Mozart Through the Eyes of Jiří Kylián and Petr Zuska

Don Nixon, 1.6.2006

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Mozart, the National Theatre in Prague created a programme including the choreographic works of Kylián (Petite Mort) and Zuska (Mozart’s Requiem arranged and completed by Swiss composer R. Rentsch

Within the framework of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Mozart, the National Theatre in Prague has created a programme including the choreographic works of Jiří Kylián (Petite Mort) and Petr Zuska (Mozart´s Requiem arranged and completed by contemporary Swiss composer Richard Rentsch).

Petite Mort - Alexander Katsapov - Adéla Polletová.jpg 

For the first time in fifteen years, the National Theatre in Prague has added a creation of Jiří Kylián, the short choreography Petite Mort. In the outstanding composition for six couples containing subtle erotic subtexts, only two types of props are enough for Kylián in this piece – the masculine sword and the feminine crinoline. These features become two organic components of the choreography and outline the characters of both sexes: the male penetration and the female fragility. In the first part of the production, the company of the National Theatre wrestle with the silence but gradually grasp the individual duets in the second half of the piece.

 

Petr Zuska lets himself go in his adaptation of Mozart´s Requiem, using the newly Requiem - A Katsapov K Jelínková M Hrdý.jpgcompleted arrangement by contemporary Swiss composer Richard Rentsch. Zuska works with the vision of a “trinity” with his interpretation of Mozart - as a child, as a ripe composer and as a muse. To each of the four vocals - soprano, alto, tenor and bass – he assigns four dancing couples. The entrances of the dance ensemble greatly correspond with the vocal chorus. Zuska follows the structure of the musical composition consistently. And perhaps that is why his works is missing a theatrical element. Zuska´s choreography contains honest, kinetic material; nonetheless a clear weakness can be detected within it. Zuska is perhaps too rugged in his choreography; without taking a breath, he unites the helter skelter movements. He loads the dancers with a plentiful portion of coordinated and physically demanding dance sequences that do not always bring about an appropriate effect for the spectator.

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