Semperoper Ballett celebrates 15th anniversary of Aaron S. Watkin as Company Director with outstanding new ensemble members and star guests; Programme 2020/21 presents two ballet premieres; Guest performance in Taiwan in 2021
Dresden, 4 March 2020. Under the theme »Dancing into the future«, the 2020/21 season marks the 15th anniversary of the Semperoper Ballett under the direction of Aaron S. Watkin. To date 69 world premieres, a total of 1,188 performances as well as more than 30 tours in 15 countries clearly illustrate this successful partnership. Aaron S. Watkin: »I have been fortunate to have had the possibility to not only implement my artistic vison, but also to nurture it long – term. We the Semperoper Ballett have defined our unique identity both nationally and internationally as an ambassador to our house. With the extension of my contract until 2023 by our Intendant Peter Theiler, we have exiting planes for the future artistic development of our company over the years to come!«
From next season, the choreographer David Dawson will become »Associate Choreographer« to our house, affirming a long-standing partnership and ongoing commitment to the Semperoper Ballett. The company welcomes the internationally renowned French ballerina Sofiane Sylve and ballet star Marcelo Gomes, who join the team of ballet masters, as well as the Italian principal Carlo Di Lanno. Sofiane Sylve and Carlo Di Lanno: »We are both incredibly excited to join Semperoper Ballett, whose work is truly exceptional. We deeply believe in Aaron S. Watkin’s vision; he has forged an incredible group of artists who are free to create and open to be inspired, with a repertory that is extremely stimulating and relevant to today’s time. We are enormously grateful to San Francisco Ballet and to Helgí Tomasson, who over the years has provided us with many opportunities of growth and enrichment. We also would like to thank Patrick Armand for his guidance and wisdom. We would not be the artists we are today without the contribution of San Francisco Ballet and the people we have been fortunate to work with. However, a dancer’s career is very short and we both want to make the best of it while we still can. That is why we have made the decision to change environment and to challenge ourselves with a new adventure.«
Multi-award winning Brazilian dancer Marcelo Gomes, who has accepted the invitation of Ballet Director Aaron S. Watkin to the Semperoper Dresden to perform the role of Prince Siegfried in Watkin’s version of »Swan Lake« as well as Oberon in Frederick Ashton’s choreography »The Dream« in 2019, says »After dancing »Swan Lake« and »The Dream« with the company I immediately felt the commitment to such a high standard of aesthetic and professionalism from the dancers and staff. The 20-21 season Aaron S. Watkin has planned is so exciting and I’m looking forward to experiencing brand new ballets. I’m truly honored and thrilled to be joining the Semperoper Ballet as a dancer and ballet master and living in beautiful Dresden.« Aaron S. Watkin: »I am very honoured to have these world class artists complementing the unique identity of our ensemble. I look forward to inspiring them on their continued artistic journey, and welcome their experience and knowledge.«
The first of two premieres is Johan Inger’s epic narrative work »Peer Gynt«, in which the choreographer parallels his own career with Peer Gynt’s journey through life. Created in 2017 for the Basel Ballet, we are the first company to take on this work which will premiere on the 27th of November, 2020. George Balanchine’s »Serenade«, Crystal Pite’s »Plot Point« and William Forsythe’s »Playlist (EP)« make up our second premier program under the title »Playlist«, which will premiere on the 6th of June, 2021. Both »Plot Point« and »Playlist« will be German premieres. From our classical full-lengths we will perform »La Bayadère«, »The Nutcracker« and »Swan Lake« as well as our mixed bill »Four last Songs« and our award winning full-length creation »COW« by Alexander Ekman. Maria Kochetkova and Dmitry Semionov will be returning to guest with us. Kochetkova will dance Odette/Odile in »Swan Lake« and Semionov will dance both Solor in »La Bayadère« and Prince Siegfried in »Swan Lake«. The Semperoper Ballett will close its season with a tour to the National Theatre Taipei with a mixed program, including Balanchine’s »Serenade«, Forsythe’s »Playlist (EP)« and David Dawson’s »The Four Seasons«.