Jiří Kylián

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo was founded in 1985 by princess Caroline of Monaco, who wanted to revive the legendary Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo (1932-1940). Ever since former NDT dancer Jean-Yves Esquerre became the artistic director of the company in 1987, there has been a close connection between the ensemble and Jiří Kylián. A connection that became even stronger under Jean-Christophe Maillot — artistic director since 1993. The company triumphed with a comprehensive Kylián programme on the occasion of its 30 year anniversary. This programme was comprised of Bella Figura, Gods and Dogs and Chapeau and can now be seen in Celebrating Kylián!

Bella Figura

Bella Figura, created in 1995 for Nederlands Dans Theatre I, is considered to be an artistic milestone in the oeuvre of Jiří Kylián. ‘Bella Figura’ in Italian not only means ‘beautiful body’ but also stands for ‘keeping up appearances’ — something that dancers constantly have to do. This inspired Kylián to dive into the ‘twilight zone’: the area between ‘performing’ and being yourself, art and artificiality, dreams and reality. Kylián set his choreography to a collage of renaissance and baroque music which combines remarkably well with his own contemporary dance idiom which is always rich in details and small, isolated movements. The result is intangible, mysterious — a ballet that sweeps over you like a mesmerizing dream.

Gods and Dogs

The second choreography, Gods and Dogs (NDT2, 2008) was one of the last pieces that Kylián created as house choreographer of ‘his’ Nederlands Dans Theater. It was awarded the Swan for the Most Impressive Dance production. In this piece, Kylián looks at the underlying motives that make us dress and behave the way we do. Our entire lives we wear clothes as a mask that is continuously adjusted to fit the situation and the opinion of others. What lurks in the crevices of our brain is what really determines how we act. This is what he seems to ask himself. The result is a dark, intense piece in which he lets four couples shine to the music of Beethoven and Dirk Haubrich. His characteristic quick movement idiom, full of sudden lunges and accents, is now less polished and, raw but inimitably inventive as always.

Chapeau

Last but not least, Chapeau, a vibrant and festive piece d’occasion set to music of Prince, among others, made for Queen Beatrix’s 25th Jubilee in 2005. With this ballet, Kylián tips his hat to everything that the former queen has come to mean for the Netherlands and Dutch dance in general. He allowed himself to be inspired by her extensive hat collection — the choreography features twenty exact replicas. Chapeau is funny, and exuberant and with its focus on even the most minute detail, it is an enormous challenge for even the finest dancers to perform.

Of the many thriving periods in Jiří Kylián’s long career, his ‘black and white period’ is an absolute peak. In this period he refined his earlier romantic whirling baroque style to understated poetry of dance. This resulted in a series of small-scale, abstract and beautiful dance pieces darkly set in which he ingeniously manipulates the space and implements a much more sober dance idiom that focuses all our attention on human expression and the interaction with music.

Although the choreographies are very divergent in feel and dynamic, a common theme can be discerned. The ballets raise questions like — can there be light without darkness, life without death, can we be awake without sleep, and is there such a thing as health without illness?

With a little imagination, we can perhaps picture ourselves up there on stage: our fragile lives, where an unexpected incident might turn life upside down, and where we push aside our darkest thoughts because we are supposed to stand up for our ideals and simply just carry on. Fundamental themes that the master choreographer touches on with the lightest touch and yet immense depth, because with him seriousness and humour are never far apart — a humour that is both as white as it is black.

During Celebrating Kylián! The Norwegian National Ballet will perform the six prominent works from Kylián’s black and white period in a single programme: No More Play, Sechs Tänze, Sarabande, Falling Angels, Sweet Dreams and Petite Mort. A unique combination of choreographies that to this date have never been performed by any other company than Nederlands Dans Theater.

The Norwegian National Ballet has never been seen before in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1958 and ever since Kylián rehearsed Symphony in D there in the eighties a close bond has been formed with the company that is today headed by former ballerina Ingrid Lorentzen. She danced in many Kylián’s choreographies and is highly honoured that the master himself chose her company to perform the black and white ballets. “Through the years we have built an intense collaboration in which our company was constantly challenged by him and has evolved gradually, in line with his body of work, and has become more refined and rich. The wealth and diversity of this oeuvre leaves an indelible imprint on every dancer that was ever given the chance to study his dance material and express it.”

