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BILDER EINER AUSSTELLUNG / AFFAIRS OF THE HEART / BEDROOM FOLK

Choreography Alexei Ratmansky, David Dawson, Sharon Eyal | New Production

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Cast for all dates

Conductor
Tom Seligman (10-11-2020, 10-27-2020, 10-30-2020), Robertas Šervenikas (02-24-2021, 02-27-2021, 05-17-2021, 05-21-2021)


BILDER EINER AUSSTELLUNG

Choreography
Alexei Ratmansky
Music
Modest Mussorgsky
Costume Design
Adeline André
Lighting
Mark Stanley, Wendall K. Harrington


AFFAIRS OF THE HEART

Choreography
David Dawson
Music
Marjan Mozetich
Set Design
Eno Henze
Costume Design
Yumiko Takeshima
Lighting
Bert Dalhuysen


BEDROOM FOLK

Choreography
Sharon Eyal
Assistant Choreographer
Gai Behar
Music
Ori Lichtik
Set Design
Thierry Dreyfus
Costume Design
Rebecca Hytting

  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
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Alexei Ratmansky is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after choreographers of our time. He has proven his talent for working with great classical companies both in his reconstructions of important classics and in his own story ballets and abstract new creations. In 2014 he created Pictures at an Exhibition for the New York City Ballet to Modest Mussorgsky’s famous composition in the original version for piano. The choreography is sensitively interwoven with the character of the respective musical numbers, sometimes celebratory shiny, sometimes heavy melancholic and then again cheerful, airy and playful.

British choreographer David Dawson is one of the few contemporary choreographers that continue to further develop classical ballet and its language of movement with their works. In his both narrative and abstract ballets he confronts dance with atmospherically charged stage worlds and consequently creates poignant contemporariness. For his creation at the Bayerisches Staatsballett Dawson works with the music of the contemporary Canadian composer, Marjan Mozetich. Affairs of the Heart is a concerto for violin and strings, a lyrically and dramatically charged composition filled with driving force.

The Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal will complete the evening with her piece  Bedroom Folk. The ballet was created together with the  Nederlands Dans Theater 1 in 2015. Eyal is one of the most notable names in contemporary choeography and started her career, while still dancing with the Batsheva Dance Company. Her style is known to be radical, at times touching or unsettling.  Bedroom Folk represents the collaborative effort to put sound and lighting side by side with the performance, suggesting the feeling of equality between the three elements.

Alexei Ratmansky created the choreography for Pictures at an Exhibition in 2014 for the New York City Ballet – a company in the tradition of George Balanchine’s neoclassical ballet, which has produced a well-functioning marriage out of the relationship between music and dance. Ratmansky’s works also emerge here from the music, effortlessly enchanting the spectator, because they are clever and cheeky, highly demanding and masterly, but always dancer-friendly. So they challenge the dancers, taking them to their limits (after all, dancers want to dance!), but demand nothing absurd of them. The beauty of the classical form language is preserved. The language that Ratmansky speaks, created from a neoclassical vocabulary that presupposes the academic technique. Nonetheless, time and again he finds surprising ways to vary and sort of turn an apparently well-known sequence of movements on its head. Seen from afar the reference is clear – examine with a more watchful eye and we recognise the peculiarity. Which is charming. In Pictures at an Exhibition, ten dancers meet in various constellations, and before the viewer’s eyes form a living connection with the stage set. The constantly transforming projections of Wassily Kandinsky’s Colour Study, Squares with Concentric Circles, boost the action on the stage to an additional dynamic level, while designer Adeline André’s costumes are visibly inspired by Kandinsky’s images. The result is an organic, entirely harmonised piece, which finds new life and vibrancy here in Munich of all places, where Kandinsky himself lived and worked for several years.

Bedroom Folk, developed in 2015 for the Nederlands Dans Theater 1, is an ecstatically pulsating work. Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar have created a cosmos that transposes both the dancers and the audience into a trance-like state, making us forget time. 
As a group of conspirators they appear to us focused straight ahead, and yet also entirely introverted, guided by the beats, inexorably moving from one foot to the other, perhaps following a secretive command. There is something inexplicable, almost spooky about this group and therefore also about its movement vocabulary – weird dislocations of the arms, fragmented sharp movement patterns, but also sinuous, catlike loops. The expression is cool and graceful, there is almost no partnering, only the dynamics of the group as a disciplined swarm, nestled together, drifting apart, and individually dissolving out, to show themselves individually characterised. Eyal invokes and processes, samples quasi classic step material and folk dance-like elements. Again and again the bodies entangle in the looped music sequences, are thrown back to the beginning of the movement – the repetition making these moments of beguiling banality. Pauses, standstill and distended moments are rare and therefore all the more effective. The unsettlingly beautiful curiosity peaks in ritually charged scenes, contrasted with club and rave exertions before an orange-red illuminated light wall. It’s an intoxicating maelstrom that we mistrust, as we scrutinise its authenticity. We feel the infusible tension of absolute dedication and complete control – and the radicality of the bodies.

Sharon Eyal is revising Bedroom Folk for the Bayerisches Staatsballett. She originally dimensioned the piece for four female and four male dancers, and is now expanding it to a currently undetermined number. 

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Biographies

Based in London and Berlin, Tom Seligman is one of the UK’s most versatile conducting talents, busy with a wide and exciting range of projects. 

Tom Seligman made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2010, and has since been regularly invited back, conducting the Royal Ballet in repertoire including The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Chroma, Obsidian Tear, Frankenstein and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. His performances of The Nutcracker and The Winter's Tale were relayed to cinema screens around the world.

He has conducted Jewels and The Nutcracker for New York City Ballet, The Winter's Tale for National Ballet of Canada, The Dream, A Month in the Country and La fille mal gardée for Birmingham Royal Ballet, and for English National Ballet, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Albert Hall and Le Corsaire and Coppélia in China and Singapore. The 2018-19 season included debuts in Brisbane, Amsterdam, Munich, Dresden and Copenhagen, while 2019-2020 sees returns to Covent Garden and the Dresden Semperoper Ballet.

Opera productions include The Rake's Progress and The Beggar's Opera for Edinburgh Studio Opera, Le nozze di Figaro for Opera East and Die Zauberflöte for Opernfest Berlin, as well as concert performances of Handel Theodora and Semele, Verdi Un giorno di regno, Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen and Jenůfa and Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel

He has worked extensively with the London Symphony Chorus and was chorus-master for the Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s performance of Mahler's 3rd Symphony under Claudio Abbado at the 2007 BBC Proms.  As Guest Chorus Director for the Hallé's recording of Elgar's The Kingdom under Sir Mark Elder, he won the 2011 Gramophone Award for best choral recording.  Projects with the BBC Singers and Symphony Chorus have included concerts at the Barbican and Royal Albert Hall, a Chandos recording of Berlioz Roméo et Juliette and the 2016 Last Night of the Proms.​

He is also principal conductor of Kensington Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Five Senses Music, bringing audiences of all ages into closer contact with orchestral and operatic music through innovative interactive projects and events in London and Berlin.

Tom Seligman made his debut at the Bayerische Staatsballett in the 2018-2019 season, with Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

(Information as of December 2019)

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