‘See the music, hear the dance’. These infamous words by George Balanchine, the greatest choreographer of the twentieth century, are masterfully expressed in Balanchine / Van Manen / Arqués. Three leading chorographers from different generations show how they make music ‘visible’, as it were. Alongside masterpieces by Balanchine and Hans van Manen, this special touring programme includes a recent creation by the successful young choreographer Juanjo Arqués.
The Four Temperaments is one of the most significant works by the Russian-American George Balanchine (1904-1983). A key work in his oeuvre, it was also the first Balanchine ballet to be taken into Dutch National Ballet’s repertoire, in 1961. It is hard to believe it has now been around for over 75 years. The ingenious, tricky choreography that frequently crackles with energy still adds a magical dimension to Hindemith’s composition of the same name.
According to the dance critics, Frank Bridge Variations by Dutch master Hans van Manen (1932) gives the only possible danced answer to Benjamin Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. In melancholy duets, heated solos and powerful group sections, he indulges in contrasts: sharp and flowing, precise and free, angry and melancholy. But no matter how diverse, together the nine sections form a natural, stunning unity.
The third work is MANOEUVRE, created for Dutch National Ballet in 2020 by the Spaniard Juanjo Arqués (1977). Although the piece is abstract, it is inspired by thoughts about the changing views in our Western society of the concept of masculinity. Arqués set the work to Shaker Loops by John Adams, who is celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday in 2022. Arqués says, 'It’s music that has been used by many choreographers before me, but I’ve always known that one day I’d want to give my own interpretation of it'.
‘Fascinating from start to finish’
– Het Parool about Frank Bridge Variations
(music John Adams)
Hans van Manen
Frank Bridge Variations
(music Benjamin Britten)
The Four Temperaments
(music Paul Hindemith)
Het Balletorkest o.l.v. Fayçal Karoui