Choreography by Jiří Kylián
Assistants to Choreographer: Roslyn Anderson and Ken Ossola
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Piano Concerto in A Major KV 488) (Adagio)
(Piano Concerto in C Major KV 467) (Andante)
Costumes by Joke Visser
Lighting by Joop Caboort

Timing: 17:00

Petite Mort
was given its World Premiere at the Salzburg Festival on August 23, 1991 at the Kleines Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Germany. It was given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at City Center, New York on October 30, 2003.

Jiří Kylián created this ballet especially for the Salzburg Festival on the second centenary of Mozart’s death. For his work he chose the slow parts of two of Mozart’s most beautiful and popular piano concertos. “This deliberate choice should not bee seen as a provocation or thoughtlessness – rather as my way to acknowledge the fact that I am living and working as part of a world where nothing is sacred, where brutality and arbitrariness are commonplace. It should convey the idea of two antique torsos, heads and limbs cut off – evidence of intended mutilation – without being able to destroy their beauty reflecting the spiritual power of their creator.”

The choreography includes six men, six women and six foils. The foils have the function to be actual dance partners, and, at times, seem more unruly and obstinate than a partner of flesh and blood. They visualize a symbolism, which is more present than a story line. Aggression, sexuality, energy, silence, cultivated senselessness and vulnerability – they all play a significant part. Petite Mort, literally meaning “small death” serves as a paraphrase for orgasm in French and Arabic.

Copyright 2003 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.