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Łódź’s flagship cultural event is attracting dance lovers to the city for the 23rd time already. May Łódź Ballet Festival is coming up soon.

 

The space around the Grand Theatre in Łódź has been turned into a large construction site. The city is transforming from top to bottom. A brand new chapter is opening. Does this apply to the 23rd Łódź Ballet Festival as well? So say the organisers of the event, which offers six shows of the highest artistic quality and performing virtuosity.

 

The festival open by is host with a choreography by Giorgio Madia  ? Chopin wymarzony (Chopin Imaginaire). Twenty eight pieces by Chopin (performed live) were used as inspiration for twenty eight dance miniatures in an attempt to capture the moods and emotional landscapes of the music. The outcome is a series of non-linear structure, performed in neoclassical style.

 

The string of five international productions that will follow (each to be presented twice) begins with a show by an undisputed global dance star Sylvie Guillem that marks the end of her onstage career, Life in Progress. Remembering her extraordinary duet with Russell Maliphant dating 4 years back, it is hard not to consider the chance to witness the extraordinary quality of her movement and artistic expression (possibly for the last time) an absolute must-see. The set includes choreographies by the most prominent dance creators: apart from Maliphant, Guillem will dance pieces by Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Akram Khan.

 

Men in Motion by Ivan Putrov (2012) explores the changing role of the man throughout history. The juxtaposition of classical choreographies and those that broke away with tradition make up a coherent whole that reflects the dynamics of the process. We will see works by Fokine, Nijinsky, Balanchine, Bourne, and Bordin performed by members of renowned European ballet companies.

 

The next item on the programme also draws on the past. Exploring the iconic Swan Lake, Lac by Jean Christophe Maillot (performed by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo) is an allegoric tale of clashing opposites and the battle of good and evil. The choreographer transfers the well-known story into the present-day context and asks the resultant questions. While the libretto is used here only as an inspiration, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music is preserved in its original form.

 

Rising by the Phoenix Ballet is a series of four individual choreographies showcasing the achievements of the American ballet company from its first premiere in 2014. The pieces have been devised by Sławomir Woźniak (former dancer of the Grand Theatre in Łódź and the Teatr Wielki ? Polish National Opera), Francisco Gella, Albert Blaise Cattafi, and Ricky M. Palomino.

 

Last but not least, the audience will be treated to Gala by Teatro alla Scala, whose operations date back to 1778. Those who appreciate a truly classical repertoire, will be pleased to see works by such choreographers as Mikhail Fokine, Marius Petipa, or Agrippina Vaganova. The company’s soloist Nicoletta Manni is considered a rising star of international dance, and her presence at the 23rd Łódź Ballet Festival is an answer to the news of Sylvie Guillem’s retirement. This way the organisers express their hope for a new chapter in the history of dance opening soon.

 

Written by Marta Kula; translated by IMiT.

 

23rd Łódź Ballet Festival

9?31 May 2015

Grand Theatre, Łódź

www.operalodz.com

Online tickets are 20% off.

 

More information: http://www.operalodz.com/lsb

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