Ballett

Classics by Balanchine / Peck / Tharp

George Balanchine / Justin Peck / Twyla Tharp

Multi-part ballet evening

Premiere 2. June 2024

Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Event is in the past
Info

  • Free introductory talk
  • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
    Info

    • Free introductory talk
    • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

    • Guided tour through the Semperoper
    Info

    • Free introductory talk
    • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

    • Post-Show Discussion following the performance (free admission).

    • Guided tour through the Semperoper
      Info

      • Free introductory talk
      • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

      • Guided tour through the Semperoper
        Info

        • Free introductory talk
        • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

        • Guided tour through the Semperoper
          Info

          • Free introductory talk
          • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

          • Guided tour through the Semperoper
            Info

            • Free introductory talk
            • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

            • Guided tour through the Semperoper
              Info

              • Free introductory talk
              • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
                Info

                • Free introductory talk
                • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
                Info

                • Free introductory talk
                • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
                  Info

                  • Free introductory talk
                  • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
                    Info

                    • Free introductory talk
                    • held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
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                      The piece is also part of

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                      Piece-Info

                      With »Classics«, the Semperoper Ballett premieres a programme that unites three dance creations that have become signature pieces of their respective creators:

                      The triple-bill opens with »Serenade« – the very first work that George Balanchine created in the US, which was performed for the first time on 9 June 1934 involving students from the School of American Ballet, which Balanchine co-founded, on the grounds of the Warburg estate in White Plains, New York: by portraying ballerinas in floor-length light blue tulle dresses in a strictly geometrical choreography to Tchaikovsky’s »Serenade for Strings«, Mr Balanchine’s 1935 work diffuses the atmosphere of the »white acts« as shown in classical narrative ballets. In this way, it bridges to abstract neoclassical ballet and new forms of body expression. This is creation is followed by »Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes« by American choreographer Justin Peck, who brings this 2015 choreography to Semperoper. With this work, Peck takes up the famous Americana theme of US composer Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990) whose cowboy ballet »Rodeo« (1942) is one of his best-known creations. Peck took on this score and developed a humorous, lively dance piece for 16 dancers. US choreographer Twyla Tharp premieres with another creation by presenting her work »In The Upper Room« (1986), which nowadays is considered a favourite in the repertoire of many ballet companies. Accompanied by the commissioned composition by Philip Glass, the company once again demonstrates its enormous body control by performing not only ballet but also a variety of physical techniques such as boxing, yoga and tap dancing, and thus rounds off the ballet evening in this varied way.

                      Plot

                      »Serenade«
                      The first part of the triple-bill is George Balanchine's symphonic ballet »Serenade«, whose public premiere took place on 1 March 1935 with the American Ballet at the Adelphi Theatre in New York. Its title is taken from its music by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky, the four-movement Serenade for Strings in C major, op. 48. As Balanchine’s first ballet created in the USA, »Serenade« still represents a significant point in his oeuvre, whose fascination continues to this day. Although Balanchine’s choreography is not a narrative work, it cannot be considered completely abstract, since it involves certain constellations of relationships and emotional tensions between the dancers. »Serenade« presents the ensemble in blue costumes with a matching set design and represents a homage to the ›white ballets‹ of French-Russian Romanticism. This impression is also reinforced by the ballerinas in their long, light-colored tulle skirts and pointe shoes.  

                      »Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes«
                      With »Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes«, Justin Peck created his eighth work for the New York City Ballet as its resident choreographer and artistic advisor. His musical basis is the version for symphony orchestra of the ballet music »Rodeo«, which Aaron Copland had originally composed for American choreographer Agnes de Mille. Copland’s musical style, called »Americana«, often reminds of pastoral sound-landscapes of endless vastness and sometimes incorporates American folk songs too. His 1942 ballet »Rodeo« belongs to a triad that also includes the dance creations »Billy the Kid« (1938) and »Appalachian Spring« (1944). Justin Peck's work divides the »Rodeo« score into four episodes: »The first movement takes on a kinetic, engine-like quality; the second movement elicits recurring weather patterns; the third movement calls to mind the synchronicity illustrated by two birds in flight; and finally, the concluding fourth movement communicates a sense of total vitality, bright fervor, and healthy competition,« the choreographer stated.

                      »In The Upper Room«
                      In 1986, US choreographer Twyla Tharp commissioned the minimalist soundscape composer Philip Glass with an orchestral work for a new creation: »In The Upper Room (aka Dancer's Notebook #1-9)« offers its dancers scope to perform a wide range of physical techniques. In nine vibrant scenes, defined by a powerful movement vocabulary, ballet meets tap dance, boxing and yoga. The variety of steps and a refined sense of time-rhythm demand both body control and fitness on part of the company. This variety is also represented by the multifaceted costume design, which, in the course of the piece, develops a dynamic that matches with Ms Tharp’s style. The sensual component of this choreography is rounded off by the thought-out combination of light and haze effects. Due to its ethereal effect, this dance work has since become a repertoire classic of many international companies. In the 2023/24 season, the international ballet star will present one of her works at the Semperoper for the first time.

                      Digitales Programmheft

                      »Classics« To the Point(e)

                      The digital programme booklet

                      George Balanchine

                      Serenade

                      A homage to the »white acts« of the 19th century in a neoclassical interpretation, that took the Franco-Russian ballet tradition to the »New World« in the 20th century – a masterpiece that has not lost its appeal to this day: all this is »Serenade« (1935).

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                      Justin Peck

                      Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes

                      Nuances of the Wild West, combined with jazz, syncopated percussion rhythms and neoclassicism. These keywords are probably the best way to summarise Justin Peck's »Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes« (2015) in the most appropriate way.

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                      Twyla Tharp

                      In The Upper Room

                      Yoga, tap dancing, boxing, tango, jogging – forms of movement that are part of many people's everyday lives, but are not necessarily considered as »dance«. However, Twyla Tharp defines it differently as her choreography »In The Upper Room« (1986) proves.

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                      Published by
                      Saxon State Theatres
                      Dresden State Opera and Dresden State Theatre
                      Public enterprise of the Free State of Saxony
                      Theatre Square 2 | 01067 Dresden

                      Management
                      Peter Theiler, General Director of the State Opera
                      Wolfgang Rothe, Managing Director

                      The Dresden State Opera and the Dresden State Theatre together form the Saxon State Theatres.

                      Premiere 2 June 2024
                      Season 2023/24

                      Idea, concept and editing
                      Regina Genée

                      Design Alanis Lobert

                      Text credits
                      The texts The interplay of dance and music in Balanchineʼs symphonic ballet »Serenade«, Free and in the spirit of Mozart; Neoclassicism 2.0, In the spirit of the Wild West; Genre Dichotomies in Twyla Tharp’s »In The Upper Room« and Soundscapes and pure emotions: Philip Glass’s music for »In The Upper Room« were created as original contributions for the digital programme booklet.

                      Reprint of Aaron Copland's biography by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.
                      Reprint of Philip Glass's biography by kind permission of Dunvagen Music Publishers.

                      Translated into German and editorial changes: Regina Genée.
                      Translation into English and editing of English-language texts: Aaron Epstein.

                      Photo credits
                      Production photos © Semperoper Dresden/Jubal Battisti, 05/2024
                      Portrait of Pyotr. I. Tchaikovsky

                      Authors who could not be contacted in time are requested to inform us of any subsequent payment of rights. The spelling of older texts has generally been carefully adapted to modern spelling. For reasons of easier readability, gender-neutral differentiation has been omitted in some places in this publication. In the interests of equal treatment, such references apply to all people.

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