Act I

A cliff.

A path of hope and aspiration comes to a sudden end. A lonely Fugitive, who failed to reconcile his dreams with reality, is standing on the edge.

A wall.
A new world made of dreams and illusions is discovered beyond the reality. No one can tread this fine line, no guide can lead the way. The Fugitive wakes inside a dream of his own.

A labyrinth.
Weightlessness perverts the order and makes it impossible to find the way back. But someone might lead the Fugitive out. Someone is beckoning him.

A dream.
A strange woman emerges on the edge of another world, the guide who leads him through the dreams. The Fugitive sought her so in his real life, all he found was delusion and despair.

A fantasy.
The Fugitive tries to reach the woman he longed for in waking world. Ondine beckons him from behind the horizon. She will lead him out of the labyrinth of nightmares. He only has to trust her and follow her.

A vortex.
The reflections multiply, the shadows grow darker, cold waves suppress the warm wind. Ondine disappears, and the Fugitive loses the way. Dreams and fantasies disguise themselves as reality. Confusion succumbs to willpower, anxiety is subdued by yearning.


Act II

Love.

All hope is broken, harmony is beyond grasp. Reality is but an illusion, love is but a lie. The only thing that remains true in the mortal world, is the yearning for a dream: it crashes down the blind walls and destroys the unsurmountable barriers. Once again Ondine promises to take the Fugitive with her, there, beyond the horizon.

Crossroads.
Ondine entangles the ways, obscures the destinations, challenges to go beyond the horizon, where there are no roads, no stops and no habits. The ground melts away, the ocean fills the space. As he reaches Ondine, the Fugitive draws in a storm. Mysteries still unsolved throw him back to the cliff.


Act III

A choice.

The Fugitive must make a choice. As he waits for Ondine, he uses his will to reverse his dream: he can still return to the realm of order where his soul was trapped. But no Ondine will he find there, and the ground will save the skies from crashing into the ocean.

An ideal.
Ondine stands between the decisions to go or to stay. An ideal beyond your reach, a medium between worlds, a queen of chaos who knows no order.
Her features seem so clear, her face speaks of perfection. As he embraces this harmony, the Fugitive follows Ondine – once and for all. The reflections of the waking world dissolve in the ocean. Waves hurry to wash away the shadows.

It is decreed by higher power
That I have had my finest hour.
A boat destroyed by stormy waves
Thus finds on shore its resting place.
Its hull is kissed by tidal waters,
But this caress will not get deep:
The wreck rejects the soothing offers
Pretending it is caught in sleep.
It’s but remains, and none will need them
To carry on some golden fleece.
It’s useless – and it has its freedom!
It tumbled – and it found its peace!..

***

Wish I were a diff'rent creature,
Wish I were an ocean’s wave.
I would kiss the golden beeches
Of the shore for which I crave,
I would roll and splash and clatter
‘Neath the silver harvest moon
And would scorn the boats that dare to
Leave the harbour all too soon;
I would scatter down the proudest
buildings of the human race,
And would let the poor drowned ones
Rest in peace in my embrace.
I would not be scared by hellfire.
Would not hope for Heaven’s bliss;
I would have what I admire:
Restlessness would be my peace.
Neither would I seek nepenthes
Here beneath the Northern sky;
I would live without repentance,
Free and proud I would die!

Mikhail Y. Lermontov


Translated by Ekaterina Baburina


				
General sponsor of the Bolshoi Theatre is Credit Suisse bank
General partner of the Bolshoi Theatre is investment group Absolute
Privileged partner of the Bolshoi Theatre is GUM
Bolshoi Ballet Official Sponsor is Nestlé company