Three master choreographers in one unique dance evening, “Trinity”

By on October 25, 2018
Peter Bilak

Inspired by the avant-garde movements of the 1920s and the Ballet Suédois in Paris, the international star choreographer Lukáš Timulak creates a new sense of space in Totality in Parts, a work created specially for the Royal Swedish Ballet. Completing the programme are works by two icons of contemporary dance – Andrej Preljocaj and Jiří Kylián. Prelocaj’s Annonciation takes as its starting point the Archangel Gabriel’s meeting with the Virgin Mary, while Kylián’s Wings of Wax is inspired by the myth of Icarus. Three artistic expressions, related, yet each with its own strong identity – the common denominator is the interaction of the dancers. The Royal Swedish Ballet, which has been hailed under the new Artistic Director Nicolas Le Riche for both its classic and contemporary interpretations, is premiering this triple-bill on November 2 at the Royal Swedish Opera. There will be only six performances. The cast includes one of the Royal Swedish Ballet’s foremost artists, the principle dancer Dragos Mihalcea, who is being honoured in connected with his farewell performance on November 17. 

Angelin Preljoca often takes a historical event or myth as the starting point for his work. In Annonciation, Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary meet in our own time, creating a strong sense of female empowerment in a modern and intimate interpretation. The Annunciation has been a frequent subject in visual art, but an interpretation in the performing arts is unique.

“In this duet, I try to get my angel (herald) to fly, but I have enhanced the speed of the movements and accelerated the directional changes by inducing a feeling of omnipresence and intensity,” says Preljocaj.

In Totality in Parts, choreographer Lukáš Timulak and set designer Peter Bilak explore space and visual impressions. To create a new sense of space that breaks with earlier forms, they investigate avant-garde movements of the 1920s with the Ballet Suédois in Paris, among others, as an important source of inspiration.

“Combining visual art with dance, filling a mathematical system or visual aspect with dancers, their movements and feelings – that is my greatest challenge,” says Lukáš Timulak.

He has worked in collaboration with the designer Peter Bilak since 2004, and they have collaborated in the creation of Totality in Parts as well. Under their joint project, Make Move Think Foundation, they have previously made, among other works, the short dance film The Sum of All Parts, in which geometric patterns form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Similarly, in Totality in Parts the form is more important than the individuals. The music is composed by the Oscar-nominated composer and pianist Volker Bertelman (Hauschka), who created a version specifically for Totality in Parts. The cast includes one of the Royal Swedish Ballet’s leading artists, principle dancer Dragos Mihalcea, who is also being honoured in connection with his farewell performance on November 17.

Lukáš Timulak, who was born in Bratislava, received his breakthrough as a dancer and choreographer from Jiří Kylián (legendary leader of the NDT, Nederlands Dans Theater), whose Wings of Wax concludes the Trinity programme. Wings of Wax is a visual and atmospheric piece inspired by the myth of Icarus, who tried his wings to escape captivity, and it clearly demonstrates the enormous vocabulary and creativity that dance icon Jiří Kylián possesses.

“This fascinating, ancient story symbolises the constant pursuit of man, not only for physical and spiritual freedom, but for freedom in all its forms,” says Kylián, who, like Lukáš Timulak, was born and raised in the former Czechoslovakia.

Wings of Wax has been performed in Sweden previously – at Dansens Hus, and Timulak was himself one of the dancers in that production.

The Royal Swedish Ballet is a company with a repertoire of both classical and contemporary works, giving it a unique position in the Swedish dance world. “The vocabulary of classical ballet breaks in like an explosive, regimented freedom in the form of high jumps and rotational attitudes,” according to a review in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in connection with the Royal Swedish Ballet’s performance of the contemporary piece Half Life, which was further described in the same text as, “a rich gift to the audience and to the ballet, whose complex precision work contains life, a racing pulse and – yes, jumps.”

Annonciation had its world premiere in Lausanne in 1995. The Royal Swedish Ballet presented Annonciation in 2002. Wings of Wax had its world premiere at the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT 1) in 1997.

TOTAL RUNNING TIME: Approximately 2 hours 10 minutes, including two intervals.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm
MyGuide2Stockholm