Mixed Ballet: Concerto, Las Hermanas & Requiem

Mixed Ballet: Concerto, Las Hermanas & Requiem at

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Cheap Mixed: Concerto, Las Hermanas & Requiem tickets at The Royal Opera House

 

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The leading ballet choreographer of his generation, Kenneth MacMillan gives us an insight into his breathtaking work. Three of his pieces, Concerto, Las Hermanas and Requiem have been brought together for this triple programme, with Royal Ballet dancers and staff.

The ballets combine technical precision with playful warmth and are set to Shostakovich's energetic piano concerto. Jürgen Rose's bold designs enhance this impressive visual experience.

The Programme

Concerto marked a turning point in Kenneth MacMillan's career. Having recently been given the position of director of the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin, MacMillan was keen to redefine the company and showcase its full range. Concerto was greeted with a standing ovation on its premiere in 1966 and immediate requests to acquire it from ballet companies worldwide.

Las Hermanas, first performed in 1963, was the first of six works that MacMillan made for the Stuttgart Ballet. Based on Federico García Lorca’s 1945 pla La casa de Bernarda Alba, the ballet is set to Frank Martin’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra.

Las Hermanas pushes the boundaries of classical choreography particularly its shocking final scene. The stark, prison-like set by Nicholas Georgiadis and the score by Frank Martin work to create an atmosphere of unsettling claustrophobia.

Requiem was created for the Stuttgart Ballet in 1976. MacMillan drew inspiration for the choreography from William Blake's drawings of human and sacred figures. The work is darker than the other two in the trilogy, beginning with the entry of a group of mourners. The piece moves through a series of linked vignettes as we see the Company adopt roles of both mourners and angels. The setting suggests themes of loss and transcendence as a spare, white backdrop and translucent pillars reach upwards seeming to evoke a church.

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