ballet "arabesque"

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Ballet "Arabesque" announces the X Competition for Contemporary Choreography based on bulgarian music for the " Margarita Arnaudova" award

The Competition for Contemporary Choreography, established by academician Kalina Bogoeva in 1996, has endorsed a whole generation of young bulgarian choreographers, who are nowadays the face of contemporary bulgarian choreography.

Deadline to apply

with a preliminary project:

1 March 2020

Information about the terms and conditions of the Competition:





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MARGARITA ARNAOUDOVA /30.06.1941 г.-08.11.1994 г./


"I just can’t break up with ballet. It is not a profession, it is a way of life – says many years ago one of the most famous Bulgarian choreographers Margarita Arnaoudova. „Even if I had free time I couldn’t devote it to anything else. Without ballet I wouldn’t have known what to do with my energy, my thoughts, my feelings. It is ballet, choreography where I get everything form. The difficulties I encounter mould my personality and set the course of my life" These are Margarita Arnaoudova’s words – one of the few chosen artists who blaze the epoch they live in with their talent and change the trends of aesthetic thought.

Margarita Arnaоudova came on professional ballet stage in the part of Firebird after Igor Stravinsky’s ballet of the same name. This image of resurrecting beauty would pursue Margarita throughout her entire life. Margarita Arnaoudova graduated State School of Choreography in Sofia, in 1959 and she was granted a diploma in the role of Firebird. Her first teacher is Nina Kiradzhieva – one of the choreographers with the most eminent quests of Bulgarian root in our national ballet. “Margarita Arnaoudova and Nadya Rumenin are fresh talents with a bunch of opportunities lying in front of them. This hard and highly varied part was performed by Margarita Arnaoudova with technical ease and richness of expssion”[1] was written about her participation in Alumni Concert of the school.


Although she was a promising ballet-dancer, Margarita Arnaoudova showed herself not as a performer but as a creator. This necessity led her to Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts – Moscow. Her teacher there was Anatoliy Shatin – the choreographer-dissident in the then Moscow cultural spheres, who was forbidden to have productions of his own but, fortunately, he wasn’t deprived of the freedom to teach students. “During her education in the institute Arnaoudova has proved to be one of the most capable students who possess a brilliant gift of a choreographer. “All Arnaoudova’s creative works are marked with deep thought, exact stage-directing and structural decisions; with bright and fresh choreographic language”[2], Anatoliy Shatin writes about his student. Margarita Arnaoudova produced Cinderella ballet, her diploma work, on the stage of Opera and Ballet Theater of Kazan, in 1966. The same year she became a ballet-master of Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Kharkiv. For the next 5 years Margarita Arnaoudova managed to produce on Kharkiv stage many of the big multi-acts ballets, such as “Cinderella” (Prokofiev), “Legend of love” (Melikov), “Prometheus”(Aristokesyan), “Dr. Aj Bolit” (Doctor, Ouch It Hurts) (Morozov) and “Don Juan” (Gubarenko).


During that period Margarita Arnaoudova produced on Bulgarian stage as well – „Cinderella” in Ruse (1967), „Bahchisarayski fountain” (1972) and “Abraxas” (1975) in Stara Zagora, „Creation of the World” (1974) in Sofia Opera (1974).


Although her successful career in Kharkiv and Kazan, Margarita Arnaoudova returned in Bulgaria and in the summer of 1974 she became the first Bulgarian choreographer invited after a proposal by Penka Encheva for production in the then Arabesque Ballet Formation. Before that, for six years since its founding the group had invited only producers from abroad and even some legends in the ballet world such as Alberto Alonso. Her first productions for Arabesque ballet are: “Brazilian impssions”, music: Villa Lobos, “Symphony-requiem”, music: Krasimir Kyurkchiyski, “Adagio”, music: Albinoni, “Passacaglia”, music: Bach. In 1974 she became a director and art manager of Arabesque Ballet.  


Margarita Arnaoudova worked with Arabesque Ballet till her death in 1994 and she succeeded in creating the particular image and unique creative capacity of this group – the only one of its kind in Bulgaria that works purposefully on developing the contemporary dance-art, always searching for its Bulgarian image. She is the author of choreographies of more than 60 ballet performances. Her works are among the biggest successes of Arabesque Ballet as well as of Opera and Ballet Theatres of Sofia, Ruse, Varna, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora. Thanks to her, Bulgarian audience has experienced on the ballet stage the works of Bach, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Mahler, Ravel Brittan, Villa Lobos, Carl Orff, Shchedrin and Skryabin, together with themes from the famous classical dramaturgy and mythology such as “Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet”, ‘Don Juan”, “Prometheus”, “Abraxas”, “Creation of world”, “Firebird”, “Cinderella”, etc. What has a particular place in her creative works as well as in our national culture are her Bulgarian performances – “Nestinarka” /Fire-Dancer/, “The Night before Midsummer Day”, “The legend of the lake”, “A root deep in the sky”, “The Shadow” and “The Barrier”, etc. Besides, Margarita Arnaoudova creates a great number of performances addressed to the young audience. Among them are “Equinox”, music: Jean Michelle Jarre, “Once Again About Love”, music: Bach, Vangelis, Rodrigo, “Suite on the Roof”, after songs of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, “The Man I Love”, music: Gershwin, “Hello Broadway”, and etc. Her performances were always a center of attraction out of the cliché and canon. Margarita Arnaoudova has always pferred the form of the single-act ballet since its action develops much more briefly and dynamically. According to her the contemporary spectator shows much more interest towards the basic idea of the performance and its musical-plastic realization than to fragments irrelevant to the action itself. Besides her own works, Margarita Arnaoudova has invited prominent choreographers from Europe, Russia and America to work with Arabesque ballet and with their help the group maintains a repertoire on a world level and it learns constantly new dance techniques and styles. Arabesque ballet has given a number of performances in a lot of countries in Europe and the world with her.


Dance dynamics is incidental to the psent-day generation. The rhythm, so characteristic of dance, is in accordance with the rhythm and spirit of our time. As far back as Ancient Times the ancient Greeks made a cult of the harmony of human body and the things haven’t changed nowadays – people shall always be enchanted by its grace and movements, Margarita Arnaoudova says. Convinced in the future of contemporary dance, in 1993 she established a new dance major at New Bulgarian University - Ballet Staging.


Margarita Arnaoudova’s name is a whole epoch in contemporary dance inBulgaria. Her works and charismatic personality are still perceived tangibly in our contemporary dance art.


During her 30-year creative experience the big Bulgarian choreographer has managed to create her own aesthetic world, only hers and unlike any other’s. “This world is full of images, metaphors, sublimity and beauty. It brims over with love toward life and people. Her choreography is brilliant and fragile, it is highly aesthetic. But if we take a closer look we will find it is a result of a strict construction, remarkable knowledge on forming theatrical and production lines, in mastering figures and movements in their pure form and perfect type… Margarita Arnaoudova’s works bear no transitional meaning. Besides their significance for our contemporary culture they are like a bridge connecting the best from our past with tomorrow.”[3]


[1] To Margarita Arnaoudova with Love, Anelia Yaneva, 1995

[2] Artistic Characteristic of Margarita Arnaudova by Anatoliy Shatin, 1966

[3] To Margarita with love, Margarita Mihaylova, 1994



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