Dutch National Ballet announce Best of Balanchine
* Three faces of a choreographic genius
* programme to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of his death
* première 7 February 2013 at The Amsterdam Music Theatre
* performances until 1 March 2013 in Amsterdam, Groningen, Zwolle, The Hague, Heerlen, Utrecht, Breda and Enschede
George Balanchine (1904-1983) was the greatest dance innovator of the twentieth century. To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of his death, the Dutch National Ballet (which along with the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris is the largest European guardian of Balanchine’s oeuvre) is dancing three of his undisputed masterpieces.
Best of Balanchine can be seen from 7 February to 1 March in The Amsterdam Music Theatre and in Groningen, Zwolle, The Hague, Heerlen, Utrecht, Breda and Enschede.
Best of Balanchine
Serenade (1934), the first ballet Balanchine created in America, stands out for its simplicity and lyricism, its wonderful spatial patterns and the
exceptional synthesis between dance and music. Although Balanchine incorporated many rehearsal studio incidents in the piece, it does not tell a story. The choreographer’s main concern was to visualise the melodic and rhythmic lines of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.
Agon (1957) is also known as the ‘computer ballet’ or the ‘IBM ballet’. Performed in simple training clothes, the abstract ballet has been stripped of every vestige of dramatic development. All the attention is focused on the pure construction of movement, which – fuelled by the striking rhythms of Stravinsky’s music of the same name – is complex and explosive, and demands an almost acrobatic virtuosity of the dancers.
Symphony in C (1947), originally created for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, shows ‘yet another Balanchine’. With its cool glitter, crystal-clear
movement patterns and inventive pointe-work technique, this audience favourite refers to the classical Russian ballet divertissement of the 19th century. However, the influence that American life had on Balanchine is also clearly discernible in the fiery, whirling dance themes and the high speeds often seen in the choreography.
As one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the arts, George Balanchine (1904-1983) put his mark on the development of twentieth-century dance.
He was the only choreographer working in the West who could draw on such depths of the rich movement repertoire of nineteenth-century classical ballet. This is demonstrated, in particular, by Balanchine’s brilliant pointework variations and the elegance and aristocratic refinement of his choreography.
Balanchine found his main source of inspiration for modernising classical ballet in America, where he moved in 1933 following the death of Diaghilev, at the invitation of the American art connoisseur Lincoln Kirstein. Up to Balanchine’s death, Kirstein was the managing director of the company for which Balanchine set the artistic tone. This company was christened New York City Ballet in 1948 and rapidly grew into one of the most famous ballet companies in the world.
The American lifestyle lent dynamism, brilliance and tempo to Balanchine’s work. His productivity was unparalleled, and he created the choreography for over four hundred ballets, films, operas, revues and musicals, with a creative power that continued until just a few years before his death.
Best of Balanchine
choreography: George Balanchine
music: Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski
music: Igor Stravinsky
Symphony in C
music: Georges Bizet
Accompanied by Holland Symfonia, conducted by Andrea Quinn.
Performances in The Amsterdam Music Theatre
Thurs. 7, Fri. 8, Sat. 16, Fri. 22, Sat. 23, Thurs. 28 February 2013
Sun. 10, Sun. 17, Sun. 24 February 2013 (curtain-up 14:00)
Tues. 12 February – Stadsschouwburg Groningen
Fri. 15 February – Theater De Spiegel, Zwolle
Tues. 19 February – Lucent Danstheater, Den Haag
Thurs. 21 February – Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Heerlen
Tues. 26 February – Schouwburg Utrecht
Wed. 27 February – Chassé Theater, Breda
Fri. 1 March: Wilminktheater, Enschede
Tickets are available from the box office of The Amsterdam Music Theatre (020) 625 54 55 and the AUB-ticketshop on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. Tickets can be booked online via the website.