated work Rationally and logically distributing the material, the composer himself acted as dramatist: I have built up the performance my own way — placing in the center the drama of states and symbols. While creating this ballet I took proper account of the fact that all the plotlines in Shakespeare’s tragedy are to an exceptional extent attracted to Richard as if magnetized, all the events are connected with him first of all through his tragic destiny, his thoughts, his emotions and deeds, dispensing my creation the features of monologue. The composer created a complex image full of controversial passions: in the person of Richard he unified the irresistible striving for power, treachery and evil which was destroying the monarchy and lives of people.

The musical score consists of two parts: through dozens of pictures – monologues, which are based on the principle of arranged allegory influencing the space-time parameters of the music. The article discusses the graphic analysis of the ballet Richard III.

A combination of ritually alternative versions of dramaturgic layers brings the idea of the ballet to mystery where personal and infinite interlace intricately: human consciousness cannot stand the burden of fault constantly exalting oneself at any price; he is inevitably on the way to selfdestruction. Avet Terteryan created a ballet-symbol, a ballet-parable, a wise warning. This brilliant musical score is waiting not only for its full insonation but also for a contemporary staging in ballet incarnation.

1 act — 45 minutes

I — Richard and Throne/ Richard’s oath on the throne/ yell, roar

II — Richard and the court/Richard and the crowd, Henry VI’s murder/ minuet

III — Richard and Lady Ann/ Henry VI’s funerals and assertion of love to Ann/ yell, roar

IV — Richard and the crown/ share of money/ reckoning

V — Richard and Clarence / Clarence’s murder, Edward IV’s coronation/ yell, roar

VI- Richard and the raging of the death / Edward IV’s murder. Ann’s death/yell, roar

VII — hypocrite Richard/ spiritual sublimation, murder of two in black/ chorals

VIII- Richard — king/ Richard III’s coronation / roar, reminiscence of Henry IV’s funerals

IX- Richard and conscience/ Richard’s madness / ghosts’ snigger

X- Richard’s death / Richard III’s murder/ yell, roar