Goldberg-Variations / Gods and Dogs - Biographies

Goldberg-Variationen. Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl Goldberg-Variationen. Ensemble ©Wilfried Hösl Gods and Dogs. Ensemble. ©Wilfried Hösl

Goldberg-Variations / Gods and Dogs

Jiří Kylián, Jerome Robbins

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach / Jiří Kylián (Concept) / Dirk Haubrich and Ludwig van Beethoven
Nationaltheater

Ballet Festival Week 2012
Sunday, 22. April 2012

Music


Jirí Kylián
Jiří Kylián

“I think, that our task as choreographers is to search the extremities of our souls,” says Jiří Kylián. Since the early 1970s, the celebrated Czech choreographer has created more than 100 works – most of them for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). His creations are inspired by many different sources, combine diverse art forms and defy categorisation.

First smitten with the magic of circus, young Kylián started his studies as an acrobat. At the age of nine, he began to train at Prague National Theatre ballet school. Six years later, in 1962, he was accepted at Prague Conservatory and, in 1967, won a one-year-scholarship for London’s Royal Ballet School. There he met the influential choreographer John Cranko, who not only offered him a contract with Stuttgart Ballet but also encouraged him to embark in a career as a choreographer.

In 1975, Kylián left Germany to become artistic co-director at Nederlands Dans Theater, for which had created several pieces before. After the successful premiere of Sinfonietta (1978) at the “Festival of two worlds” in Charleston, South Carolina, he was given full responsibility for NDT’s artistic direction. Symphony of Psalms (also 1978) was the second significant creation of this time. This work had a decisive influence on the further development of the company and its international reputation. In the mid-1980s, Kylián’s work became more abstract as can be seen in the Black and White choreographies. This was due to an encounter with Australian Aboriginals that shaped his understanding of dance as an important “corner stone” of our social structure and an inevitable facet of our “artistic horizon”. Kylián marked NDT’s 35th anniversary by creating Arcimboldo (1994) for the three companies of NDT. The three-dimensional structure of the NDT is unique. Each company employs dancers of a different age, making the NDT one of the most diverse ensembles in the world. Unfortunately, in 2006, NDT III, which was for dancers older than 40, had to be closed due to financial shortages.

In 1999, Kylián resigned from his position as NDT’s artistic director but kept on working as resident choreographer until 2009.

In the course of his career, Kylián received many international honors, including “Officer of the Orange Order”, a doctorate at Juillard School New York, three Nijinsky Awards (Best Choreographer, Best Company, Best Work), the Prix Benoit de la Danse, the Honory Medal of the President of the Czech R Republic, and “Commander of the Legion d’honneur”. In 2008, he was distinguished with one of the highest royal honours, the Medal of the Order of the House of Orange, given to him by Her Majesty the Queen Beatrix from the Netherlands.

In 2009, Kylián created Zugvögel for Bavarian State Ballet. Three years later, in 2012, the ensemble will perform another work of the Czech choreographer: Gods and Dogs which premiered in November 2008 with NDT. 


Choreography


Jirí Kylián
Jiří Kylián

“I think, that our task as choreographers is to search the extremities of our souls,” says Jiří Kylián. Since the early 1970s, the celebrated Czech choreographer has created more than 100 works – most of them for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). His creations are inspired by many different sources, combine diverse art forms and defy categorisation.

First smitten with the magic of circus, young Kylián started his studies as an acrobat. At the age of nine, he began to train at Prague National Theatre ballet school. Six years later, in 1962, he was accepted at Prague Conservatory and, in 1967, won a one-year-scholarship for London’s Royal Ballet School. There he met the influential choreographer John Cranko, who not only offered him a contract with Stuttgart Ballet but also encouraged him to embark in a career as a choreographer.

In 1975, Kylián left Germany to become artistic co-director at Nederlands Dans Theater, for which had created several pieces before. After the successful premiere of Sinfonietta (1978) at the “Festival of two worlds” in Charleston, South Carolina, he was given full responsibility for NDT’s artistic direction. Symphony of Psalms (also 1978) was the second significant creation of this time. This work had a decisive influence on the further development of the company and its international reputation. In the mid-1980s, Kylián’s work became more abstract as can be seen in the Black and White choreographies. This was due to an encounter with Australian Aboriginals that shaped his understanding of dance as an important “corner stone” of our social structure and an inevitable facet of our “artistic horizon”. Kylián marked NDT’s 35th anniversary by creating Arcimboldo (1994) for the three companies of NDT. The three-dimensional structure of the NDT is unique. Each company employs dancers of a different age, making the NDT one of the most diverse ensembles in the world. Unfortunately, in 2006, NDT III, which was for dancers older than 40, had to be closed due to financial shortages.

In 1999, Kylián resigned from his position as NDT’s artistic director but kept on working as resident choreographer until 2009.

