Harald Lander’s Etudes is an exhilarating tribute to the art form of classical dance that traces the development of a ballet class. Beginning with a simple warm-up, the dancers perform a progressively more complex and technically difficult series of exercises. A veritable encyclopedia of ballet technique, each movement, turn, jump, and even foot position in Etudes is carefully revealed for the audience.
Originally created for The Royal Danish Ballet, Lander’s beautifully choreographed sequences mount with excitement culminating in a spectacular display of pure virtuosity. From adagio and pas de deux to the sheer virtuosity of allegro, the ballet culminates in a riveting finale with the entire company on stage.
Piano Concerto #1 is the final section of Alexei Ratmansky’s magisterial Shostakovich Trilogy, a work that premiered in 2013. The ballet as a whole is an homage to the life and work of the renowned Soviet composer and his ceaseless struggles against the dictates of Stalinist ideology. The final section stands on its own as perhaps the most abstract and hopeful of the three segments, with some of the most dynamic and exuberant choreography Ratmansky has yet created.
Jiří Kylián originally created Petite Mort for the 1991 Salzburg Festival to mark the second centenary of the death of Mozart. The work, for six men and six women, is in many ways the quintessence of the great Czech choreographer’s style. Using movements from two of Mozart’s most famous piano concertos, the work masterfully evokes both the intense yearning and the latent eroticism of the music, with the cast dramatizing with both passion and vulnerability the famously ambiguous implications of the work’s title.
“[Etudes is...] Bold and exquisite… an explosive dance kaleidoscope that is nothing short of breathtaking.” Toronto Sun
“A quintessential homage to a dancer’s classical training.” —The Hamilton Spectator
“Fascinating, poetic, enigmatic and bittersweet… powerfully charged” —The New York Times
“Extraordinary... Ratmansky is so fluent in the language of ballet that he makes us understand it better” —The Globe and Mail
“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, Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, 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)
2019/20 marks Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 50th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada.
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