WIENER STAATSBALLETT (austria)
XV DANCE OPEN International Ballet Festival
April 16, 2016, 19:00. Alexandrinsky Theatre, 12+
Philosophically minded critics like to call our time the era of allusions and reminiscences. The mankind has accumulated such a wealth of knowledge, experience, impressions and thoughts embodied on canvas and paper, in music and dance that it seems impossible to come up with something new that would not be a quote, replica, or at least a reference to the great works of the past. The White and Black is an example of how art is conceived today, not from a scratch but as an attempt of Wiener Staatsballett to reconsider the experience of the great artists of the past - Leonardo, Perrault and Rossini - from the standpoint of a man of the 21st century.
Choreography by Jiří Bubeníček Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Pachelbel, Roman Hoffstetter, Otto Bubeníček
Jiří Bubeníček’s Le Souffle de l’esprit meets the highest esthetics standards
Silvia Karg, ballet critic
The dancers literally radiate the frantic obsession with the movement, in these moments the audience freezes, breathless
Once upon a time on the summer evening of 2007 Marie-Agnès Gillot presented to Jiří Bubeníček an album of Da Vinci reproductions. Looking through the album Jiří thought how the titans of the Renaissance worshipped the radiant life and its sister, death. The appearance and disappearance, coming into this world and departure to the mysterious far end – two sides of the same coin, two highest points of the amplitude of the eternally swinging pendulum… Let there be light in joy, but let there be also light in sorrow, for it indicates the beginning of a new cycle, new round of an eternal spiral.
In the final part of Le Souffle de l’esprit a small universe is discovered: the trio performs the dance that takes the breath away to the famous canon of Pachelbel. Bubeníček frees himself from any stylistic bounds and let the dancers in impulsive movements first find each other and later lose again
Choreography by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León Music by Gioachino Rossini
Skew-Whiff is an amazing production that can captivate and fascinate the audience
In Skew-Whiff we see a passionate courtship dance of three males around one lady. Witty, surprising, touching
This lovely bric-à-brac created by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León 20 years ago has become a part of the international repertoire. A golden enamel of Rossini’s overture written in calligraphic handwriting does not give a second for exhalation, but now and then there are blots and characters written the other way round among the lines.
These 15 minutes require a virtuoso technique and comic abilities from artists. How complicated it is to demonstrate the perfect flexibility and clumsiness at the same time, to keep up with the furious pace of the music and leisurely roll over from emotion to emotion, draw a difficult and fancy choreographic pattern and make funny faces. Only big artists can do that.
Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon's Skew-Whiff, performed to Rossini's Thieving Magpie overture and proving that classic and contemporary can exist in perfect harmony and even fuse to give us something both funny and exciting
Choreography by Stephan Thoss Music by Philip Glass
The ballet again reveals the harmony of liberated bodies as only love can do. Stefan Toss demonstrates that love itself can dance if we let it do it
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The history of Bluebeard is only a metaphor through which Toss can subtly tell us about the twists and turns of love, about guilt and pain, and the strength of two people who, despite everything, decided to continue their relations
Die Deutsche Buehne
It is difficult for men and women to find the common ground and the old fairy tale about Knight Bluebeard confirms that. But it is never too late to try again. That is – almost never… This ballet shows us where the desire and ability to love come from. It shows us what hinders the growth and bloom of this fragile flower. It is about an eternal longing to be understood.
Dynamically, brutally and with blinding flashes of passion Thoss tells us the history of one fateful affair