For his ballet Désir, James Kudelka has drawn music from both the full-length ballet Cinderella (Op. 87) and the Waltz Suite (Op. 110). The music of Cinderella has often left choreographers and critics perplexed due to its sophistication and cynicism as an accompaniment for a fairy tale. Although using four of the waltzes central to the ballet Cinderella, Kudelka has liberated himself from having to tell the fairy tale thus enabling him to go to the heart of the music. Kudelka delivers a strong and personal interpretation that is uniquely his own and seems to be the only possible visualization of the music. It is as if Prokofiev wrote the music for Désir.
Seven couples celebrate their passion and pleasure in this very personal yet dynamic and physically testing work
Describing himself as a “conscientious observer,” Kudelka creates dances that are meditations on the classic themes of love, sex and death. To these themes he adds an uncanny sympathy for ballet and modern dance genres that are woven into choreography that is both refined and expressive.
Désir was created for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, as the closing ballet on what was to be James Kudelka’s farewell program as resident choreographer of that company. All the ballets on the program were by Kudelka and all were to the music of Prokofiev as the event took place in 1991, the centenary of Prokofiev’s birth.
Since its premiere, Désir has been performed around the world and has been staged for the Compagnia Nacional de Danza of Mexico, the ballet company of the Grand Théâtre of Geneva, Kudelka’s own company, the National Ballet of Canada, and the Stuttgart Ballet.
Désir was given its World Premiere on January 31, 1991 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, Montreal, Canada by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
Désir received its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on June 1, 2009, danced by Gillian Murphy, Blaine Hoven, Misty Copeland, Carlos Lopez, Isabella Boylston and Cory Stearns.