The world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) has been artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater for nearly a quarter century. After having created three ballets for NDT (Viewers, Stoolgame and La Cathédrale Engloutie), Kylián became the company’s artistic director in 1975 together with Hans Knill. In 1978 he and Carel Birnie founded NDT 2, meant to offer young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents and focus on maturing their artistic personalities. In 1991 he initiated NDT 3; a company that created opportunities for older dancers. NDT stood out as the first company worldwide that showed the three dimensions of a dancer´s life. After an extraordinary record of service Kylián handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained the company’s house choreographer until 2009.
Since his last piece Mémoires d’Oubliettes for NDT in 2009, Kylián’s creative focus has shifted to more small scale projects and films. Kylián’s entire body of work counts 100 creations to date, of which 77 performed by NDT and no less than 75 were especially created for the company. Furthermore, he made pieces for companies worldwide such as the Stuttgart Ballet, the Opéra de Paris, the Munich Bayerisches Staatsballett, and the Tokyo Ballet.
Kylián received many prestigious, international awards and honours, such as Officer of the Royal Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau, Honorary Medal of Order for Arts and Science of the House of Orange given to him by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, honorary doctorate of the Juilliard School in New York and the Honorary Medal from the President of the Czech Republic. To this day, Kylián’s masterpieces are frequently performed by numerous dance companies and schools around the world.
are without question Li Cunxin and Dominik Slavkovský.
Li Cunxin with Queensland Ballet photo by David Kelly
Magic happened when Ballet Star Li Cunxin, was lured out of 18 years retirement for a special performance of the NUTCRACKER with the Queensland Ballet. Taking to the stage in Brisbane for one night only, the 56 year old dancer delivered a mesmerizing performance. While Drosselmeyer is predominately a character role, Li incorporated his own choreography – adding pirouettes and jumps to the performance. His twists and turns hinted at his past brilliance.
Interview with Daniel Mulligan, Soloist at Ballet Zurich
First of all, congratulations on your nomination as a brilliant Mephisto by Dance Europe!
You have been with the Ballett Zurich for 11 years. What were the most important steps of your career?
The first job which was offered to me after ballet school was a contract with the Junior Ballet in Zurich in 2007. Heinz Spoerli, the ballet director at that time, pushed me quite a lot and gave me some good opportunities and small roles. After 2 years I was offered a position as „Gruppe mit Solo“ in the main company which means being a dancer in the Corps de Ballet of Ballet Zurich with some solo roles. I was very surprised that Heinz Spoerli appreciated me that much.
Berührende Uraufführung des Balletts Zürich von Schubert’s WINTERREISE am 13. Oktober 2018
Das erste Ballett von Ballettdirektor Christian Spuck in dieser Saison ist die WINTERREISE – ein Zyklus von 24 schauerlichen Liedern, wie sie Franz Schubert selbst nannte. Es geht um die verlorene Liebe eines jungen Mannes, der durch die düstere Winterlandschaft wandert, um seinen Liebeskummer zu überwinden. Gefühle wie Trauer, Leere, Todessehnsucht, Verzweiflung und Verletztheit sind das Thema der Lieder. „Mein Herz ist wie erfroren, Kalt starrt ihr Bild darin: Schmilzt je das Herz mir wieder, fliesse auch ihr Bild dahin.“
Interview with Birgit Deharde, a freelance Choreologist and expert in Benesh Movement Notation
Why do we need Movement Notation?
Similar to music, dance needs to be written down, but unlike music, dance is a fleeting art. It has taken until the 20th century to find a tool to record dance notations and preserve these choreographies. It was Rudolf Benesh who created a tool for human movement notations in 1955 and defined choreology as „The aesthetic and scientific study of all forms of human movement by movement notation“.