Jiří Kylián created Petite Mort for the Nederlands Dans Theater for the 1991 Salzburg Festival on the second centenary of Mozart's death with six men, six women, and six foils. It’s been popular ever since.
Petite mort, translated from French, means “little death”, and is generally used as a euphemism for orgasm. Kylián’s Petite Mort plays on this meaning with subtle sexual symbolism.
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The world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) has been artistic director and house choreographer for of Nederlands Dans Theater for more than thirty years. Throughout his career Kylián created 75 choreographies for NDT. The piece "Mémoires d’Oubliettes" marked the end of his work for NDT in 2009. Since then his creative focus has shifted to more small scale projects. Kylián created various other pieces for companies worldwide such as the Stuttgart Ballet, the Paris Opéra, the Munich Bayerisches Staatsballett and the Tokyo Ballet. Kylián received many prestigious, international awards and honours.
Jiří Kylián started his dance career at the age of nine, at the School of the National Ballet in Prague. In 1962 he was accepted as a student at the Prague Conservatory. He left Prague in 1967 when he received a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School in London. Then he left for the Stuttgart Ballet led by John Cranko, where he made his debut as a choreographer with Paradox for the Noverre Gesellschaft. After having created three ballets for NDT ("Viewers", "Stoolgame" and "La Cathédrale Engloutie"), he became the company’s artistic director in 1975 together with Hans Knill. During the 1978 Charleston Festival in the United States Kylián put NDT on the international map with Sinfonietta (Leoš Janácek). That year he and Carel Birnie founded NDT 2, which was – and is – meant to offer young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents. In 1991 he initiated NDT 3; a company that created opportunities for ‘older’ dancers. NDT stood out as the first company worldwide that showed the three dimensions of a dancer´s life. After an extraordinary record of service Kylián handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained associated to the dance company as house choreographer until 2009.
Source: Nederlands Dance Theater 's website
More information: ndt.nl/en/home.html
Nederlands dans theater
Artistic direction: Jiří Kylián
Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is one of the most productive dance companies in the Netherlands, if not in the world. With six programs and nine world premieres in season 2015/2016, NDT shows an unprecedented number of new ballets. Artistic director Paul Lightfoot has deliberately chosen only a few revivals: "It's about artistic creation, not just choreography."
The company has always been ambitious and idiosyncratic. Since its founding in 1959 by Benjamin Harkarvy, Aart Verstegen and Carel Birnie in cooperation with eighteen dancers from Het Nationaal Ballet (The National Ballet), NDT has tried to pave its own way in the modern dance field. Glen Tetley and Hans van Manen prominently imprinted NDT with an avant-garde aesthetic and their nonconformist, progressive productions put the company on the national and international map.
Jiri Kylián added his own vision in the 80s and 90s, giving the company a distinct choreographic profile. Kylián was also a pioneer in focussing on talent development within the company, giving young professionals from within as well as outside the organization a chance to becomes dancers and choreographers of international repute. Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, both the house choreographers of NDT since 2002, are the primary examples of this.
Since 2011, Lightfoot also serves as the Artistic Director of the overall company whereas León has been its artistic advisor since 2012. León & Lightfoot have been working together since 1989 and earlier this season celebrated their 25th anniversary with new works and revivals of « Sad Case » and « Subject to Change » (NDT 2) and « Sehnsucht and Schmetterling » (NDT 1).
The idea to divide the company into one that focuses on talent development (NDT 2) and one where the more mature dancers (NDT 1) can fully grow into their artistic personalities, was developed thirty years ago. Dancers of NDT 2 join NDT 1 under the condition that they meet the expectations of the artistic direction. The high requirements that must be met result not only in appreciation by the public, but also in international dance prices. Dancer and choreographer Medhi Walerski won the prestigious 2013 Swan for 'most impressive dance performance'. "With his impressive appearance and theatre sensitivity his presence never loses meaning and he holds the audience’s attention by continuously fixating them. Walerski is a master magician in time and space " according to the VSCD jury report.
The level is not only high for the dancers, but also for the (guest) choreographers. NDT is one of few production houses that offers the stage and the opportunity to many external choreographers to create work with a virtuoso dance company. It is therefore not surprising that international, award-winning Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter as well as Marco Goecke are regular guests at NDT. Their presence leads to creative cross-pollination of world class and unforgettable ballets. Masterpieces like « Bella Figura », « Symphony in D » and « Déjà Vu » are among the classics of the company. A part of the collection is even included in the archive of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, a unique phenomenon in the Dutch ballet world.
Source : Nederlands Dans Theater 's website
More information : ndt.nl/home.html
The Nederlands Dans Theater
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, "Adagio" tiré du concerto pour piano et orchestre n°23 en la majeur, KV 488, et "Andante", extrait du concerto pour piano et orchestre n°21 en ut majeur, KV 467. - Mitsuko Uchida (piano). The English Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Tate
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work
Georg Van Breemen
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