Laurencia ballet 1 act

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Laurencia is a ballet made by Vakhtang Chabukiani to music by Alexander Crain, based on Lope de Vega's Fuente Ovejuna. Created at a time when “choreodrama” was considered in the Soviet Union the only acceptable form of contemporary ballet, it harks back to a genuine drama, wherein movement was a vehicle for meaning, and dance could serve as divertissement as well as dramatic purpose. At the same time, the story of a peasant revolution was obviously the ideal subject for a Soviet ballet. Vakhtang Chabukiani was one of the first to create a new choreographic language by means of his own particular blend of folk dance and classical dance. He asserted once and for all the importance of male dance, furthering in particular the notion of "heroic" male dance.

Act I[edit]
Scene 1

In Fuente Ovejuna, a village in Spain, a holiday crowd has gathered on the main square. Locals dance, while waiting for the return of their Commander from the battle. Youngsters are teasing Laurencia and Frondoso, who is in love with her. Laurencia teases Frondoso herself. Mengo, the violin player, enters and Laurencia’s friend, Pascuala, asks him to play the violin. Young people dance again. Military music is heard from afar. The Commander enters and the villagers salute him obediently, but he does not respond to their greetings. The charming Laurencia has caught his attention. The Commander courts the girl, but she responds with indifference. He loses his temper and, furious, leaves the village with his soldiers.
Scene 2

Bank of the river. Frondoso reveals his feelings to Laurencia, but the girl does not give him a clear answer. The sound of a trumpet can be heard. This is the hunting party of the Commander. He enters and tries to abduct Laurencia, but Frondoso defends the girl bravely from her loathed admirer. The Commander swears to seek revenge on them both. Village girls, more interested in chatting and dance than their work, take laundry to the river. Here comes the merry violin player Mengo, too. The girls meet him with joy. After their work is done, the girls return to the village, but Jacinta is kept behind with her laundry. Suddenly the Commander’s soldiers appear and attack her. Mengo defends the girl from the soldiers fearlessly. When the Commander enters, he orders his men to arrest Mengo and punish him. Jacinta is given into the hands of the soldiers. Laurencia is certain of Frondoso’s bravery, love and devotion now, and gives him her consent to marry.

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