My Ravel: Whichever Way he Looks... / Daphnis and Chloé

Mein Ravel Daphnis und Chloé Mai Kono, Karen Azatyan.© Wilfried Hösl Mein Ravel Wohin er auch blickt
Ballets by Jörg Mannes and Terence Kohler
Musik by Maurice Ravel

Does it need a word of explanation for an evening of creations uniting several of so overwhelmingly great compositions by Maurice Ravel? Yet three aspects should be emphasized to characterize the programmatic profile of his première:

First: for the first time on over fifty years the general music director of the opera was responsible for the musical direction of a ballet premiere. Kent Nagano conducted a ballet premiere, after Georg Solti and Rudolf Kempe half a century ago. Not to belittle the achievements of all the excellent conductors who for decades have worked with the Munich Ballet, yet the collaboration of the Bavarian State Ballet with Kent Nagano means particular recognition of the artistic quality and notable esteem for the company. By the way, Kent Nagano once started his career in the theatre as ballet repetiteur, is an extraordinary expert in this form of art and its demands. This collaboration may bring new impulses and inspiration for the State Ballet.

Then, the programme continues the memory of the Ballets Russes whose centenary jubilee has been celebrated by a wonderfully successful program with “Sheherazade”, “Les Biches”, “Once Upon An Ever After”. Maurice Ravel composed quite a few works for Serge Diaghilev's company, so used to both success and scandals. In fact Daphnis and Chloé was ordered for this company and choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1912.

A further mark is the engagement of the young Australian choreographer Terence Kohler to create a new interpretation of the antique myth of Daphnis and Chloé whose love is threatened by pirates and gloriously saved by God Pan. Kohler, whose movement language quite consciously remains in concordance with classical ballet and on the other hand has freshness originality not to destroy his tradition but rather transform it, deal with it in an intellectually stimulating way.

The repeat engagement of the choreographer Jörg Mannes to create a new program also guaranteed fundamentally high concentration on musical substance. His evening-length ballet “The Tempest” for the Bavarian State Ballet is distinguished by fine musical standard, the courage to tell the story in an individual way, to confront a hold form of abstraction with the concrete. Together with Kent Nagano Jörg Mannes, Ballet director in Hannover, selected three pieces of music by Ravel, with his piano concerto for the left hand at the centre, that inspired his stage imagination.

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