Five Things About Etudes
October 22, 2019
1. Etudes features 36 ensemble dancers and three soloists, one female and two male. Artistic Director Karen Kain performed the soloist role alongside former Principal Dancer David Nixon and Principal Character Artist Tomas Schramek when The National Ballet of Canada first performed Etudes on February 27, 1980.
2. The ensemble dancers form the heart and soul of Etudes and part of the ballet’s power comes from their ability to move cleanly, quickly and in unison.
3. There is no room for error in Etudes. Every dancer’s technique is on full display not only as the content of the piece, but also by virtue of the ballet’s design. In the opening scene, for example, only the dancers’ legs are illuminated. There is nothing to distract from the movement.
4. The female soloist embodies different qualities of dance, including the lyricism of the sylph, a figure from the Romantic ballet La Sylphide, originally choreographed by Danish choreographer August Bournonville.
5. Bournonville developed his own ballet style featuring quick footwork, rounded arms and a quality of lightness. Companies performing Etudes adopt elements of the Bournonville style, which is still the foundation of Danish ballet today.
Etudes & Piano Concerto #1 & Petite Mort is onstage November 27 – December 1, 2019.