George Balanchine / Jiří Kylián / William Forsythe
Ballet evening in three parts
Music by Georges Bizet, Benjamin Britten and Gavin Bryars
Nothing seemed more awful to Jiří Kylián than to be forgotten – whether as a person, a moment or an emotion. In 1981, therefore, he choreographed »Forgotten Land« as an homage to lands, lovers and times that have fallen into oblivion. The inspiration for this work is supposed to be a painting by Edvard Munch of a lonely shore: a human landscape, washed away by the sea … »Forgotten Land« also provides the title for this production by Semperoper Ballett and at the same time forms the thematic core of this three-part evening. The work is flanked by two other groundbreaking choreographies of modern dance: George Balanchine’s »Symphony in C« and William Forsythe’s »Quintett«. Premiered in 1947 under the title »Le Palais de Cristal«, »Symphony in C« arose out of Balanchine’s preoccupation with the symphony of the title that Georges Bizet wrote at the tender age of 17. The choreography aims for perfectionism in dance as in life – and is one of the most technically challenging works of neoclassical ballet. The evening’s final piece, »Quintett«, offers an unusually intimate view into the private life of its creator: Forsythe conceived the work in 1993 as a final love letter to his dying wife. However, rather than a threnody, this is a celebration of life, reflecting his wife’s »hunger for life«, which conquered the »trauma of her demise« to the very end.