Hungarian State Opera House 14 April 2024 - An evening of ballets "Classical Bravura": Paquita-suite. Petite Mort. Six Dances. Études | GoComGo.com

An evening of ballets "Classical Bravura": Paquita-suite. Petite Mort. Six Dances. Études

Hungarian State Opera House, Budapest, Hungary
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Important Info
Type: Ballet
City: Budapest, Hungary
Starts at: 19:00
Overview

Few works in classical ballet history have as many versions as the Paquita suite, also known as the Paquita Grand pas (classique). The new piece was created by Marius Petipa on the basis of the French ballet Paquita by working together with composer Ludwig Minkus to select the main musical numbers. Ever since the original premiere in Russia in 1882, the piece has used as many variations and solos, including additions from external sources, as dreamed up by the choreographer of the given production. In fact, a unique attribute of the piece is that the performing dancers often determine the numbers to dance or even perform choreographies prepared specifically for them.

Jiří Kylián has always admired Mozart; over the course of his career, he has created a number of choreographed to the composer's music, including one from 1991 that paid homage to the genius of the 200th anniversary of his death.

Featured in this uniquely atmospheric ballet are six women, six men and six swords. In addition to the weapons, other props include black, baroque-style clothing and bizarre crinolines. The symbolic image in the dance piece presents a world where aggression, sexuality, silence, music, vulnerability, interdependence and eternal human beauty exist together in their own sense of poetry. This ballet from the choreographer's mature period is characterised by daring visuals, superb dance performances, elegance and style and has featured in the Hungarian National Ballet's repertoire since May 2013.

For his choreographic performance Petite Mort, Jiri Kilian, who is also called the “Picasso dance”, used two slow fragments from two of Mozart’s most famous concerts for piano. He deliberately cut out fast movements, leaving only slow music, helpless, like mutilated bodies, appearing to listeners and spectators. According to the choreographer himself, this is against all rules, but, nevertheless, it was decided to do just that. After all, the world around us is far from ideal and the rules are constantly violated. Jiri Kilian also decided to keep up with this general trend.

Indeed, since Mozart created his divine music, and to this day, many wars have occurred in the world, and rivers of blood have spilled under the “Bridge of Time”. In order to demonstrate male potency and a thirst for power (possession), swords were symbolically involved in the composition.

So, throughout our entire life, “Death” always accompanies us, sometimes it is “small” and sometimes “large”, but it is it that is our faithful companion from dawn to dusk of our life.

"I've decided that I cannot simply create a dance series reflecting the composer's sense of humour and music genious. Instead, I've choreographed six visibly confusing scenes..." (Jiří Kylián) In Kylián's ballet, Mozartian playfulness and absurd reality are transplanted into the language of movement. It was not a story that he set out to create, but rather a dance piece constructed out of the absurd situations encountered by heroes in powdered wigs who sometimes act irrationally and awkwardly: the very dictionary definition of the word "burlesque". From the first moment, the eight dancers take the stage like they are stepping out of a wax museum from Mozart's own era, and then the innovative freshness and dizzying dynamic of the choreography makes them ever more modern: timeless heroes of Kylián's absurd creative world.

History
Premiere of this production: 01 April 1846, Salle Le Peletier, Paris

Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to music by Édouard Deldevez and Ludwig Minkus. Paul Foucher received royalties as librettist.

Drawing from the abundance of his dancing imagination, JiříKylián has kept audiences and experts in suspense with his choreographies for decades. One of his most performed works is Petite Mort. This work is based on the extremely popular Adagio movements from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 21 and 23. The beguiling intensity of these slow musical movements forms the counterpoint to an energetic display of male and female attributes that allude elegantly and ambiguously to the sexual ritual of aggression, energy and vulnerability, to the "little death".

The delightfully absurd Six Dances (1986) is based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sechs Tänze, this work for eight dancers is bewigged entertainment full of self-deprecating humour that culminates in sheer buffoonery. In the face of conflict and unrest, Kylián’s virtuosic burlesque is, as it were, the last refuge of the doomed.

Premiere of this production: 15 January 1948, Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen

Études is a one-act ballet choreographed by Danish dancer and choreographer Harald Lander to piano studies by Carl Czerny arranged for orchestra by Knudåge Riisager. It is considered Lander's most famous choreographic work and brought him international fame. The work premiered on 15 January 1948 at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen with the Royal Danish Ballet, with scenery and costumes by Rolf Gerard and lighting by Nananne Porcher.

Venue Info

Hungarian State Opera House - Budapest
Location   Andrássy út 22

The Hungarian State Opera House (Hungarian: Magyar Állami Operaház) is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Budapest, on Andrássy út. The Hungarian State Opera House is the main opera house of the country and the second largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary. Today, the opera house is home to the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886. The Theatre was designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th-century Hungarian architecture.

Construction began in 1875, funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, and the new house opened to the public on the 27 September 1884. Before the closure of the "Népszínház" in Budapest, it was the third largest opera building in the city; today it is the second largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary.

Touring groups had performed operas in the city from the early 19th century, but as Legány notes, "a new epoch began after 1835 when part of the Kasa National Opera and Theatrical Troupe arrived in Buda". They took over the Castle Theatre and, in 1835, were joined by another part of the troupe, after which performances of operas were given under conductor Ferenc Erkel. By 1837 they had established themselves at the Magyar Színház (Hungarian Theatre) and by 1840, it had become the "Nemzeti Színház" (National Theatre). Upon its completion, the opera section moved into the Hungarian Royal Opera House, with performances quickly gaining a reputation for excellence in a repertory of about 45 to 50 operas and about 130 annual performances. 

Many important artists were guests here including the composer Gustav Mahler, who was director in Budapest from 1888 to 1891 and Otto Klemperer, who was music director for three years from 1947 to 1950.

It is a richly decorated building and is considered one of the architect's masterpieces. It was built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of Baroque. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art including Bertalan Székely, Mór Than, and Károly Lotz. Although in size and capacity it is not among the greatest, in beauty and the quality of acoustics the Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the world.

The auditorium holds 1,261 people. It is horseshoe-shaped and – according to measurements done in the 1970s by a group of international engineers – has the third best acoustics in Europe after La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris. Although many opera houses have been built since the Budapest Opera House is still among the best in terms of acoustics.

In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. Liszt is the best-known Hungarian composer. Erkel composed the Hungarian national anthem, and was the first music director of the Opera House; he was also the founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and, in addition to opera performances, the House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet.

There are guided tours of the building in six languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Hungarian) almost every day.

Important Info
Type: Ballet
City: Budapest, Hungary
Starts at: 19:00
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