Czech National Ballet presenting two world premieres over YouTube

Venues may be closed, but that hasn't stopped the artists at the National Theatre in Prague from being creative.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 17.03.2021 15:16 (updated on 17.03.2021) Time to read: 2 minutes

The Czech National Ballet will present two new works over its YouTube channel. Choreographer Douglas Lee’s "Puppet" will premiere on Thursday, March 18, at 7 p.m. and a week later, on March 25, at 7 p.m., people can see the first performance of choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s. "Dos soles solos."

Lee and Cerrudo have been working with the Czech National Ballet ensemble since August 2020. The ensemble is part of the Czech National Theatre. Dancers have been following strict pandemic conditions: practicing in face masks, disinfecting their hands, working in small groups, and getting tested. The effort is to prove that COVID won’t destroy the artistic impulse.

The two new pieces are part of the a larger production called Phoenix, which also includes "Prelude und Liebestod" by choreographer Cayetana Sota

Lee commented on his new work. “I love the use of plasticity in a dancer’s body and achieving beauty, nevertheless the idea of puppetry suggests an outside force moving the dancer’s limbs or an unusual non-human way of articulating the joints,” he said.

“I am exploring this in the studio. Mythical creatures such as a puppet bring a sense of fantasy out in a person’s creative mind. It is the same sense of fantasy that draws people to the theater or ballet,” he added.

Cerrudo gave some insight into his piece as well. “When I come to the ballet hall, I don't think about the sun, death or rebirth anymore. I just listen to music and watch the dancers and gradually we create something new together,” he said.

As inspiration, he cited a have a quote from Chris McCandless, the hiker whose trip into the wilderness of Alaska was documented in the book snd film Into the Wild: “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

British choreographer Lee is also a dancer and long-time soloist of the Stuttgart Ballet. He won the Russian award Golden Mask for the best choreography of 2016. Lee has been creating his own works since 1999, collaborating with ensembles in Europe and North America. His movement vocabulary is known for its distinctive aesthetics that emphasize the physical abilities.

Spanish dancer and choreographer Cerrudo was a resident artist at HubbardSstreet Dance Chicago from 2009 to ’18) and Pacific Northwest Ballet since 2020. He was born in Madrid, Spain, where he graduated from the Royal Dance Conservatory. His choreographies have appeared on more than 20 world stages and he has won numerous awards including one from Prince Charitable Trusts.

You can set a reminder on YouTube to for the premieres of “Puppet” and “Dos soles solos” on the Czech National Ballet's YouTube page.

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