On May 7, 2019, a press conference devoted to the upcoming the XXV Łódź Ballet Festival was held in the foyer of the Grand Theatre Łódź. The Festival starts on Saturday, May 11 and will last until June 23. The press conference was attended by the Grand Theatre?s acting general director ? Krzysztof Marciniak, ballet director ? Wojciech Domagała, and the creators of Silence/Cisza ? the Festival?s opening performance: Ivan Cavallari (choreographer), Michał Kocimski (music director) and dancers Lydia Boutfeux and Dominik Senator.
For the Grand Theatre, the 25th edition of the Ballet Festival is a unique event, which celebrates its 50th anniversary and tradition. In his speech, Krzysztof Marciniak referred to the activities of the first management of the institution, as well as to the impressive list of outstanding choreographers who, since 1968, have presented their works on the stage of the Grand Theatre, setting new trends in the development of choreography and contemporary dance theatre. The Festival, being an exceptional event not only for Łódź but also for the whole Polish culture, will be attended by world-renowned dance companies to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
In May, the Festival?s audience will have the opportunity to admire, apart from Cavallari?s Silence/Cisza, the Balletto del Teatro dell? Opera di Roma in the romantic ballet La Sylphide ? the only classical performance in this year?s Festival line-up. Furthermore, the Festival will also feature the well recognised Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, which will present two performances. Rami Be?er?s dancers, well recognised by the Festival?s audience, will present two of their three latest performances: Horses in the Sky and Mother?s Milk.
In June, the Grand Theatre will host the Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras with Sombras that circulates around the theme of la farruca ? Spanish folk dance. The Festival will also feature Australian Sydney Dance Company in their recent contemporary ballet performance ab [intra]. Finally, the Grand Theatre will host The Tokyo Ballet ? ?a very unique group? ? as Wojciech Domagała noted. In the Festival, the Japanese company will present Maurice Béjart?s spectacular choreography ? The Kabuki.
The Festival?s history will thus come full circle, since, the first international company that has visited the Grand Theatre in 1970, was Béjart?s Ballet du XXe Siélce. At that time, the Festival audience was given a chance to admire the famous Bhakti, among others. The visit of Béjart and Ballet du XXe Siélce ? one of the most important dance companies of the 2nd half of the 20th century, at the II Łódź Ballet Festival, helped the Festival achieve artistic and box office success. It was from then on, that the Festival began to develop rapidly and dynamically. By bringing Béjart?s choreography to this year?s Festival, the organisers aim to pay tribute to the world-renowned genius of choreography.
The presence of Silence/Cisza at the opening of this year?s dance feast is also a reference to the Festival?s tradition. The world premiere of Silence/Cisza by Łódź Grand Theatre will take place on 11 May. The first edition of Łódź Ballet Festival also opened with the Festival hosts ? the Grand Theatre company ? presenting their choreographic works. The organisers returned to this custom many times during the history of the Festival. As Krzysztof Marciniak noted, Silence/Cisza is a unique artistic event because of the combination of live performed symphonic music with dance, but also due to its unusual narrative, inspired by the biography of Ludwig van Beethoven ? one of the greatest geniuses of all time.
In his speech, Marciniak paid particular attention to the Grand Theatre?s possible co-operation with Ivan Cavallari. Since 2017, Cavallari has been associated with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens as its artistic director and choreographer. For Łódź Grand Theatre?s company, Cavallari created an original three-part ballet performance entitled Silence/Cisza. During the press conference, Cavallari also shared with the audience his reflections on his work on Silence/Cisza. The artist?s intention was primarily to present the concept of humanity by using the form of symphonic and narrative ballet. He also aimed to touch on the issues of life and mortality embedded in Beethoven?s brilliant scores. Referring to various aspects of the composer?s life and treating them as rites-of-passage, Cavallari in cooperation with Łódź dancers, strived to capture the choreography?s ideal harmony with music ? white and black notes, the combination of which, in Beethoven?s compositions, is a symbol of perfection.
The choreography of Silence/Cisza is divided into three parts, the first of them has a narrative character, and the others are more symbolic and have more dance. The performance also features a number of characters modelled on real persons who had a significant impact on the life of the famous composer, including his parents and his beloved women ? Josephine and Julietta, and above all Beethoven himself, depicted in all three parts as a Man ? Creator ? Genius. As the dancers assured us, will be Silence/Cisza performance full of magic.
XXV Łódź Ballet Festival is an important part of the Polish history of ballet and current choreographic achievements both in classical ballet and in numerous styles and forms of contemporary dance. Appreciating the work and achievements of their predecessors, the organisers compose the Festival?s program in such a way, so as to include older performances, that have already left a mark in the history of dance as iconic works, as well as the most recent ones, representing the highest level of creation and performance and appreciated by audiences all over the world. The directors of the Łódź Grand Theatre invite all dance lovers to join the celebration of this very special event ? the twenty-fifth edition of the Festival.