Ballet - Hommage
Ballett–Hommage is Vienna State Opera’s way of celebrating ballet as an art form in its very many styles. It is a triple feature that aims to show the evolution of new approaches and the multitude of expressive possibilities that carefully choreographed movement holds. With names as big as William Forsythe, Natalia Horecna and Harald Lander on the bill, there is no doubt that the performance will be nothing short of electrifying.
The evening begins with ‘The Second Detail’ (1991) by William Forsythe, a piece that pushes the norms of classical ballet. Tradition meets jazzed-up disruption as the dancers come together in odd geometric shapes and quickly break apart again to present inspired solo and duo arrangements. In sync with the modern dance choreography, the music by Dutch composer Thom Willems thumps with tuned percussiveness and funk.
Next comes ‘Contra Clockwise Witness’ (2013), an inventive modern dance performance by Slovak expat Natalia Horecna. An experienced modern ballerina and an award-winning young choreographer, Horecna is said to realise the full potential of dance to reach into the depths of the human soul. With the avant-garde music of George Crumb and Max Richter, ‘Contra Clockwise Witness’ is based off the book Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton and treats the notion of spiritual life and out-of-body experiences with characteristic black humour and wit.
The programme is completed by ‘Études’(1948), a ballet that shot Danish choreographer Harald Lander to international fame. In the space of a single act, the performance pays tribute to the strenuous technical preparation behind classical ballet. Following a simple beginning with barre exercises, it gradually builds up to the more complicated pirouettes, leaps and richly choreographed dances. Lander drafted the choreography to piano études by Carl Czerny.
Ballett–Hommage at Wiener Staatsoper encompasses the origins, development and contemporary explorations of ballet as an immersive and expressive form of art. It is bound to delight dance connoisseurs and create new dedicated fans in equal measure.
The Second Detail
Music: Thom Willems
Choreography, staging, lighting design and costumes: William Forsythe
Contra Clockwise Witness
Music: George Crumb, Max Richter et al
Choreography: Natalia Horecna
Staging and costumes: Christiane Devos
Lighting design: Mario ilsanker
Music: Knudåge Riisager
Choreography: Harald Lander