„We were right here!!“ (Uraufführung) / Martin Chaix
Rebound - Topple - Splash (Uraufführung) / Antoine Jully
Pond Way / Merce Cunningham
Crop (Uraufführung) / Amanda Miller
Inclination (Uraufführung) / Regina van Berkel
Rebound - Topple - Splash (Uraufführung)
Antoine JullyIgor Stravinsky was commissioned by the diplomats Mr and Mrs Robert Woods Bliss in 1937 to compose for their thirtieth wedding anniversary the concert in E flat with the title “Dumbarton Oaks”, named for their country estate. He commented on the background for the composition: “While I composed the concerto I listened to a lot of Bach and was especially taken with his Brandenburg Concerti. The opening theme of my first movement was consciously lifted from the third Brandenburg. Bach would surely not have objected, as to re-use existing material was a frequent feature of his daily work”.
“Dumbarton Oaks” belongs to the works of Igor Stravinsky’s neo-classical period. Antoine Jully decided, for his second world première choreography at Ballett am Rhein, to use none of the Russian composer’s theatre music, but this abstract work, invoking the style of baroque concerti while updating it with new harmonic and rhythmic ideas. In the three continuous movements the instrumentalists now and then come forward as soloists, and thus fulfil in alternation solo and ensemble principles – an alternation that can be applied to dance also and which was to Antoine Jully a prerequisite for his choreography.
Antoine Jully’s title cites three physical states: “Rebound” as bouncing back, “Topple” as sudden fall, and “Splash” as scattering all over, are conditions which interest the young choreographer, both in connexion with bodily momentum and in their inherent rhythms. “Rebound – Topple – Splash” draws three different developments into one net – we may rightly be curious what happens when he nets us too.
Taught at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris, Antoine Jully’s engagements included the corps de ballet of the Opéra National de Paris and of the Royal Ballet in London, where he presented his own choreographies. In 2005 Martin Schläpfer engaged him for his ballettmainz, since 2009 he is a member of Ballett am Rhein, where he presented “Inside” as his first world première in the 2011/12 season.
REBOUND - TOPPLE - SPLASH (World Première)
Concerto in E flat “Dumbarton Oaks” by Igor Stravinsky
Choreographie, Bühne und Kostüme Antoine Jully
Licht Volker Weinhart
Tänzerinnen Ann-Kathrin Adam, Marlúcia do Amaral, Carolina Francisco Sorg, Virginia Segarra Vidal, Julie Thirault
Tänzer Christian Bloßfeld, Paul Calderone, Marcos Menha, Chidozie Nzerem, Remus Sucheana
Merce CunninghamThe pointillistic black and white “Landscape with Boat” by Roy Lichtenstein discloses a fascinating natural world of movement, telling of algæ in the current and birds driven on the wind; such is the impression of the dancers, a never-ending stream of movement in the white costumes provided by Suzanne Gallo, with soft undulations and broad flared sleeves and legs. The choreography “Pond Way”, first performed in Paris in 1998, is one of Merce Cunningham’s so-called “Nature Studies”, a poetically contemplative work for dancers of great figurative power.
With Merce Cunningham’s death in April 2009 at the age of ninety ended one of the most significant chapters in the story of avant-garde dance in the 20th century. His scores were supplied by composers like John Cage, David Tudor, Earle Brown, Walter Zimmermann, Brian Eno and Takehisa Kosugi, and among his collaborators were pictorial artists like Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Jasper Johns and Mark Lancaster. In close association with, yet entirely independently of them, the American dancer and choreographer Cunningham created his works by chance procedures, inspired by the Chinese I Ching principles, independently of the music, with which it has in common only the same duration, but also independently of stage, lighting and costumes, yet in a strange and inexplicable way seeming to form a symbiosis with them. Cunningham viewed dance as a phenomenon of space and time, not wanting to know about any imaginary focal point in the space on stage or the physical presence of dancers as in the classic danse d’école. For him it was rather – according to a thesis of Albert Einstein – the emergence and development of movement everywhere on stage, everywhere in the physique: “There are no fixed points in space”; and there being “no fixed points, then every feature everywhere is equally of interest and equally in motion”. What was important to him was dance, movement, flow of movement per se and also the protection of every artistic component involved from subjugation.
