Czech National Ballet’s 138th season

The National Theatre is planning nineteen premieres for the 2020/2021 theatre season – including those that have been postponed from last season owing to the quarantine. The house will kick off the new season with a “happening for the whole family” (featuring concerts, discussions, and performance previews) on Střelecký Island on 3 September 2020.

Czech National Ballet’s 138th season

Czech National Ballet’s 138th season

“We’ve prepared a rich and diverse programme. We will offer new productions - postponements from last season - as well as those scheduled for the present season. We’ve done our best to maintain the original programme despite the restrictions of the past six months. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish to see you as often as possible in full auditoriums. In theatres, where we can be free, enjoy the moment together and realise all the events and challenges the humankind has been facing for centuries. Our common experiences are the most valuable things we can share - the emotional content of collective dramas, funny situations, difficult questions and beautiful moments. In this respect, our live encounters cannot be replaced by other events. We believe that theatres will remain open through the entire season, that audiences will start planning their visits well in advance and they will leave our venue happy and delighted every night,” says Jan Burian, the director of the National Theatre.

2020/2021 season opening on Střelecký Island

The National Theatre will welcome the new season with an open-air celebration full of theatre and music, the first really large event after the involuntary spring break.

The main programme will feature the soloists of the Opera, famous arias will be sung by Jiří Brückler (Don Giovanni), Ester Pavlů (Carmen), Kateřina Kněžíkova (Mařenka, The Bartered Bride), and Pavel Černoch (Cavaradossi, Tosca). Afterwards, the Czech National Ballet will perform a site-specific choreography based of the ballet comedy Leonce & Lena. The programme will close with a performance of the Základní kameny úrazu band (consisting of the Drama department members). During the afternoon, a stand will be available offering the National Theatre promotional production and a photography contest.

You can look forward to artists’ clothes jumble sale, kids will certainly enjoy Piggy Circus, a street performance by The Trick Brothers. And there will be workshops, too – the Opera will offer Kukátko do českých oper and the Drama will start another edition of the student course ND Young. The Ballet prepares The Wayward daughter workshop, along with little dancers from the Ballet Preparatory School presenting their dance skills. The theatre café will host the companies’s performances and interviews with some of their stars, as well as an exhibition depicting the National Theatre’s repertoire. The afternoon programme will close with Laterna magika’s performance of The Garden, followed by a DJ session at the bar.

Czech National Ballet 2020/2021

“I am very excited about Czech National Ballet’s upcoming season, as it will bring three premieres and eight titles. I am also pleased to say that as a company we have gained international renown, not only thanks to guesting in numerous countries, where we spread the excellent reputation of the Czech National Ballet, but also because our large and diverse repertory ranks up among top ballet ensembles in the world. It is to be hoped that we will all stay healthy and safe and that the 138th season will be successful,“ says the Czech National Ballet Artistic Director Filip Barankiewicz.

The first premiere of the 2020/2021 season will be Phoenix, a triple bill comprising three original creations, choreographed exclusively for Czech National Ballet by three contemporary artists – Douglas Lee, Alejandro Cerrudo and Cayetano Soto. The world premiere will take place on 12 November 2020 at the National Theatre.

Czech National Ballet’s current repertoire includes many narrative ballets which bring classic tales to life (La Fille mal gardée/The Wayward Daughter, Swan Lake, Onegin, Kafka: The Trial, The Nutcracker – A Christmas Fairytale, Leonce & Lena); it will now welcome a new addition – a title which had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 safety measures. The second premiere of the season will thus be The Sleeping Beauty choreographed by Marcia Haydée. The balletic adaptation of a well-known fairytale by Charles Perrault has everything you would expect from a great ballet classic: a dramatic storyline with a happy end, Marius Petipa’s spectacular dance scenes, exquisite performances of the soloists, and lavish sets and costumes. The production has been staged by other prestigious ensembles, too, such as Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet van Vlaanderen, West Australian Ballet and Korean National Ballet. The Czech premiere will be held on 25 February 2021 at the Prague State Opera.

The third premiere of the season, FORSYTHE–CLUG–MCGREGOR, unites works by three contemporary choreographers, talented artists, innovators of dance art, who have invented their own original dance language and a new movement vocabulary.

William Forsythe is a leading figure in the world of dance. Recognized for the integration of ballet and visual arts, which displayed both abstraction and forceful theatricality, his vision of choreography as an organizational practice has inspired him to produce numerous installations, films, and web-based knowledge creation, incorporating the spoken word and experimental music. The bill will feature his choreography The Second Detail, a playful but powerful piece, set to a rhythmical score by the Dutch composer Thom Willems. It was created in 1991 for the National Ballet of Canada and is noted for its neoclassical symmetry with gradually intensifying technical complexity.  Forsythe plays with tempo and typical off-axis lines. The second piece will be Handman by Edward Clug, the artistic director and choreographer of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor ballet company. He is a renowned artist whose name is often associated with top world companies.

The third part Eden/Eden was created by the British dance maker Wayne McGregor, who integrates dance, cinema, visual arts, digital technologies, and natural science. In this work, he addresses the role of technology in the ethics surrounding the human body. The Czech premiere will take place on 6 May 2021 at the Prague State Opera.




Translated by Tereza Cigánková.

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