Etudes & Piano Concerto #1 & Petite Mort Primer
by Karen Kain
November 25, 2019
This exciting programme includes three internationally acclaimed ballets: Harald Lander’s Etudes, Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 and the company premiere of Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort. All are the work of influential choreographers and together, they present a full range of dance styles and traditions.
takes ballet class out of the studio and puts it on stage in a true celebration of classical technique. In keeping with the ritual of daily class, the dancers progress from simple barre exercises through increasingly complex variations and solos, culminating in a virtuoso finale. Harald Lander created Etudes
in 1948 for The Royal Danish Ballet
and the stylistic heritage of that company is evident throughout. Watch for the fast footwork and qualities of lightness and buoyancy consistent with the Bournonville style, the legacy of Danish choreographer, August Bournonville
Piano Concerto #1
The National Ballet of Canada acquired Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1
in 2015, four years after he created his stunning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet
for our 60th anniversary season. Piano Concerto #1
will show you more of Alexei’s wonderful musicality and in particular, his deep affection for the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich
. The third part of his celebrated Shostakovich Trilogy, it explores the joys and trials of Shostakovich’s life as an artist in the Stalin era. Piano Concerto #1
contains some of the most athletic and abstract choreography in the trilogy, while standing on its own as a piece of great interest and power.
With the company premiere of Petite Mort
, we add to our repertoire of works by Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián, whom I was lucky to have been able to collaborate with while I was a dancer with the National Ballet. Jiří creates very physical and exciting contemporary ballets, often with a theatrical element to them. In Petite Mort
, he plays with the sexual inference in the phrase “petite mort” or “little death,” experimenting with different couplings, duets and duels. Jiří created Petite Mort
for Nederlands Dans Theater
in 1991, setting it to two of Mozart’s beloved piano concertos.
This is a dynamic and exhilarating programme of dance, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Etudes & Piano Concerto #1 & Petite Mort is onstage November 27 – December 1, 2019.