Sobre el Bns

Hamlet Ruso


June 24th, 1999, Ballet de San Petersburgo, San Petersburgo, Rusia
Choreography: Boris Eifman
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven y Gustav Mahler



The action happens in Russia in the mid-eighteenth century. Catherine is humiliated by the drunken debauchery of her husband, Tsar Peter III. Her Court Favorite aids her in staging a coup, she murders the Tsar and thus becomes the regent. Little Prince Paul, the son of Catherine and Peter, becomes an involuntary witness to the murder of his father, which deeply marks him for live and at the same time makes him the future tsar of all the Russias.

Act I

Years later, at the royal court chambers, Prince Paul, already of age, feels extremely lonely, accompanied only by servants and surrounded by hypocritical courtiers and victim of their intrigues. His mother, the Empress, has become inaccessible, always shielded by her Favorite and with all her attention placed on him. For the ambitious Catherine, power is not shared. Her son Paul is displaced from his legitimate right to the throne. The Favorite has tried to drag the Prince to his depraved way of life without much success. The Empress then decides that an early marriage would distract him from any thought of inheriting the throne. Time passes and Paul is happy with his wife Natalie. However, she has ambitious plans. She dreams with power and incites and presses Paul to assert his rights to the throne of all the Russias. The Empress discovers the intentions of the couple. With lies and betrayal, she destroys the happy life of the spouses, and Natalie becomes one more of her fatal victims. For Paul, the death of his beloved wife is the price paid to defend his rights. So many crimes and betrayals increase his anguish and confusion.

Act II 

The tragic events of the past haunt Paul, and his fantasies intertwine with reality. The hostile labyrinths of the Royal Palace frighten him and take away his legitimate claim to the throne. Away from power, Paul finds gratification in a parallel world symbolized by toy soldiers, which he has loved since childhood. However, little by little he realizes that this is no more than a game, an illusion of power. He decides to confront his mother and is crushed again. The Ghost of his father, surrounded by black knights, cries out for revenge. Agonizing memories of his father's murder ignite the son's rage, which seeks a way out. Meanwhile, in the Royal Palace, the life of the Court continues, inventing new forms of gaming and entertainment. Catherine the Great presides over a masked ball, which soon turns into an orgy. At the theater, actors perform a play for the Royal Court where a wife and her lover kill her husband, the King. The Empress is furious, as everything points to her; she swoops against the masks and discovers that the actor who played the murderous King was Prince Paul. The Empress, whose soul has no peace and is increasingly alone, recalls the many sacrifices that she has had to make to come to power and, above all, to stay on it. Her Favorite also feels confused, as his caresses and services are no longer sufficient, his role has come to an end, his fall is inevitable and he must leave the power scene. The heir is restless, dreaming of power and vengeance. In his fantasies, the Favorite dies in the hands of her father, Peter III. The victim kills his assailant. In another fantastic image, he sees his mother, now it is her turn, he only has to wave his sword to execute the final blow. But not even in his dreams he dares to do so. One vision is replaced by another. Fantasy is replaced by reality. The Empress is alone again, isolated. A wall of hate, that she herself has built, separates her from her son. The image of her murdered husband persecutes her and tortures her in her dreams. She believes that her son is not destined to the throne, he will never be able to reach the glory of his mother. In a tragic moment of clarity, Paul finally understands that he is not more than the shadow of his ambitious mother.