The ballet Masquerade is a rarity. The Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) originally conceived the evocative score as incidental music for a 1941 production of Mikhail Lermontov’s play of the same name. The ballet, following Lermontov’s drama, tells the tragic tale of a bracelet lost at a masked ball which leads Arbenin to wrongly accuse his wife Nina of infidelity. Despite her protestations of innocence, Arbenin poisons her, only to learn that she was guiltless.
The 1985 filmed production presented here makes full use of cinematic techniques to convey the ambiguity of sinister stratagems lurking at the fringes of a swirling masquerade ball, while Khachaturian’s music – in particular the famous Waltz and the wistful Nocturne – provides the perfect accompaniment to the inventive choreography.
63 minutes, colour, mono, 4:3.