Anna Karenina

Ballet by Marina Kesler to the music of Dmitry Shostakovich
Based on Lev Tolstoy’s eponymous novel
World premiere on September 1, 2020

Tolstoy’s great prose masterwork towers over the western literary canon as one of the most riveting works of fiction ever written. Marina Kesler has adapted this demanding novel as a ballet, giving the heroine of the piece a voice through the powerful music of Shostakovich.

“Anna Karenina” is a story wrapped in temptation, passion, and moral conflict, a turbulent tale of betrayal, dreams chased and lost, and the consequences of getting swept off your feet by love. Karenina is an extraordinary woman who breaks all moral and social conventions with devastating consequences. As a noblewoman, her glamorous lifestyle shrouds her unhappy marriage. But everything changes when she meets the dashing army officer Count Vronsky. She risks her social status, marriage, friends and family for the thrill of forbidden love.

The legendary ballerina Maya Plisetskaya was the first to translate Anna Karenina into the language of ballett in 1971, and her husband Rodion Shchedrin composed the music. This was followed by classic and modern interpretations by Boris Eifman, Jochen Ulrich, Alexei Ratmansky and Christian Spuck to name a few.

Staging team

  • Conductors: Kaspar Mänd, Lauri Sirp
  • Choreographer and Stage Director: Marina Kesler
  • Designer: Reili Evart
  • Lighting Designer: Rasmus Rembel


Approx. running time 2 h 10 min, one intermission




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