Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyAn elegant ballroom with distinguished guests dancing the Polonaise opens the final act of Tchaikovsky’s three-act opera Eugene Onegin. The young man Eugene encounters Tatyana, whose innocent love he once harshly rejected. Tatyana is now a married, sophisticated woman. This time Eugene pledges his love to her, but is sent away heartbroken.It was only over time that the Polonaise, a stately dance originating in the sixteenth century, acquired its nineteenth-century features, especially the energetic repetition of short rhythmic motifs. The Polonaise in imperial Russia, unlike the virtuosic piano Polonaises by Chopin, was music with processional character for ceremonial occasions. In less than a year of the 1879 premiere of Eugene Onegin, Franz Liszt apparently appreciated the Polonaise so much that he transcribed it into a piano showpiece.