Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

If you are in Tbilisi, go, rush, run to the Opera and Ballet theatre to see Jiri Kilian's ballets. And make sure you stay right to the end! You will not regret it!

Last night the premiere took place of 'Jiri Kilian's Ballets'. Jiri Kilian was of course the inspired leader of the Nederlands Dans Teater - his productions were always wonderful. Last night's performance combined two of his choreographies, 'Stepping Stones' and 'Sechs Taenze' with two other choreographies performed earlier this year and reviewed here (the piece with the pianist and the violinist, and 'Georges Bizet'). Otherwise the evening would have been quite short, but there was a bit of a difference between the quality of these two and those by Kilian. Still it's worth going.

'Stepping Stones' interested me not least because it is set to John Cage's music for prepared piano (and a bit of Webern). Both of which I studied recently, though I don't think I heard any of the prepared piano pieces. The piano was prepared by inserting things between the strings here and there, to get a different sound. Actually, it was the reaction to being unable to get a percussionist when Cage wrote it. But it's very effective - and here it was played on tape. The choreography was awesome - Kilian puts so much detail into it, tiny sideways movements which one almost does not notice, incredible composite movements and positions by two or more dancers - and the dancing was great. There were still problems with synchronicity; but in modern dance it is not always clear whether they should move at the same time or whether they should be a beat apart; this could perhaps have been clearer in this performance.

The final piece, six (short) dances to music by Mozart, was brilliant. A total comedy! Women in white dresses, the guys in white knickerbockers with white, very powdered wigs, did a series of exuberant boy/girl love trouble comedy routines à la 'Amadeus' (the film), very much making fun of themselves - absolutely no 'beautiful dancing', but hilarious! Don't miss it!