On Tuesday 31 May 2016 the Teatr Wielki ? National Opera ceremoniously announced the 2016/2017 artistic season. The dance programme was presented by Polish National Ballet director Krzysztof Pastor. The first ballet premiere, a three-part evening, will be held on 25 November 2016, with more performances on 26?29 and 29 November, and then in February and March 2017. The evening will open with the famous Chopiniana choreographed by Mikhail Fokin (1907) and realised by Alexei Fadeyechev, an outstanding choreographer and director of many ballet ensembles. In 2014, Fadeyechev created the performance of Don Quixote for the Teatr Wielki ? National Opera.
The second part will include Bolero with Maurice Ravel?s music and choreography by Pastor, a piece created at a commission from the Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam. The Polish premiere will mark Pastor?s 60th birthday and 30th anniversary of choreographic work. At the conference, he said that Ravel?s music was intensely present in the audience?s awareness, and their choreographic imagination was deeply impressed by Maurice Béjart?s staging featuring prima ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya and Sylvie Guillem. That is why this work was a significant challenge for Pastor, and involved a change to the choreographic structure: instead of Béjart?s circle, Pastor set it in a square.
The evening will end with Chroma (2006), a performance by the prominent young British choreographer Wayne McGregor. Polish audiences are already familiar with his works. In 2009, he presented Entity at the Łódź Ballet Meetings. In 2015, as part of the Art of Dance Days and the Rozdroże/Crossroads International Meeting of Live Arts, his company performed FAR at the Teatr Wielki ? National Opera. McGregor is renowned for complex choreographies that require great physical strength from the dancers, and extensive structure distributed into simultaneous actions of a group of dancers. In this work, he collaborated with stage designer John Pawson, whom Pastor describes as ?an architect devoted to simplicity?.
On 20 May 2017, the premiere of the Swan Lake with Tchaikovsky?s music and Pastor?s choreography will be held. This production departs from the conventional staging tradition, as libretto author Paweł Chynowski has introduced a new motif. The performance will focus on Polish ballerina Matylda Krzesińska and the future heir to the Russian throne, Prince Nicholas, later Nicholas II. This affair caused a scandal at the Russian tsar?s court. The authors claim that despite the modified libretto, the most valuable ?swan? sequences of the academic choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa are preserved. Chynowski, who also works as programming and organization manager of the Polish National Ballet, has collaborated with Pastor before, writing the libretto for the Casanova ballet realised in Warsaw. More performances are scheduled for 21 and 23?27 May 2017.
The last ballet premiere in the season, the Baltic Dance Theatre artistic director Izadora Weiss?s Darkness, is based on Joseph Conrad?s novel The Heart of Darkness. A choreographer renowned for musical collages, this time Weiss combines Baroque music by Johann Sebastian Bach with the works of contemporary minimalist Philip Glass. Costumes will be created by Hanna Szymczak. The performance will present violence that occurs between women and men. Weiss is fascinated by the change that takes place in the relationship, when the woman stops agreeing with the man and refuses to be obedient. How does the wonderful promise of heaven made by the man seeking fulfilment turn into aggression, violence and humiliation? Darkness does not come suddenly, the author says. It surrounds our bright spaces and waits to gradually take over our lives for ever. This premiere will be held on 14 June 2017, with more performances on 16 and 18 June, and will end the 2016/2017 season.
Teatr Wielki ? National Opera ballet programme will also feature some of its regular titles, for example, Robert Bondara?s small ballet piece Persona, and a three-part ballet evening Obsessions with choreographies by Pastor and Emil Wesołowski. There will also be works from the ballet canon, such as La Bayad?re, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and The Taming of the Shrew. The programme will also include another edition of the Polish National Ballet choreographic workshops Creations. In addition, the audience will have the opportunity to see again Toshio Hosokawa?s opera Matsukaze which premiered in Poland in 2011. An opera co-production, it is also an excellent choreographic work, thanks to the charismatic director and choreographer Sasha Waltz. It will be presented on 21?23 April 2017.
Tickets for the 2016/2017 season will be on sale as of 20 June 2016.
For more information, see the Teatr Wielki ? National Opera website: