There is the celebratory excitement in the quarters of bodyguard of Sveto¬zar, Great Prince of Kiev. Lyudmila must choose an intended husband. Then the suitors appear: Farlaf, an arrogant Varangian duke, and Ratmir, a dreamy Khazar prince. Ratmir is pursued by Gorislava who is in love with him with a plea to aban¬don Lyudmila.
Here is Ruslan. Mutual love has had long but until then secret links between Lyudmila and a Kievan knight. But Khazar princess’ choice is done. The Prince and his armed force praise the young couple. The wedding ceremony begins. Then – thunder… Lightning…
The sinister figure of an evil sorcerer Chernomor arises. Lyudmila freezes. An evil sorcerer abducts her. Ruslan is in despair. Svetozar promises Lyudmila will be a wife of the hero who returns her to father. The competitors leave Kiev.
The scene of enchanted forest appears. Naina is chasing Finn with her love. He rejects her. An evil sorceress swears to have revenge. Finn meets Ruslan – Ruslan notices Lyudmila in the smoke of the magic fire. He thanks Finn and leaves to search Chernomor’s castle… Naina is on watch for Farlaf. She promises that Lyudmila will be his. Naina gives Farlaf everything he was dreaming of: downy bed and the table full of viand. Overwhelmed with wine and gluttony, he falls asleep and forgets about Lyudmila.
Ruslan puts out to the field: the remnants of bloody carnage are visible. The knight is in doubt. “Will I find Lyudmila or fall dead like these unknown warriors?” There is a hill in front of Ruslan – it is The Head. The Head spills into a great num¬ber of warriors. The battle is fierce and the forces are unequal, but Ruslan goes out a winner. The warriors are diverted: The Head is replaced with magic sword.
Naina is hexing and tries to lure the knights. Her escort is the swarm of ugly crones who are transforming into beautiful girls. The forest turns into the mag-nificent oriental palace. Naina is on watch for a victim and preparing poisoned drink for Ratmir… Gorislava persistently follows Ratmir but a proud Khazar prince is longing to find Lyudmila, though Gorislava is dearer and closer to him. Ratmir leaves his crying girlfriend and enters Naina’s palace. The magic girls, wine and viand – and here is Ratmir who lost his shield, sword and helmet. Naina’s spells force Ratmir to forget about everything in the world. Gorislava, Finn and Ruslan appear in the palace. They release Ratmir.
Lyudmila awakes in the Chernomor’s castle. Trying to make love with Lyud-mila, Chernomor turns into Ruslan. But Lyudmila feels deception – it is an angry dwarf in front of her. Lyudmila tangles the magic beard of the villain.
The Chernomor’s servants appear solemnly bearing the dwarf and his beard. It is the sorcerer’s might parade. The vortex of lezghinka captivates all the partici¬pants. Lyudmila is almost unconscious. The dwarf slowly approaches his victim… The sound of horn rings out. It is Ruslan who challenges Chernomor to a battle. The battle is short and fierce. The dwarf takes Ruslan in the clouds…
Ruslan defeated the dwarf but Lyudmila is sleeping the spellful sleep and don’t recognize her sweetheart. Ratmir and Gorislava come to help Ruslan.
Naina drags palsied Farlaf – his hour has come. Fear makes him to submit. They are chasing the traces of Ruslan.
Night in the wilderness comes. Ruslan is guarding Lyudmila asleep but he is very tired so he falls asleep too. Naina and Farlaf appear. Farlaf drives a sword into Ruslan’s chest and abducts Lyudmila. Naina triumphs. Suddenly Finn appears with the water of death and the water of life. Ruslan’s wounds heal. The charac¬ters are heading for Kiev. Naina is defeated and her plans are destroyed.
Farlaf, who abducted Lyudmila, brought her back to Kiev. But nobody can awake her from magic sleep. She can’t recognize even her father…Great Prince of Kiev mourns over his daughter. But suddenly Ruslan runs in. His love awakes Lyudmila from her sleep. Faint-hearted Farlaf begs for mercy. There is the hap¬piness and jubilation in the Prince Svetozar’s palace. Russian people glorify the brave knight and the young princess…
Ballet was created based on the poem Pushkin and Mikhail Glinka’s opera, which is adjacent to the fabulous magic of reality and history and fiction peppered with gentle irony.
Weighty ease Pushkin line acquires monumental philosophical images of the opera. “Tales of olden times”, told in the language of classical dance: mutual love Ruslan and Ludmilla, her abduction Black Sea coast, the rivalry contenders for the hand and heart of Kiev Princess – Farlaf cowardly and proud Ratmira, Black Sea and the magical power of his beard…
Deceit and cowardice wins justice and young love.