“New Ikebukkuro” for three CD Players by Brian Eno
Choreographie Merce Cunningham
Bühne Roy Lichtenstein
Kostüme Suzanne Gallo
Licht David Covey
Einstudierung Andrea Weber
Tänzerinnen Ann-Kathrin Adam, Camille Andriot, Wun Sze Chan, Mariana Dias, Feline van Dijken, Nicole Morel, Louisa Rachedi, Virginia Segarra Vidal
Tänzer Paul Calderone, Marquet K. Lee, Sonny Locsin, Bruno Narnhammer, Bogdan Nicula
Amanda MillerIn Amanda Miller’s biography the coexistence of classical dance and contemporary art shows through early. Commuting between Berlin and New York in the early 1980s, she belonged to the corps de ballet of the German Opera in Berlin just as much as to the
circles of such experimental art collectives as COLAB. Work in the collective and linking classical dance to contemporary art-forms developed into the main components of her choreographic work. During her time as dancer and resident choreographer with William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt in 1988 Amanda Miller created the piece “Pretty Ugly”, which gave the name for her own company which she founded in 1992. At first conceived as an independent company, “Pretty Ugly” was affiliated from 1997 to 2004 to the Freiburg theatre and from 2005 to the playhouse in Köln (Cologne). The public and the Press alike were enthusiastic about the company’s experimental treatment of further developments in conventional dance techniques. Earning several awards, the choreographer, dedicated as she was to interdisciplinary impulses, succeeded in drawing artists from various fields to co-operation. Her partners of many years’ standing include the composer Fred Frith and the scenic designer Seth Tillett, with whom Amanda Miller will co-operate in her first choreography for Ballett am Rhein.
Music plays an important part in Amanda Miller’s life as inspiration and starting-point for new choreographies. She seeks in her works a dialogue with the spectators, to mobilize their imagination and to invite them to let their thoughts roam free. During rehearsals Amanda Miller uses the factor of improvisation, so that the dancers, while they familiarize themselves with the form of their task, are enabled to make it their own and “find their own voices”. Only thereafter is the basis established for the exchange of contributions which she needs at rehearsal: “My work depends on the dialogue that emerges between myself and the people I work with. Communication is the basic starting-point, because we are trying to create a physical language which everyone will understand”.
CROP (World Première)
Choreographie, Kostüme und Licht Amanda Miller
Bühne und Licht Seth Tillett
Tänzerinnen Camille Andriot, Wun Sze Chan, Feline van Dijken, Cristina Garcia Fonseca, Carolina Francisco Sorg, Christine Jaroszewski, Yuko Kato, Anne Marchand, Nicole Morel, Claudine Schoch, Virginia Segarra Vidal
Tänzer Jackson Carroll, Florent Cheymol, Philip Handschin, Marquet K. Lee, Sonny Locsin, Boris Randzio, Remus Sucheana, Pontus Sundset
Regina van Berkel“I try to invoke many images, to open areas of consciousness, to stimulate imagination with my titles”. This intention is recognizable also in the Dutch choreographer Regina van Berkel’s new work for Ballett am Rhein: “Inclination”, a word the meanings of which can be conveyed in translation by a variety of German words. After “Frozen Echo” and her Intermezzi to Martin Schläpfer’s “Unleashing the Wolf” in the 2010/11 season Regina van Berkel now presents with “Inclination” a choreography to the 4th string quartet of Alan Hovhaness, titled “The Ancient Tree”. The composer refers with this name to an old tree in his uncle’s garden which as a child he loved to climb to enjoy the view. Opening with a dreamy adagio, with a light-footed fugue to follow, the composition’s third movement, after a measured start, takes an unexpected turn. Alan Hovhaness, born in America in 1911, integrated elements of Armenian, Oriental and other music into his works, winning a reputation for independent thinking and finding his own unmistakable way. His output was unusually extensive, and it is familiar to the world of dance through several works commissioned for choreography by Martha Graham, including “Ardent Song” and “Circe”.
Regina van Berkel is inspired by the contemplatively pantheistic atmosphere of the music and, as with all her projects, is taking plenty of time to develop the choreography for it. “I must let the idea sink in until a thread through the piece has emerged inside my head. This approach enables me to develop the movements freely in rehearsal without losing the basic thread”.
As previously with “Frozen Echo”, Regina van Berkel will also co-operate on “Inclination” with the installation artist Dietmar Janeck, whose visual ideas add further perspectives to the many-faceted riches and the variety of levels and shadings contained in the music of Alan Hovhaness and in the choreographer’s interpretation.
INCLINATION (World Première)
Regina van Berkel
String Quartet no.4 (“The Ancient Tree”) by Alan Hovhaness
Choreographie und Kostüme Regina van Berkel
Bühne und Licht Dietmar Janeck
Tänzerinnen Ann-Kathrin Adam, Doris Becker, Louisa Rachedi
Tänzer Paul Calderone, Marcos Menha, Alexandre Simões, Maksat Sydykov