Ballet in one act to music by Knudage Riisager after works by Carl Czerny
Choreography by Harald Lander
Sceneries, costumes and lighting by Harald Lander
Ballet Masters: Lise Lander, Johnny Eliasen
Music Director: Igor Dronov
Premiered on March 19, 2017.
Running time: 45 minutes.
“Études means so much to me, because this ballet is a metaphor for myself and for my thoughts on dance. Dance is not just delivering some steps to the audience. The purpose of ballet is, increasingly, to combine spirit, dance and music!”
Etudes is a tribute to dancing. The ballet follows the dancers from the basic five positions to the most difficult steps, from the hard work in the rehearsal room to the most brilliant and elegant stage performance, showing the different sides of the art of ballet, from sheer bravoure to pure poetic expression.
The ballet, built up like crescendo, ending with a breathtaking finale, combines spirit and style. A challenge for a whole company.
Etudes was created by Harald Lander in Copenhagen for the Royal Danish Ballet, and was premiered on the 18th of January 1948. It is one of the most famous Danish ballets in the international repertory.
Harald Lander has recreated the ballet in 1952 for the Paris Opera Ballet, and this is the version showed all over the world.
Among the numerous companies who have presented the ballet are: English National Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Netherlands National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, State Ballets of Vienna, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, Tokyo National Ballet, Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, National Ballet of Hungary, Canadian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Ballet West in Utah, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Municipal de Santiago de Chile, La Scala in Milano, Australian Ballet, China National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg.
Etudes has been filmed for TV several times. For the first time it was broadcasted internationally in 1956, performed by London Festival Ballet at the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer. A special TV production directed by Harald Lander in 1969 was made by Danish TV with the Royal Danish Ballet, starring Toni Lander, Erik Bruhn, Flemming Flindt and Henning Kronstam.
Symphony in C
Ballet by George Balanchine in one act to music to Georges Bizet
Choreography by George Balanchine © School of American Ballet
Ballet Master: Elyse Borne
Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova
Music Director: Timur Zangiev
Lighting Designer: Sergei Shevchenko
Premiered on June 13, 2019.
Run with one-act ballet Gaîté Parisienne
First premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on April 12, 1999.
Running time of this ballet: 40 minutes.
Total running time: 2 hours 10 minutes.
Le Palais de cristal, one of the most famous ballets of the 20th century, was presented in June, 1947, at the Paris Opera, and in March, 1948, it was performed in New York, by Balanchine’s own company, as Symphony in C, the title under which it is danced to this day by companies around the globe.
The story of the creation of this Balanchine masterpiece is remarkable and comes close to being improbable. In l947, the Paris Opera Ballet was left without a choreographer. So George Balanchine was invited to transfer to the Opera three ballets from his New York repertoire. Having fulfilled his obligations in this respect, Balanchine became so enamoured of the artistic charm of the Paris dancers that he decided to present them with an unplanned work - and this was to be Le Palais cristal. The metaphorical title, an image of the Paris school of classical dance, was not accidental. In addition to which, Le Palais cristal, is a choreographic portrait of the Paris Opera Ballet: its hierarchical structure (which, in his company, Balanchine did away with) is preserved and secured in the structure of each movement. At the center are the etoile and the premier danseur, slightly further off are the two soloist couples, while closer to the backdrop is the corps de ballet. All this is a reflection of the entrenched, spatial and professional laws of the Paris Academic Company. Balanchine had no intention of infringing these laws, he admired them and brought out their artistic wisdom.
The seventeen-year-old Georges Bizet had written his 1st (Youthful) Symphony as a diploma work in the year - 1855 - that he had completed his studies at the Conservatoire. Having won the Grand Prix de Rome, Bizet went off to Italy and was to write no more symphonies, while the score of Symphony in С gathered dust in the Conservatoire library until 1935, when it was given its first public performance - which, incidentally, was not a great success. Balanchine heard about this from Stravinsky. The former read the score, adapted it for the stage, and only after this did he begin to appreciate the musical world of the symphonic Bizet as much as he did that of the operatic Bizet.
By giving each of the four movements its own contingent of dancers and bringing all the participants together in an exultant finale, Balanchine too achieved an exemplary ’reading’ of the music. Balanchine’s text follows that of Bizet, repeating the flow of the music and the pattern of the musical form in a skilful design and exquisite configurations. Theme, elaboration, recapitulation, general intonation, dynamic play and, finally, the very sound of the orchestra, its instrumental color, its agility - all this is translated into the language of choreography with a truly hypnotic skill.
Balanchine has made a ballet about ballet. If one was to attempt to answer the question, what is its significance, in a single word, this word would be genius. The genius of the ensemble, the structural genius of the grand classical pas, each of the four sections of which - entree, adagio, variations, coda - Balanchine embellished choreographically and developed symphonically, deploying them in space and uniting them in time - into the flow of the dance. Le Palais de cristal is an ode to the dance logic of the grand classical pas and, at the same time, an ode to the dance genius of the classical ballet company.
Vadim Gaevsky (text from the handbook, abridged)