CrankoFestival in February

CrankoFestival in February

Two jubilees gave us reason to celebrate this year’s CrankoFestival: It was exactly 50 years ago, when John Cranko became chief choreographer at the Bayerisches Staatsballet and held his first premiere in Munich. In addition to that, John Cranko would have turned 90 on August 15, 2017. Therefore, the Bayerisches Staatsballett dedicates the entire month of February to Cranko’s three masterpieces of narrative ballet: OneginTaming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet. The Bayerisches Staatsballet is, besides the Stuttgarter Ballett, the only company having those three masterpieces in its constant repertoire.


Onegin originated in 1965 and is based on Alexander Puschkin’s story by the same title. Since then, the story of young Tatjana, who desperately falls in love with the arrogant Onegin, still manages to catch an audience worldwide. For 40 years Onegin has been shown in Munich and many famous dancers, from Eva Evdokimov, Konstanze Vernon, Evelyn Hart, Lucia Lacarra to Polina Semionova, gave the leading role a very distinctive character: during the 2,5 hours Tatjana evolves from a dreamy-naïve teenager to an emancipated woman, culminating in a dramatic scene where Tatjana eventually has to take the decision between passion and obligation.

Friday, February 2, 8 pm (CET)
Sunday, February 4, 6 pm (CET)
Wednesday, February 7, 7.30pm (CET)

Romeo and Juliet

Another Cranko-classic that will also be shown during the CrankoFestival is Romeo and Juliet. The piece was created in 1962 for the Stuttgarter Ballett and premiered on November 12, 1963 in Munich. Since then Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet is an important component of the repertoire of the Bayerisches Staatsballett and delights dancers and spectators alike. The Shakespearean tragedy of love is accompanied by music from Sergej Prokofjew. Jürgen Rose, as stage designer, created a perfect component for Cranko’s clear and linear choreography to evolve. In an impressive way this choreography relates virtuosity, spiked with acrobatic images, towards an emotional subtlety.

Friday, February 9, 7.30pm (CET)
Monday, February 12, 7.30pm (CET)
Saturday, February 17, 7.30pm (CET)

The Taming of the Shrew

After a break of five years, ballet director Igor Zelensky brought back The Taming of the Shrew to the Bayerisches Staatsballett. John Cranko created this version in 1969, when he led the ensemble for a short while. Cranko based this play on the 16th century Shakespearean comedy. The ballet was premiered in Stuttgart and shown in Munich on March 25, 1976. The Taming of the Shrew turned into one of John Cranko’s most successful narrative ballets and being one of the rare ballet comedies, it has been part of the Bayerisches Staatsballett repertoire for over 40 years.

Thursday, February 22, 7.30pm (CET)
Friday, February 23, 7.30pm (CET)

The cast will be announced soon on: