Ballett am Rhein

Company

(c) Gert Weigelt
BALLETT AM RHEIN DÜSSELDORF DUISBURG

Newly formed in 2009 as Ballett am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg by its freshly appointed director and chief choreographer Martin Schläpfer, the ballet company of Deutsche Oper am Rhein numbers among the very best. After the ensemble already received the top nomination in a readers’ survey of the magazine “Deutsche Bühne” in 2010, the international critics’ poll of the magazine “tanz” cited Martin Schläpfer as “Choreographer of the Year for 2010” and Ballett am Rhein as “Best Company of the Year 2013”, “because here” (thus Manuel Brug) “meticulous dancing is coupled with wise choice of repertoire, basking in a strongly individual creative spirit in the person of Martin Schläpfer”.

48 dancers of both sexes represent 20 countries of origin in an ensemble composed entirely of dancers of full solo rank, who can be seen in more than 70 performances per season either in Opernhaus Düsseldorf or in Theater Duisburg, the two houses of Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Guest appearances led the company to venues including the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Het Muziektheater Amsterdam, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, the Cologne Opera, the Moravian Autumn Brno, to Friedrichshafen, the Theater Gütersloh and Theater Bonn. This season will follow performances in the Festspielhaus St. Pölten, at the “Ostertanztage” at the State Theater Hannover, in the Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen and at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele.

To the great satisfaction of Press and public alike, Martin Schläpfer has developed for his company, which had previously been directed by Erich Walter, Paolo Bortoluzzi, Heinz Spoerli and Youri Vàmos, a new approach to repertoire which, mainly in multiple bills, presents important masterpieces of the 20th century by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Kurt Jooss, Antony Tudor, Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, Merce Cunningham, Hans van Manen, Twyla Tharp, Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián and Nils Christe side by side with choreographies of his own, and also work by a younger artistic generation including Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Teresa Rotemberg, Regina van Berkel, Amanda Miller, Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben, Antoine Jully and Martin Chaix which give decided prominence to the category of contemporary dance. In his own choreographic work Martin Schläpfer, in search of a “ballet art for the 21st century”, repeatedly refers to the forms of abstract neoclassicism, however pursuing their line in a personal manner of his own for our day.

Two high-carat ensembles, the Düsseldorf Symphonic and the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, are at the disposal of Ballett am Rhein for musical interpretation, in which they are assisted in single projects by instrumental and vocal soloists or by the chorus of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. With music director Axel Kober and the conductors Christoph Altstaedt and Wen-Pin Chien, not to mention various guests, Martin Schläpfer was able to obtain for his ballet evenings particularly notable musical personalities from the resources of Deutsche Oper am Rhein as his partners. For the full-length world première “DEEP FIELD” (b.20), to a score commissioned by Martin Schläpfer from Adriana Hölszky, a collaboration takes place for the first time with the radio chorus of West German Radio (WDR) in Cologne under Denis Comtet.

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