FEATURES / OBT Invited Back to the Kennedy Center to Perform James Kudelka's "Riveting" Almost Mozart for Ballet Across America III, June 4 - 5, 2013
Alison Roper, Damian Drake and Paul DeStrooper in Oregon Ballet Theatre's 2006 production of James Kudelka's Almost Mozart. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.
Oregon Ballet Theatre will perform James Kudelka's Almost Mozart in our second Ballet Across America appearance.
Almost Mozart first premiered on OBT's Spring program in April, 2006. It was Kudelka’s first work for another company after stepping down as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. In a ballet he called “completely experimental,” Kudelka wove fragments of Mozart around extended periods of silence. He found that “making choreography to silence lets you in on where a composer must come from. What you make has to have its own integrity.” At his level of experience as a choreographer, Kudelka now finds that “creativity means restrictions. You set restrictions for yourself, then see what new ground you uncover because of the restrictions. In Almost Mozart, the dancers remain attached to one another by hand almost all the time. No free turns or multiple pirouettes are possible. “Right away,” Kudelka found, “you start making really different choices.”
REVIEWS FROM OBT'S KENNEDY CENTER DEBUT
OBT made its Kennedy Center Debut in July 2008 with a well-received performance of Christopher Wheeldon's RUSH. Here's what the critics had to say:
The Washington Post
"Oregon Ballet Theatre is the smallest, least wealthy and youngest of the companies in 'Ballet Across America,' established less than 20 years ago. It set itself a hefty challenge in dancing Wheeldon's 'RUSH,' an energetic, highly technical work created in 2003 for the San Francisco Ballet and, until OBT acquired it, danced by no other troupe. But the result was a revelation: Here is a group of talented and winsome dancers to watch." "...[Oregon Ballet Theatre] put an exhilarating stamp on a fascinating
week."- Read the Washington Post Review
"[Oregon Ballet Theatre's] dancers seized the stage with appetite and attention-getting strength." - The Washington Post
The Washington Times
"The program concluded with a bright, fresh gem...Oregon Ballet Theatre
dancing Christopher Wheeldon's RUSH..."
- Read The Washington Times Review
"To say that [OBT] held their own against Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Washington Ballet would understate the case." - Read The Oregonian Review
BALLET ACROSS AMERICA III - PROGRAM DESCRIPTION FOR JUNE 4 & 5, 2013
Premiered in the Richmond Ballet (Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director) New Works Festival, Ershter Vals features music based on poems from the Jewish ghettos of World War II. The captivating choreography focuses the ballet on the moments of light that can be found in even the darkest of times, creating a penetrating message of hope. Oregon Ballet Theatre (Christopher Stowell, Artistic Director) arrives from the west to present James Kudelka's riveting Almost Mozart, which juxtaposes a gorgeous Mozart score with stunning moments of complete silence. And Boston Ballet (Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director) brings Balanchine's complex and energetic Symphony in Three Movements, set to Stravinsky's music and marked by its turned-in movements and athletic sequences.
KENNEDY CENTER WEBSITE