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La Petite Mort premiere at the Bolshoi theater of Belarus

La Petite Mort premiere at the Bolshoi theater of Belarus
4 Mar 2016

The Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater of Belarus had a great evening of contemporary choreography on the first day of spring. The program included a one-act ballet La Petite Mort (The Little Death) from the famous series Black and White Ballets by Jiri Kylian, the classic of the Dutch school, an outstanding choreographer of the second half of the 20th century.

In September 2013 the Bolshoi theater’s main troupe of 22 dancers together with the Dutch colleagues staged Jiri Kylian’s ballet Six Dances. The production has already won the hearts of the audience in Belarus and Russia and has become one of the most popular ballets in the theatre’s repertoire.

Jiri Kylian created La Petite Mort to the magnificent music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the Salzburg festival in 1991. Its premiere became one of the most anticipated events of the theatrical season in Belarus. The lyrical miniature, which lasts about 20 minutes, shows the relations between a man and a woman, where real passion edges on tenderness and sensuality.

When talking about Jiri Kylian’s production, which has already become the classics, Shirley Esseboom, his assistant and former dancer of the Dutch Opera and Ballet Theater, noted that it was “a ballet of the good taste about life and relationships where the choreographer subtly and delicately shows the sensual relations between a man and a woman”.

Under the guidance of Shirley Esseboom six pairs of the leading dancers of the Bolshoi Theater of Belarus rediscovered the capabilities of their bodies, improved the plasticity and acting techniques. According to Shirley Esseboom, in contrast to La Petite Mort which was created in the classic style, the dancers of the Six Dances should possess great technical skills and be able to play both comedy and negative roles.

In Minsk the ballet was recreated in the original scenography which is 25 years old. The costumes were the exact replicas of the designs from the original ballet. They were made by Belarusian craftswomen who had just one day to examine the costumes brought from France. The performance features the leading soloists Nadezda Filippova, Konstantin Kuznetsov and Takatoshi Machiyama who already performed in the Six Dances.

Apart from one-act ballets La Petite Mort and Six Dances by Jiri Kylian, the program of the evening of contemporary choreography also included The Kingdom of the Shades, an excerpt from Marius Petipa’s Bayaderka. Today this excerpt is even more popular than the ballet itself and is often staged as an independent performance.

Photos from the premiere of Jiri Kylian’s La Petite Mort at the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus in our photo gallery…

Photo: Oksana Manchuk

La Petite Mort premiere at the Bolshoi theater of Belarus
La Petite Mort premiere at the Bolshoi theater of Belarus
Jiri Kylian’s ballet Six Dances at the Bolshoi theater of Belarus
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