The first premiere of the season will be a new triple bill titled SHADES OF WHITE, a celebration of classical and neo-classical ballet. Each work can be considered a “ballet blanc” in its own right and yet all three are completely different, highlighting the diversity to be found within the genre.
The centerpiece of the evening is the company premiere of “The Kingdom of the Shades” in the world famous staging by Natalia Makarova after Petipa. Until now this excerpt from La Bayadére has been missing from the Stuttgart Ballet repertory. Considered one of Petipa’s masterpieces, “The Kingdom of the Shades” is a breathtaking display of classical dance, with a large corps de ballet dressed all in white descending onto the stage in sublime synchronicity. They form the framework for an exquisite pas de deux between the warrior Solor and the “shade” of his deceased beloved, Nikia. Happily, the Stuttgart Ballet dancers will be coached by Natalia Makavora personally, a unique opportunity to learn from this iconic and legendary ballerina.
The triple bill will open with John Cranko's Concerto for Flute and Harp – named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s eponymous music. Cranko created the work in 1966, at the same time as Peter Wright was creating his Giselle for the Stuttgart Ballet. Seeking to provide the men of the company with a challenge whilst the ladies were busy with the second act of Giselle, Cranko inverted the standard arrangement of the ballet blanc (one man surrounded by a corps de ballet of women) to create a work for two soloist ladies surrounded by a corps de ballet of men – all dressed in white! Intricate footwork, beautiful adagio and sparkling allegro abound as Cranko translates Mozart's lively and cheerful music into pure dance. Not least, the male corps de ballet must rise to the challenge usually faced by a female corps de ballet: synchronicity and symmetry
The evening closes with a revival of George Balanchines grand and effervescent Symphony in C. Originally titled “Le Palais de Cristal”, this work for a large cast was created by Balanchine as a tribute to the Paris Opera Ballet in 1947 and later renamed after the music which Balanchine had chosen: Georges Bizet's Symphony in C major – written when the composer was only 17 years old. Balanchine's highly musical ballet for 4 solo couples and a large corps de ballet ignites a firework of dance – a fitting closer to this triple bill showcasing the many “shades of white” to be found in classical ballet.