“One of a Kind” applies not just to this full-length work but also to its creator: Jiří Kylián. With this company premiere, the Stuttgart Ballet celebrates one of its heroes and adds a new work to its extensive Kylián repertory for the first time in over 20 years.
In the fall of 1968, Jiří Kylián was hired by John Cranko straight from the Royal Ballet School to join the Stuttgart Ballet as a dancer. Two years later he created his first ballet under the auspices of the Stuttgart Noverre Society's “Young Choreographers” workshop. Cranko, recognizing Kylián's talent, encouraged him to continue choreographing and commissioned Kylián's first pieces as a choreographer, thus laying the foundation for an extraordinary career, one which has had a lasting impact on European dance. Raising the choreographic and conceptual bar with his unique works and breaking boundaries in terms of age limits in dance, Kylián directed the Nederlands Dans Theater for 20 years, building a sought-after repertory and perfecting an unmistakable aesthetic signature.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kylián's arrival in Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Ballet presents the company premiere of One of Kind, a three act work set to music by – among others – Brett Dean, Benjamin Britten and John Cage. In addition, Kylián's photo installation Free Fall will be seen for the first time outside the Netherlands, exhibited in the State Theater Stuttgart's Chamber Theater from February 12th to 24th, as a run-up to the Stuttgart premiere of One of a Kind on the 22nd of February.
One of a Kind is one of the few evening-length works in Kylián's oevre. It encompasses the entire spectrum of Kylián's choreographic vocabulary from wild and animalistic to tender and elegiacal, from faster than humanly possible to trancelike slow motion, from fragile and intricate to spectacularly virtuosic. Women and men dance as complete equals and yet their every encounter is tinged with a subtle eroticism. Kylián creates poetic, hypnotizing images which plumb emotional depths in the viewer, inspiring complex thought processes and reactions.