Set to piano exercises by Carl Czerny, Harald Lander’s Etudes turns the spotlight on ballet class as the foundation for brilliant performances. Over the course of one act, the dancers progress from simple barre exercises through increasingly challenging steps and variations to a thrilling finale. Created in 1948 for The Royal Danish Ballet, Etudes is Lander’s most popular work, a showstopping celebration of ballet technique.
Five Things About Etudes
Harald Lander was a dancer, choreographer and former Artistic Director of The Royal Danish Ballet, for whom he created more than 30 ballets. He was particularly interested in preserving the style and repertoire of August Bournonville, notably La Sylphide. Etudes is his most popular work.
Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer and pianist of the early 19th century with an oeuvre totaling more than 1,000 works. He is best known for his piano studies, which are still in use for both piano teaching and ballet class today.
“A quintessential homage to a dancer’s classical training.” —The Hamilton Spectator
Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 is the third part of his Shostakovich Trilogy, which pays tribute to the embattled Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Each part evokes the drama of Shostakovich’s life under Stalinism as he struggled to reconcile his desire for artistic freedom with the demands of the state. Piano Concerto #1 contains some of the most abstract choreography in the trilogy and it stands alone as a work of great beauty and power.
Five Things About Piano Concerto #1
Born in St. Petersburg, Alexei Ratmansky is a choreographer and former ballet dancer. He is Artist-in-Residence at American Ballet Theatre and former Artistic Director of Bolshoi Ballet. He has created new work for ballet companies around the world, including Romeo and Juliet for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011.
Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. His body of work includes ballets, musical comedies and film scores in addition to classical chamber music. He endured periods of censorship and criticism in totalitarian Russia despite his success.
“Fascinating, poetic, enigmatic and bittersweet… powerfully charged” —The New York Times
Petite Mort is a dynamic short ballet from the acclaimed Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián. Playing on sexual inuendo in the phrase “petite mort” or “little death”, a cast of six male and six female dancers move and spar with another in beautiful and unexpected ways, sometimes using fencing foils in allusion to the sexual dual. This is a ballet of couplings, a witty exploration of sensuality that blends modern and classical sensibilities.
Jiří Kylián was Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater for nearly 25 years. In 1991, he founded NDT 3, a company devoted to senior dancers. After his retirement in 1999, he served as Resident Choreographer until 2009. He has created more than 100 ballets for companies around the world.
Born in Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most influential and popular composers of the 18th century classical period. His diverse body of work includes symphonies, choral music and his ever popular operas.
“Petite Mort posits sex and death as metaphysical equivalents, with the steel-etched duets. …Kylián’s choreography merges a quivering, slicing ferocity with a baroque vocabulary of entwining, coiling seduction” —The Guardian
“It’s short, sweet, and funny, a real crowd pleaser.” —Critical Dance
Carl Czerny, arranged and orchestrated by Knudäge Riisager
Etudes is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.
Piano Concerto #1
Lead philanthropic support for Piano Concerto #1 is provided by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and The Producers’ Circle.
The Producers’ Circle: John & Claudine Bailey, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, C.M., Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, C.M., The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M. Q.C., Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.
Petite Mort Company Premiere
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Jiří Kylián, Joop Caboort (Realisation)
Video Credits: 5 Things About Etudes
Featuring: Heather Ogden, Guillaume Côté, Naoya Ebe, Harrison James, Koto Ishihara, Chelsy Meiss, Tina Pereira, Jenna Savella Kathryn Hosier, Jeannine Haller, Miyoko Koyasu, Tiffany Mosher, Calley Skalnik, Artists of the Ballet , Xiao Nan Yu, Guest Rehearsal Assistant, The Musicians of The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra.
Video Credits: Piano Concerto #1 Trailer
Featuring: Harrison James, Svetlana Lunkina, Artists of the Ballet.
Musicians have been recorded by permission of the Toronto Musicians' Association, Local 149, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.
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