This multi-part evening by the Semperoper Ballett takes us on a thrilling exploration through recent dance history. The evening begins with »The Second Detail«, a modern classic from 1991 by William Forsythe, who brilliantly pushes the forms and movements of classical ballet to the outer limits of balance and spatial orientation. In June 2023, Israeli creator Sharon Eyal premiered »Half Life« at the Semperoper. Her creation is full of intense contrasts: stage meets audience, individual meets collective, sound patterns meet space. All of this makes »Half Life« a masterpiece that evokes tensions that you can experience with all your senses and that range from minimalist to extreme ones. The evening finishes with the choreography »White Dark-ness«, which the Spaniard Nacho Duato created in 2001 following the death of his beloved sister. A requiem full of pain and devotion to a person who has lost faith in love and seeks oblivion. This intense programme celebrates dance as an expression of the creative spirit, of exultation and deep-seated compassion.
Please note that during the ballet evening »White Darkness«, especially in the second part »Half Life« (duration approx. 45 minutes), a noise level of 85 dB, and for a short time also 95 dB, will be exceeded. In addition, bass tones in a low frequency range can lead to physically noticeable vibration stress.
William Forsythe »The Second Detail«
In 1991, William Forsythe’s (*1947) The Second Detail premiered at the National Ballet of Canada and has since become one of the choreographer’s modern classics. The Second Detail–as the title already indicates–offers something like a second look at the wealth of associations contained within choreography. With virtuosity Forsythe drives the dancers to the limits of balance and spatial orientation, basing himself on classical ballet’s language of form and movement. With the inclusion of the soloist wearing a white dress by Issey Miyake, the neoclassicism expands into expressive dance–before ending in an ironic, playful about-face. Despite the analytic approach and playful irony, the work has an immediately sensual impact, not least thanks to the electronic music that Thom Willems has specially composed for the choreography.
Sharon Eyal »Half Life«
Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal (*1971) is one of the leading choreographers of the contemporary dance scene. The influence on Eyal of Ohad Naharin’s legendary Batsheva Dance Company can be experienced directly in the rhythm-based physicality of her work. This is also the case with Half Life, a work she created for the Royal Swedish Ballet Stockholm in 2017 and with which she is introducing herself to the Semperoper for the first time. Sweeping us powerfully along, she drives the group of dancers to the pulsating beats of Ori Lichtik, as if they had merged into a single dynamic organism in the dark »half-life« of a techno dance night.
Nacho Duato »White Darkness«
In 2001, Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato (*1957) created his choreography White Darkness for the Compañía Nacional de Danza Madrid out of the darkness of mourning for his deceased sister. It is a requiem full of pain and devotion to a person who has lost faith in love and seeks to forget. Her path leads her into addiction; brief glimpses of hope are followed by disappointment, alienation, isolation, and death. »I am deeply affected by how sad it is when young people ruin their lives with drugs and slip into a dark world, a world so dark that there is no escape from it.«