In the course of his career, Kylián received many international honors, including “Officer of the Orange Order”, a doctorate at Juillard School New York, three Nijinsky Awards (Best Choreographer, Best Company, Best Work), the Prix Benoit de la Danse, the Honory Medal of the President of the Czech R Republic, and “Commander of the Legion d’honneur”. In 2008, he was distinguished with one of the highest royal honours, the Medal of the Order of the House of Orange, given to him by Her Majesty the Queen Beatrix from the Netherlands.

In 2009, Kylián created Zugvögel for Bavarian State Ballet. Three years later, in 2012, the ensemble will perform another work of the Czech choreographer: Gods and Dogs which premiered in November 2008 with NDT. 


Set


Jirí Kylián
Jiří Kylián

“I think, that our task as choreographers is to search the extremities of our souls,” says Jiří Kylián. Since the early 1970s, the celebrated Czech choreographer has created more than 100 works – most of them for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). His creations are inspired by many different sources, combine diverse art forms and defy categorisation.

First smitten with the magic of circus, young Kylián started his studies as an acrobat. At the age of nine, he began to train at Prague National Theatre ballet school. Six years later, in 1962, he was accepted at Prague Conservatory and, in 1967, won a one-year-scholarship for London’s Royal Ballet School. There he met the influential choreographer John Cranko, who not only offered him a contract with Stuttgart Ballet but also encouraged him to embark in a career as a choreographer.

In 1975, Kylián left Germany to become artistic co-director at Nederlands Dans Theater, for which had created several pieces before. After the successful premiere of Sinfonietta (1978) at the “Festival of two worlds” in Charleston, South Carolina, he was given full responsibility for NDT’s artistic direction. Symphony of Psalms (also 1978) was the second significant creation of this time. This work had a decisive influence on the further development of the company and its international reputation. In the mid-1980s, Kylián’s work became more abstract as can be seen in the Black and White choreographies. This was due to an encounter with Australian Aboriginals that shaped his understanding of dance as an important “corner stone” of our social structure and an inevitable facet of our “artistic horizon”. Kylián marked NDT’s 35th anniversary by creating Arcimboldo (1994) for the three companies of NDT. The three-dimensional structure of the NDT is unique. Each company employs dancers of a different age, making the NDT one of the most diverse ensembles in the world. Unfortunately, in 2006, NDT III, which was for dancers older than 40, had to be closed due to financial shortages.

In 1999, Kylián resigned from his position as NDT’s artistic director but kept on working as resident choreographer until 2009.

In the course of his career, Kylián received many international honors, including “Officer of the Orange Order”, a doctorate at Juillard School New York, three Nijinsky Awards (Best Choreographer, Best Company, Best Work), the Prix Benoit de la Danse, the Honory Medal of the President of the Czech R Republic, and “Commander of the Legion d’honneur”. In 2008, he was distinguished with one of the highest royal honours, the Medal of the Order of the House of Orange, given to him by Her Majesty the Queen Beatrix from the Netherlands.

In 2009, Kylián created Zugvögel for Bavarian State Ballet. Three years later, in 2012, the ensemble will perform another work of the Czech choreographer: Gods and Dogs which premiered in November 2008 with NDT. 


Costumes


 

Lighting


 

Video Projections


 

Video Projections


 


Choreography


Jerome Robbins. ©Jesse Gerstein
Jerome Robbins

Jerome Robbins is world renowned for his work as a choreographer of ballets as wells as for his work as choreographer and director in theater, movies and television.

He started his career in 1939 when joining the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre. Soon, he was casted for principal roles in the works of Fokine, Tudor, Massine, Lichine, and de Milles. In 1944, Robbins created his first ballet, Fancy Free, which premiered with ABT. More than 60 ballets followed, for example Afternoon of a Faun (1953), The Concert (1956), Les Noces (1965), Dances at a Gathering (1969), In the Night (1970), The Goldberg Variations (1971), In G Major (1975), Other Dances (1976), Glass Pieces (1983) und Ives Songs (1989) which are in the repertoires of major dance companies throughout the world. He has worked closely with New York City Ballet. In 1949, he was given the position of Associate Artistic Director and, several years later, the position of Ballet-Master-in-Chief which he shared with Frank Martin.

Simultaneously, Robbins worked as a choreographer and director for numerous Broadway musicals and plays. Among them are On the Town (1945), Billion Dollar Baby (1946), High Button Shoes (1947), Miss Liberty (1949), Call me Madame (1950), The King and I (1951), Peter Pan (1954), West Side Story (1957), for which he received two Academy Awards, Gypsy (1959) and Fiddler on the Roof (1964). His last musical Jerome Robbins’ Broadway of 1989 won him six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director.

Other awards and citations include five Donaldson Awards, an Emmy Award, the Screen Directors‘  Guild Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. He is a 1981 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient and was awarded the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.

Jerome Robbins passed away in 1998 at the age of 80 years.


Costumes


 

Lighting