It goes without saying that young dancers should be part of this celebration of Jiří Kylián’s 70th birthday. After all, they are the ones who are going to make the connection to the future of dance and they are the new generation that will inherit the repertory of dance artist Kylián. The two dance academies of Rotterdam and The Hague have compiled an exclusive collage program comprised of various works from the oeuvre of a master choreographer. The program includes WhereAbouts Unknown, parts of A Way A Lone, Bella Figura, and the ensemble piece that Kylián created in 2013 for Codarts, Stonehenge.

The repertory of Kylián is studied at both academies every year. From 2010 to 2013, Codarts Rotterdam reflected on an intense collaboration with the master choreographer within the framework of the research lectorate One Of A Kind. For years, The Koninklijk Conservatorium is bringing students in contact with the movement language of Jiři Kylián and recently presented an integral version with live music of Fallen Angels on the occasion of the 60th jubilee of the ‘school for young talent’. Young Dancers Celebrating Kylián! is an unforgettable evening filled with pure Kylián-dance delight.

Jiří Kylián created East Shadow especially for the Aichi Triennial 2013 in Japan. Inspired by the main theme of the festival - the tsunami of 2011 and its victims - he created an impressive performance about the life of a man and a woman. Based on Samuel Beckett’s absurdism, man’s eternal quest to find a partner is analyzed. In a magisterial performance, dancers Sabine Kupferberg and Gary Chryst engage in a tragicomic drama and confront the audience with the vulnerability of life, the banality of our desires, and the catastrophe that could befall anyone. To the compositions of pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama and with film by Jason Akira Somma, the overwhelming tragedy of the destruction is poignantly portrayed. 

On 21 March master choreographer and native son of The Hague Jiří Kylián is turning 70. The Holland Dance Festival, Kylián Productions and Foundation, the Zuiderstrandtheater, Korzo theater and Productions and Nederlands Dans Theater will celebrate his birthday in style with an eclectic festival: Celebrating Kylián! Throughout the year various aspects of Kylián’s multifaceted artistry will be presented.

Birth-Day
Sabine Kupferberg’s birthday is celebrated with the music of Mozart in Birth-Day. We see five dancers completely dressed in Baroque costumes positioned around a long table. The comedy that slowly unfolds delights the audience with a duet between real time action and cinema. But Birth-Day also has a dark side; a new birthday also brings you a year closer to death. In between our day of birth and our death, we put much time and energy into desires, loves, creations, and confusion. For Kylián, the music of Mozart is a great example of this. Though his life was short, he understood it and all its richness, its madness, and buffoonery. The birthday - or rather life, - is masterfully portrayed as a mere dress rehearsal for something more meaningful and profound.

Last Touch First
It all started with a very simple idea, initiated by the Holland Dance Festival. Dance improviser Michael Schumacher and dancer Sabine Kupferberg were to make a duet based on improvisation systems that were developed while working together on ‘The Moment’, a piece created for Nederlands Dans Theater III in 2001. This idea, however, sprouted into a sizable project based on Jiří Kylián’s Last Touch which he created for Nederlands Dans Theater I in 2003. Together with Jiří Kylián and Sabine Kupferberg, Schumacher made a new ensemble piece.

Last Touch First is an intimate and moving performance, wherein desperation, madness and loneliness touch the deepest depths of the six characters. The dancers move in super slow motion for almost an hour in a time reminiscent of 19th century and the grotesque theatre of Anton Chekhov. The six dancers and the scenery combine to create a magical and gripping atmosphere.

Scalamare
'In 2015, I was invited to the Cinematica festival in Ancona. While I was there, I was taken to the Monumento ai Caduti, with its impressive stairs leading straight down into the Adriatic sea. I stood atop these steps and looked at my own shadow sprawled across in all kinds of abstract rectangular shapes. I found this very telling and symbolic and decided to make a short film inspired by these impressions. The symbolism of the place is easy to understand. There stands the monument dedicated to the soldiers who fell in the war, there you see the stairs which can lead you up or down, and there waits the life-giving and life-taking sea.

The film’s plot was simple, too: a couple who has been together for forty years are celebrating the anniversary of their honeymoon, which started on these very steps. So here they are again, forty years later, on the same spot, looking back at their lives, trying to come to terms with it, and trying to look into their very short and unsure future. With tears and laughter, humour and sarcasm, they try to re-enact some of the moments they shared in the past. The seemingly important moments have diminished by the passage of time, some of the lesser moments have gained prominence. The eternal struggle between the micro cosmos and macro cosmos is always near. Values change and a sense of loss and nostalgia hangs in the air. The celebration of their honeymoon starts to turn into a hallucination, an illusion in which the line between reality and fantasy no longer exists. Only the abstract shadows bare silent witness to this scene...' (Jiří Kylián, September 10, 2016)

Why this installation?
It is my way of dealing with the tension between reality and imagination. And it is my attempt to stop the time for a fraction of a second, and take time to look at it quietly... Performing artists are trained to reproduce such an emotional state in an instant.

