Worlds Beyond I feel very privileged by the fact that the Norwegian National ballet has chosen an evening predominantly consisting of my work for their first "ballet event" at their extraordinary new theatre in Bjørvika. I think, that it is not only a very brave move by the Company's direction, to choose the work of a "living" choreographer for such an immensely important occasion, but it also shows their determination to demonstrate, that a "national theatre" should never be a "national museum"! The evening, which you are invited to take part in, is predominantly conceived as a "gift to the public ". I want the audience not to be only passive spectators of this event, but to participate in it actively. My wish is, that this event will become much more a "trip" for all participants rather than just a theatrical experience. For this occasion, I have decided to do away with the "iron curtain" which for centuries has divided the space between the "artists" and the "audience". This wonderful house belongs to everybody, and it should be experienced like that. In our concept, the audience will not enter the auditorium in the traditional way, but it will be lead through secret passages behind and under the stage on a route with installations, in which dancers and musicians are engaged. After arriving on the stage, the public will proceed over the orchestra pit to their seats. Only then, the actual dance performance will start. The choice for such an introduction to the performance, has several reasons: 1. I find the "twilight ", which people experience, arriving from their everyday work, into the magic world of the theatre, a very sensitive and vulnerable process. And it is very wonderful to experience it as such. 2. The theatre was built with taxpayer's money, so in my eyes, there is no better way to discover the theatre, than by sharing it with the people from the other side, the dancers, actors, musicians and stagehands. 3. Furthermore, I think, that it is most exciting for the members of the public to see all the machinery, the stage equipment and all the "prosaic things " which finally contribute to the wonderful metamorphosis, and the magic of a performance. 4. Standing on stage, and looking into the audience is a remarkable experience, and can never be compared with the experience of a person looking from the other side. We are standing on a platform on which every conceivable situation can happen. It is the mirror of the world itself.
Later when you are confined to the 1st balcony, row 5, seat 22 (should you happen to be a holder of this ticket, please drop me a line with your thoughts about this performance) - you will be able to say: "Yes, I stood there, on that stage." In this "night at the ballet" there are many more things to experience, than just dance. When you decide to share this evening with us, please bring three things along with you: 1. Readiness for adventure 2. Open and receptive mind and heart, and 3. Plenty of time. Finally, I wish to share again with you my long-time conviction: I firmly believe, that "national theatres" (and I mean even theatres as beautiful as yours) will have no chance to survive unless they understand that they are not only "national museums". They must create a climate in which new artistic developments can take place and unconventional ideas can be conceived (next to all the classics from the past ) no matter how much risk is involved! Only then they will truly come to life, and serve the people. If we don' t take the responsibility to create now, our children will have nothing to look at, nothing to read, nothing to listen to and ultimately nothing to feel! For all that, we need your support, and the support of the people you have voted into office. We all need to dream... Jiří Kylián, The Hague, September 6th, 2007