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Alexei Ratmansky is a world star of contemporary ballet. From his native city of St. Petersburg his career has taken him first to the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, whose Director he became in 2004, and on to New York, where he has exerted a formative influence as Artist in Residence at the American Ballet Theatre since 2009. His »24 Préludes« – choreographed for the Royal Ballet in London in 2013 – are a »ballet of mood«, in which eight dancers display the entire emotional palette of a variety of relationships in a thrilling manner. They are also a homage to 20th century British dance: to the expressive qualities of Antony Tudor and the elegant lyricism of Frederik Ashton.
Andrey Kaydanovskiy is a dancer with the Vienna State Ballet and for some time a highly sought-after choreographer. Following his first works in Vienna, he has created pieces for the Bolshoi Ballet and the Stanislavski-Nemirovich Danchenko Music Theatre Moscow, the Czech National Ballet and the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich. Now he has initiated an encounter with the composer Christof Dienz. This versatile musician – who is also a co-founder of the Tyrolean neo-folk music/jazz octet Knoedel – maintains a fascinating balance of styles within his work to create a music that is both »intuitive and physical«. In his ballet Kaydanovskiy allows two principles to collide: reality and fantasy, concrete and abstract, represented by an artist and his muse – an encounter that points in the direction of openness.
»Transformed into sunshine« is how Martin Schläpfer describes his world premiere to Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto – music in which the Director and Chief Choreographer of the Vienna State Ballet sees images full of warmth and tenderness: »Harmonious, but not peaceful, knowledgeable but not domineering, having reached a state of rest but not silent, flowing, but not urgent: like a broad stream shortly before it opens into the sea, like the evening sun that transforms a clearing into gold and takes away the forest’s claustrophobic darkness, even though the tree trunks are side by side. Centimetres turn into metres, danger into an opportunity« – in the words of Martin Schläpfer.