Internationally acclaimed choreographer Christian Spuck will be working with the Bayerisches Staatsballett for the first time with his adaptaion of Leo Tolstoy's world famous novel Anna Karenina. He has brought his vision of this work of world literature to the stage in Zurich in 2014. Now the Bayerisches Staatsballett will be performing his Anna Karenina, celebrating its German premiere on the 19th of November 2017 at 7.30pm in the National Theatre.
About the piece and its choreographer
Christian Spuck, Director of the Zurich Ballet and former resident choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet, is fascinated by this 19th century female figure. In his interpretation, he wants to vividly tease out the character's depths and contradictions: "For me, it's important in a narrative ballet that the dancers really tell a story. So the audience understands what's going on. Not just the plot, but also the characters' inner processes, their emotions, conflicts and divisions. This is the focus. It's partly expressed through abstract movements and partly through narrative movements.“
Christian Spuck choreographs this tale of adultery from the second half of the 19th century in penetrating scenes, set for the most part to Sergei Rachmaninov and Witold Lutosławski's symphonic and chamber music. Together with the Zurich production director Jörg Zielinski and British costume designer Emma Ryott, he sets the action in the Tsarist Russian tradition. The sumptuous period costumes of the St Petersburg aristocracy stand out against the cool minimalist stage set. Video projection and sound collages hint at where the action is taking place, foreshadowing the impending tragedy and acting as symbols for Anna Karenina's inner turmoil.
Spuck is also interested in Tolstoy's parallel family story: "What fascinates me most is the protagonist Anna Karenina. And the whole portrayal of 19th Century Russian society. I've tried to break it down into three pairs of dancers and their stories." Alongside Anna's passionate affair with Count Wronski are the philandering Prince Stiva Oblonski and his jealous wife Dolly, as well as the down-to-earth family Kitty and Kostya Levin.
Ksenia Ryzhkova and Ivy Amista in the title role
The title role will be performed by Ksenia Ryzhkova and Ivy Amista. The male leads are currently in rehearsals with Alejandro Virelles Gonzalez and Jonah Cook as Graf Wronski and Kostya, with Tigran Mikayelyan and Osiel Gouneo as Stiva. The other female leads will be performed by Laurretta Summerscales and Kristina Lind as Kitty, plus Mia Rudic and Séverine Ferrolier as Dolly (conditional casting).
Ballett masters Eva Dewaele, Birgit Deharde and Ivan Gil Orteg, experts on Spuck's repertoire, arrived in Munich this summer for rehearsals. Christian Spuck himself will be present in November for the final rehearsals and will give Anna Karenina the final touches. The musical direction of Anna Karenina will be taken up by guest conductor Robertas Šervenikas, who will be conducting the music collages for the first time.
Sat. 19.11.2017, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater, Premiere
Sat. 25.11.2017, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater
Fri. 01.12.2017, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater
Fri. 23.03.2018, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater
Sun. 22.04.2018, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater
Thurs. 10.05.2018, 6.00pm, Nationaltheater
Fri., 15.06.2018, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater
Sat., 30.06.2018, 7.30pm, Nationaltheater