SA 04.05.2019, 6.00 PM

Balanchine | Forsythe | Siegal

Choreographies by George Balanchine, William Forsythe and Richard Siegal

Ab 8 Jahren

Theme and Variations

Ballet in one act by George Balanchine
Music by Peter I. Tschaikovsky

With a simple ‘battement tendu’ George Balanchine opens his ballet Theme and variations to present the basic movements of classical ballet in their development from a simple to a virtuoso element in twelve variations. Rendering homage to his spiritual father Marius Petipa, Balanchine unites four soloists and a corps de ballet in beguiling formations around a ballerina and a ‘danseur noble’, vibrant virtuosity unfolds in the dancer’s ability to convey technical skills with taste – and fully one with the music. Balanchine’s intention to evoke the great era of classical Russian ballet would not have been possible without the input of Peter I. Tchaikovsky, whom he venerated all his life as a genius.

The second detail

Choreography by William Forsythe
Music by Thom Willems

William Forsythe's The second detail was first created in 1991, had its premiere with Staatsballett Berlin in 2006 and now returns to the repertory in a new version. This fast-paced work, one of Forsythe's earlier but most typical creations, has long since featured in the schedules of many classical companies worldwide. The second detail is an analytical reference to the geometry of classical dance, pushing the dancers to their limits of balance and flexibility. While mastering complex movements, they are compelled to perceive themselves consciously in several perspectives within space. Despite this intellectual approach, The second detail reaches the spectator in a direct and sensual way. This effect is also due the music: Thom Willems developed the electronic sounds especially for this choreography.

N.N. [Kreation]

Choreography by Richard Siegal
Music by Carsten Nicolai (commissioned work)

Richard Siegal represents an individual style of contemporary choreographic work that does not deny its origins in traditional theater dance but rather explores its own identity in ever-changing contexts: His conviction attracts international acclaim, and his work has received multiple high-profile awards. His commissions from various art institutions include to media and architecture projects, workshops, experiments and a series of dance performances. His artistic concern is with a “ballet of difference”, hence the name of his own company, founded in 2016. For the first time, Richard Siegal will be working with the dancers of the Staatsballett Berlin.


»A brilliant world premiere« – Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Fantastically danced and musically interpreted« – Deutschlandfunk

»An ensemble that radiates both skill and joy at an impressively high technical level.« – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


»Once I know it doesn't work, I want to do it«

Dutch composer Thom Willems predominantly composes music for ballet. Since 1985, he has been collaborating with choreographer William Forsythe, both working on over 65 pieces together. In 1991, they premiered The Second Detail which is now staged as part of our triple bill, Balanchine | Forsythe | Siegal at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in May and June. After soundcheck, we asked the composer to give us an interview.


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