Saturday, November 17, 2012

FILM: Anna Karenina and its Mazurka

by Staś Kmieć
 Arriving in US theaters, Anna Karenina is acclaimed director Joe Wright’s new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s great 1877 novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard.  Starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law, the story unfolds in its original late 19th century Tsarist Russia high-society setting and powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, from the passion between adulterers to the bond between a mother and her children.

   This visually stunning and artistically bold film features music by Dario Marianelli and choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui including the waltz, quadrille and mazurka – an important and fateful dance in the novel.
The mazurka originated in the 16th century as a peasant dance among the Mazurs of east-central Poland and was quickly adopted by the Polish court. It eventually spread to Russian and German ballrooms and by the 1830s had reached England and France. The mazurka is an important dance in many Russian novels – it also appears in Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons.