The dance performances to be premièred on the stage of the Erkel Theatre are a feast not only to audiences keen on ballet but those only beginning to get acquainted with it. Every piece presents an intertwining of movement and music while giving audiences a real treat for the eyes and the soul. Admirers of a more classic style as well as fans of a more modern language of dance will find the performance enjoyable.
The first part of the programme comprises to ballets by Jiří Kylián. Petite Mort was produced especially for the Salzburg Festival in 1991, for the 200th anniversary Mozart’s death. This dance piece with a unique atmosphere features six female and six male dancers who dance to the most beautiful excerpts taken from the composer’s piano concertos. Six swords also appear in this performance. They act like real partners to the dancers creating more unusual, unbridled and extraordinary situations than real flesh and blood dancers. A bold spectacle, great dance roles and a sophisticated style characterise this ballet from a mature era of the choreographer.
In Six dances Kylián transforms the Mozartian playfulness and absurd reality into the language of movements. He did not want to tell a story, instead, he based his piece on the definition of the word ‘burlesque’ that features unrealistic heroes in surreal situations. This piece does not lack impish elements, either: the lively scenes are witty caricatures of the eternal male-female relationships. The eight dancers seem at first to be stepping out of a museum of waxworks from the time of Mozart, but the innovative and fresh choreography with its overwhelming dynamism make these heroes more modern, out of time, general characters of Kylian’s absurd creative world.
The second part of the show is Etudes, a one-act ballet that poses an enormous challenge to ballet ensembles. Its subject matter is namely the classical ballet technique, the school, the everyday training, the measurement of skill and art. Danish choreographer Harald Lander decided to let audiences into the secrets of how a ballet routine is built up on stage, how classical movements and a refined beauty of steps triumph over the laws of physics. Lander and the composer of the piece, Knudåge Riisager chose to use the music of Austrian piano virtuouso Carl Czerny for their choreography to show a parallel between piano practice and ballet practice, and how practice becomes skilful art.