Un Ballo

"Un ballo" is the very first piece I made for NDT II, the junior company 
of the Netherlands Dance Theatre. My intention was to create a 
choreographic exercise for the young dancers in order to develop their 
musicality, the art of the "Pas de deux" and their sensibility in general. 

Although this piece is created for young dancers, the theme is transience 
and passing. This is directly influenced by my choice of music. In the first 
part of the choreography I use Maurice Ravel's "Tombeau de Couperin" 
and in the second "Pavane pour une infante défunte". Ravel dedicated 
each movement of "Tombeau de Couperin" to a specific person who died 
in the First world war. His "Pavane" is dedicated to young infant who died 
in the Spanish royal family in the 17th century.

My visual inspiration comes from Diego Velásquez and his portraits of 
the Spanish princesses. Athough these vulnerable faces of children are so 
sensitively painted, they cannot disguise the fact, that death is just around 
the corner. And their elaborate dresses are treated by almost irrelevant 
brushstrokes of the painter, symbolizing the fugitive quality of life....! 
I have hardly ever seen a representation of the depth and the fleeting 
quality of life so close to one other as in the paintings of Velásquez.

Jiří Kylián May 10th 2018