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Sat, Sep. 28, 2024, 7.00 pm | Main Stage Premiere

Ballets by Pina Bausch, Hans van Manen, Demis Volpi and Justin Peck

The Times Are Racing

How time flies. And how times change. The mixed bill "The Times Are Racing" brings together four diverse choreographies spanning the last 50 years of dance history.

In 1974, in her second season as Artistic Director in Wuppertal, Pina Bausch choreographed "Adagio" as the opening of a two-part piece. 50 years later, the Hamburg Ballet under Demis Volpi will reconstruct this seminal work and return it to the stage for the first time in decades. In a poetic situation typical of Bausch's works, the first movement of Gustav Mahler's 10th Symphony, played by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, unfolds. In seemingly random encounters and seemingly everyday movements, dance and theatrical expression create a subtle drama of absorbing intensity. Bausch lets the dancers go through profoundly human states, whether rapture or despair, resistance or devotion.

"Variations for Two Couples" is a classic Hans van Manen. The Dutch choreographer is a master at creating relationships full of intent and tension. The two couples which give the piece its title perform one after the other, alternating and observing each other. Each couple seems familiar with the other, even provoking each other playfully from time to time. The movement is neo-classical, strict and controlled, but occasionally interrupted by elements of ballroom dance or the flexed hands typical of van Manen. Van Manen's choreography from 2012 is elegantly erotic, simple and yet highly virtuosic, with an unerring sense of timing and a twinkle in the eye in all the right places. The atmospheric set and streamlined costumes were designed by Keso Dekker, a long-standing collaborator of van Manen with over 60 joint creations.

Demis Volpi will introduce himself to Hamburg audiences with his 2023 work "The thing with feathers". The title of the ballet is borrowed from the poem "Hope is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson. The piece is a gesture of open arms, a tribute to individuality embedded in the belief in a community permeated by care and humanity. To Richard Strauss' "Metamorphoses", Volpi creates a touching interplay of sadness, joy and desire while optimistically illuminating the ephemeral nature of dance. Conductor Vitali Alekseenok describes Strauss' "Metamorphosen", a work for 23 solo string players, as a cloud of sound in which you immerse yourself and lose track of time. For him, Volpi's choreography is a visualization of the music: individual lines of sound combine with the form of the human body and reinforce each other.

Ballet doesn't get any cooler than this! Justin Peck's eponymous "The Times Are Racing" provides an emphatic finale to this quadruple bill. Peck, Resident Choreographer of the New York City Ballet since 2014, clearly comes from the neoclassical tradition of George Balanchine. With "The Times Are Racing" he has created a brilliantly fresh and uplifting work. The dancers wear sneakers, which gives their movements a youthful spontaneity far from the balletic ideal. Peck’s choreographic language is permeated by fast-paced and complex footwork reminiscent of tap dance, which the choreographer studied as a child. Set to Dan Deacon's "America", Peck's work is an examination of his homeland, the vastness and the pace of the country, its hopeful ideals, but also the political reality of division. The colourful, pedestrian costumes by fashion designer Humberto Leon are occasionally adorned with political messages such as "Resist", "Unite" and "Act". Like the sneakers, the costumes invite the audience to identify with the dancers. The Hamburg Ballet is the first European company to present this ground breaking, iconic choreography by Justin Peck.

From "Adagio – Five Songs by Gustav Mahler"
Music: Gustav Mahler – Adagio aus der 10. Sinfonie
Choreography: Pina Bausch

Set, Costumes: Karl Kneidl

A Reconstruction by the Pina Bausch Foundation with the Hamburg Ballet 2024


Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Opernhaus Wuppertal, 8. Dezember 1974

Benjamin Britten – String Quartet in F majeur, part 2 (Andante)
Einojuhani Rautavaara – Pelimannit, Opus 1, part 2 (Kopsin Jonas)
Stefan Kovacs Tickmayer – Lasset uns den nicht zerteilen, after Johann Sebastian Bach
Astor Piazzolla – Melodía en la menor (Canto de Octubre), arrangement for Violin Solo and String, Orchestra by Bob Zimmerman
Choreography: Hans van Manen
Set and Costumes: Keso Dekker
Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen

Dutch National Ballet, Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam, February 15, 2012

Music: Richard Strauss – Metamorphoses for 23 Solo Strings
Choreography and Set: Demis Volpi
Costumes: Thomas Lempertz
Lighting Design: Volker Weinhart

Ballett am Rhein, Opera House, Dusseldorf, May 29, 2023

Music: Dan Deacon – USA I-IV from the album "America"
Choreography: Justin Peck
Costumes: Humberto Leon
Lighting Design: Brandon Stirling Baker

New York City Ballet, David H. Koch Theater, New York, January 26, 2017

Hamburg Ballet, Staatsoper, September 28, 2024

Supported by the Foundation for the Patronage of the Hamburg State Opera

>> Pina Bausch / Artistic lead of the reconstruction "Adagio": Josephine Ann Endicott
>> Hans van Manen
>> Demis Volpi
>> Justin Peck


Venue: Main Stage, Dammtorstraße 28, 20354 Hamburg
Prices: 8,00 EUR to 195,00 EUR

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