A photographic image is a guillotine, separating us from the past and the future, and at the same time bringing both back together in the moment of exposure. The result is "frozen choreography". These images of this motionless theatre will survive the performer for many years to come...

Sabine is photographed simultaneously from the front and from the back. Torn apart by what was and what will be, in all its irrational forms. I made these images because I am fascinated by Sabine’s gift to change with the years, and by her ability to express her ever changing emotional world. Her ability to make a "truthful reproduction of emotions". It is another step in our creative relationship... Another step of holding on, and letting go...

Jiří Kylián, May 2016

The kitchen is the warm beating hart of Korzo theatre. Here meals are cooked and dancers, actors, and technicians eat and drink together before the performance begins. With De Keuken van, Jiří Kylián and his regular team of artists invite you to the Korzo studio for an exclusive once-only theatrical dinner, with a special Czech menu compiled by Kylián. It promises to be a dinner with conversation and little surprises, starting with a special Birth-Day aperitif! 

Menu à la Tchèque
Salade, Sweet paprika chicken and “Snow balls”. 
The dinner will be prepared by Altra Volta.


Directly following the dinner will be a showing of a film program with Car-men and Between Entrance and Exit, two movies created by Kylián and director Boris Paval Cohen.

Car-Men
The black and white film Car-Men is the first collaboration between Jiří Kylián and film director Boris Paval Conen. They shot the film together with four dancers in a brown coal mine in the Czech Republic, where Kylián made the choreography directly on site, an exclusive for these recordings. The story about passion and revenge is based on the opera Carmen. The dancers, all over forty, play the four archetypes from the opera: the restless and seductive Carmen, the hopelessly infatuated Don José, Escamillio de conqueror, and Micaëla the naïve Samaritan. Together they depict the bizarre old story of four children who have grown old, and who, in a cheerless wasteland, try to come to terms with themselves and each other.

Between Entrance and Exit
Between Entrance and Exit is the second dance film made by Kylián and film director Boris Pavel Conen. The atmosphere of the film is largely influenced by the emotional world of Kyliáns youth, replete with dark, heavy 19th century furniture, the city of Prague and three influential figures: Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, and Gustav Mahler. Two characters – a man and a woman – meet each other in an abandoned apartment and make various attempts to reach each other. They wander through a labyrinth of memories, regret, guilt, and desire.

During this movie program, two movies are shown which were created by Kylián together with director Boris Paval Cohen.

Car-men
The musical black and white film Car-men is the first collaboration between Jiří Kylián and film director Boris Paval Conen. They shot the film together with four dancers in a brown coal mine in the Czech Republic, where Kylián made the choreography directly on site, an exclusive for these recordings. The story about passion and revenge is based on the opera Carmen. The dancers, all over forty, play the four archetypes from the opera: the restless and seductive Carmen, the hopelessly infatuated Don José, Escamillio de conqueror, and Micaëla the naïve Samaritan. Together they depict the bizarre old story of four children who have grown old, and who, in a cheerless wasteland, try to come to terms with themselves and each other.

Between Entrance and Exit
Between Entrance and Exit is the second film made by Kylián and film director Boris Pavel Conen. The atmosphere of the film is largely influenced by the emotional world of Kylián’s youth, replete with dark, heavy 19th century furniture, the city of Prague and three influential figures: Franz Kafka, Sigmind Freud, and Gustav Mahler. Two characters – a man and a woman – meet each other in an abandoned apartment and make various attempts to reach each other. They wander through a labyrinth of memories, regret, guilt, and desire.

This movie program is also part of De Keuken van Jiří Kylián, a theatrical dinner with a menu choosen by Kylián and many surprises. More info.

De Kunst van het Luisteren (The Art of Listening) offers a special edition for the Kylián Festival. Pianist Geoffrey Madge receives Kylián as a guest in his workshop, where they discuss the development of new generations of artists and the new visions, art forms, and a new audience as a result. “A whole generation helps to define itself, how adventurous is that? What does movement mean for the dance? And for music? They also show film clips of legendary pianists. A unique encounter between fascinating artists and where the audience can participate interactively.

The concert, with the theme of ‘movement’, features an original program selected by Kylián performed by pianists Kamelia Miladinova and Geoffrey Douglas Madge. Miladinova studied with Madge, among others, and represents a new generation of pianists. Her colourful, fresh, and precise playing demonstrates that listening is not only done with the ears. And what better way to experience Madge’s qualities as a teacher of generations of pianists than seeing this musical collaboration with one of his former students?

14:30 workshop - €10,-
16:00 concert - €16,-
combiticket - €23,-

The program KYLWORKS consists of three creations by Jiří Kylián: Anonymous, Birth-Day, and 14’20’’. With a personal team of artists, KYLWORKS gives form to Kylián’s conviction that people of all ages can dance and that dance is ageless. Six dancers, five of which are former NDT dancers, give shape to the concept ‘All Ages Dance’ via intimate and personal work created by Kylián in the last decade.

TALK & SHOW
Thu 29 May, 19.30 introduction by dance journalist Annette Embrechts


14´20"

The title of this piece 14’20’’ refers to its exact duration. The sensual duet – danced by Aurélie Cayla and Lukáš Timulák – is part of the original piece 27’52’’ that Kylián created for NDT2. Time is a large part of our lives, but it is also abstract and intangible. Except perhaps on two occasions: our birth and our death. 14’20’’ is about that which is incredibly simple and at the same time unbelievably complex: love, speed, growing old and dying.

Anonymous
Kylián created Anonymous especially for two dancers who have been a great influence on his work and personal life: Sabine Kupferberg and Cora Bos-Kroese. He secures the dancers in a sea of gold paper. Above them, a film is shown by video artist Jason Akira Somma, who zooms in on two internal worlds: the world we show to others and the world we keep hidden. A piece of music by an unknown composer serves as inspiration. These elements inspired Kylián to a world of questions. Are we remembered? And if so, how do we wish to be remembered? Who really knows me? Do I know my friends? The makers hope that the audience – that for them is largely anonymous – can leave their daily troubles behind and, for that moment, is no longer anonymous but together.

Birth-Day
Sabine Kupferberg’s birthday is celebrated to the music of Mozart in Birth-Day. We see five dancers completely dressed in Baroque costumes positioned around a long table. The comedy that slowly unfolds takes the audience into a duet between real time action and cinema. But Birth-Day also has a dark side; a new birthday also means a year closer to death. In between our day of birth and our death we put much time and energy into desires, loves, creations, and confusion. Mozart is a great example of this for Kylián. Though his life was short, he understood life in all its richness, its madness, and clownish behaviour. The birthday – and with that, life – is masterfully portrayed as a mere dress rehearsal for something more meaningful and profound. 

In its first weekend, CaDance opens the doors of the new Korzo theatre. With a special opening program for the theatre and the new performance by Ann Van den Broek, we introduce you to the new building and the future of the dance in the Netherlands.

program at Korzo theater 

19:30 – 20:30 
The Opening
20:30 – 21:00
drinks
21:00 – 22:15  Ann Van den Broek – Q61

Korzo has been the start of an exciting career for many talented dance makers. The building in the Prinsestraat has always been a home for the dance, a birthplace that is intimately connected to the history of the dance in the Netherlands. Dance makers and dance lovers have this building to thank for countless special memories. We now begin a new chapter: a new story in a building with a future.

No story without an audience. We therefore cordially welcome you. In this festive opening program you will get to know all the nooks and crannies of the new house. You will be led in groups past works by various dance artists. They will give colour to the future of Korzo and the dance in the Netherlands. Kenzo Kusuda will lead you with Flora past the poetry of the body, David Middendorp combines his talents in the hallucinatory Blue Journey, and choreographer Alida Dors offers a reflection on her future as a dance maker with Or Fall For Everything. We are especially honoured by the participation of Jiří Kylián, artist of international renown and a true dance innovator. He takes on new challenges in the small auditorium, where he will realize his piece Anonymus in collaboration with dancers Sabine Kupferberg and Cora Bos-Kroese, and video artist Jason Akira Somma. Kylian’s Anonymus deals with the two worlds within us: the world we show and the world we hide. If we make our inner world public, the ‘secret’ will ultimately change and become public: a performance. Our secrets needs to remain locked inside us, but sometimes we can make a window and look at them.

A new building, a new story. The talented young dancers of Crosstown Den Haag will be your guides, led by Yada van der Hoek and take you on this exciting journey of discovery.

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