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wmf 2012
With 23 World-class Events this year's International Wimbledon Music Festival

Costumes designs by Xinyu Zhang
Wimbledon College of Art

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PETRUSHKA

Petrushka

"When I heard Mikhail Rudy at the Cité de la musique in Paris playing his transcription of the complete work I knew that this was something I wanted to bring to Wimbledon"

Anthony Wilkinson

Igor Stravinsky's ballet music for 'Petrushka' has long been one of my favourites. When I heard Mikhail Rudy at the Cité de la musique in Paris playing his transcription of the complete work I knew that this was something I wanted to bring to Wimbledon, in a new production with puppets, dancers and projections.

Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, and a generous donation from Kirill and Aleona Kutsenko, a production became possible and the Festival joined forces with the brilliant puppet team at the Little Angel Theatre.

Michael Rudy writes of his childhood experience of going to see a puppet-show.

"I could tell that behind the curtain there was an unsettling human form, which made my heart thump. I called him The Great Puppeteer. Invested with an extraordinary power, he was able to breathe life into his creations, to make them dance and laugh, or fall in love, but, at his least whim, he could melt them down at will into a spoon, like a character from Peer Gynt, or cut off their heads as if they we poor Petrushka. I was hypnotized by his limitless power, and I identified with his creatures. Were my emotions real or imaginary? I'm still looking for the answer."

"In the little theatre where the drama of Petrushka and the Ballerina is played out, one piece of wood – the piano – brings to life other pieces of wood, at the behest of a magician in a black suit. Perhaps one should play Petrushka in a top hat, surrounded by white rabbits and ladies sawn in half whose reflections keep on multiplying in mirrors… The piano giving the illusion of an orchestra, which in turn gives the illusion of marionettes, who in turn make us believe in human feelings."