Dutch National Ballet announce Best of Balanchine

January 17, 2013

Press Releases

Dutch National Ballet announce Best of Balanchine

dutch national ballet

* 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.

George Balanchine

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

Serenade

music: Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski

Agon

music: Igor Stravinsky

Symphony in C

music: Georges Bizet

Accompanied by Holland Symfonia, conducted by Andrea Quinn.

Performances in The Amsterdam Music Theatre

Evening:

Thurs. 7, Fri. 8, Sat. 16, Fri. 22, Sat. 23, Thurs. 28 February 2013
(curtain-up 20:15)

Matinee:

Sun. 10, Sun. 17, Sun. 24 February 2013 (curtain-up 14:00)

Dutch tour

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.

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