The Polovetsian Dances (or Polovtsian Dances) are perhaps the best known selections from Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor. Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin (Александр Порфирьевич Бородин Aleksandr Porfir'evič Borodin) ( &ndash) was a Russian Composer Prince Igor ( Князь Игорь, Knyaz' Igor) is an Opera by Alexander Borodin, written in four acts with a prologue They are often played as a stand-alone concert piece as one of the best known works in the classical repertoire. In the opera the dances are performed with chorus, but concert performances often omit the choral parts. For the musical composition see Chorale. A choir, chorale, or chorus is a Musical ensemble of Singers The dances do not include the "Polovetsian March" which opens Act III (No. 18), but the overture, dances, and march from the opera have been performed together to form a suite from Prince Igor. In Music, a suite is an ordered set of Instrumental or Orchestral pieces normally performed in a Concert In the opera Prince Igor the dances occur in Act II (in the original edition).
The first dance, which uses no chorus and is sometimes omitted in concerts, is No. 8, entitled "Dance of the Polovetsian Maidens" ["Пляска половецких девушек"]: Presto, 6/8, F Major; it is placed directly after the "Chorus of the Polovetsian Maidens" which opens the act and is followed by "Konchakovna's Cavatina". The dances proper appear at the end of the Act as an uninterrupted single number in several contrasting sections listed as follows (basic themes are indicated with letters in brackets and notated in the accompanying illustration
As an orchestral showpiece by an important nineteenth-century Russian composer, this work makes a spectacular impression. Notable instrumental solos include the clarinet (in No. 8 and the Men's Dance [c]) and the oboe and English horn (in the Women's Dance [b]).
The text of the first stanza of this particular section in the opera is given below.
Улетай на крыльях ветра
Fly away on the wings of the wind
Uletay na kryl'yakh vetra
Most of the themes from No. 17 were incorporated into the 1953 musical Kismet, best known of which is the women's dance ("Gliding Dance of the Maidens"), adapted for the song "Stranger in Paradise". Kismet is a musical written in 1953 by Robert Wright and George Forrest, adapted from the music of Alexander Borodin, and " Stranger in Paradise " is a popular Song from the 1953 musical Kismet and is credited to Robert Wright Thirteen years earlier, in 1940, Artie Shaw recorded "My Fantasy" (credited to composers Whiteman-Meskitt-Edwards) which has a tune virtually identical to this dance. Arthur Jacob Arshawsky ( May 23, 1910 &ndash December 30, 2004) better known as Artie Shaw, was an American Jazz
More recent adaptations of the music include the following: