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Choreography of Jiri Kylian

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At the risk of opening another can of worms, I'm wondering how much Kylian is being danced in the States now. I know there's actually quite a bit to see on video, with the attendant benefits and deficits of that medium, but I know I hardly ever get to see anything live here (Seattle).


There may have been some more recent performances, but I recall 3 Kylian pieces put on during ABT's

Oct-Nov- 2004 season at City Center in NYC. The three pieces were Sinfonietta, Petite Morte and Sechs Tanze.

Again it's possible there have been some other Kylian pieces put on in the NYC area since then but they may have slipped under my radar.


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I see that the DVD of "Jiri Kylian's Black and White Ballets," made in 1995, is still available on Amazon. I recall this in the earlier video casette format. Hubbard Street had (and possibly still has) Petit Mort and (I think) Six Dances in its rep.

Here's the product description:


Black and White Ballets is a treat for all fans of contemporary dance. The Nederlands Dans Theater's reputation is formidable in any event, but there's also a tradition in the Netherlands of producing modern dance for television and video media with enormous expertise, as owners of the superb Springdance VHS collections will testify. The advent of DVD has of course upped the ante considerably in terms of detail and overall production values, with this disc being a fine example of what can be achieved. The stark, monochromatic staging of this sequence of dance pieces is overlaid by a choice of music that encompasses Mozart, Bach, and Webern, but it's the opening item, set to the first part of Steve Reich's Drumming, that is the most compelling, displaying as it does the power of dance to extrapolate from music rather than just accompany it. In terms of features, the disc is pretty spartan, with a stereo-only soundtrack and no extra features worthy of the name, but the overall result is nevertheless highly recommended. --Roger Thomas

Product Description

The ballets represented in the "Black and White" series are arresting examples of Jiri Kylian's style and fully justify his reputation as one of the most inventive and daring choreographers on today's dance scene. The vitality of his work in underpinned by a musically so innate from the same impulse. Dances: "Sarabande" with music by Bach, "Petite Mort" with music by Mozart, "Sweet Dreams" with music by Webern, "No More Play" with music by Webern, "Falling Angels" with music by Reich, "Six Dances" with music by Mozart. 98 minutes.

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BTW, if you're interested in seeing Kylian's work, I would not use ABT's performances of Kylian as a guide: when I saw them a couple of years ago do Sechs Tanze and Petit Mort, I found them completely unidiomatic, and in dire need of way more rehearsal hours. NDT of course is very good, and for a much more energetic take on the rep, NDT2 is very much worth seeing. In the US, Hubbard does a good job with Kylian.


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I had the opportunity to watch Hubbard Street about 5 years ago when they toured Europe. They danced "Six Dances" by Kylian and it was indeed a very good rendition of that piece. I remember a young, dynamic and talented company.

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