Dec 7th, 2016, 04:06 PM

Jiří Kylián Returns With More Breathtaking Contemporary Dance

By Teresa Segovia
Image Credit: Teresa Segovia
A Spiritual Experience at the Palais Garnier

Bella Figura by contemporary Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián is once again showing at the Palais Garnier alongside two new productions, Tar and Feathers and Symphony of Psalms. The performances feature the Italian dancers Eleonora Abbagnato and Alessio Carbone, who starred together in Kylián's choreography fifteen years ago. The experience of viewing this magnificent production is enchanting and must not be missed. The three productions compliment each other in a marvelous way with a superb combination of music from Vivaldi, Mozart and Stravinsky among others.

Image Credit: Teresa Segovia

Born in Prague in 1947, Jiří Kylián started his dance training when he was just nine years old. Post-war Czechoslovakia was not an ideal environment for a young boy to pursue his passion for the arts but circumstances did not discourage him. His mother was a talented dancer who was a star by ten years of age, so perhaps dancing was in his blood. His own interest began with a love for the circus, which introduced him to the fascinating ways the human body can perform acrobatics; this would later be seen in his choreography.  His love of movement and appreciation for the beauty of the human body is transmitted through his choreography to create a spiritual experience that uplifts the beholder in an astonishing way. His work has since been seen in both film and photography and never ceases to amaze. 

Image Credit: Teresa Segovia

With live improvisations, Tar and Feathers contrasts the lightness of physical human freedom with the weight of the world. 

Image Credit: Teresa Segovia

Symphony of Psalms was created in the late 1970s, around the time of Kylián's choreographic debut. In this particular piece it is evident that he comes from a classical school. This is reflected more in his early work even though his unique and edgy style is already instantly recognizable. There is an incredible scene where oriental rugs are hung high on stage and there is praying and a choir sings psalms.  This could suggest a place of worship but, at the same time, it seems that this is a universal prayer for everyone; it is transcendental of cultures and religions. Kylián is a perfectionist with lights and movement. Every detail of the show, the dancers, lighting, the harmony of movement and emotion, combine to create an impression of complete mystical spirituality.  

Video Credit: Teresa Segovia

The last opportunity to see this life changing experience is December 31st. Don't miss the chance to lose yourself in the movement of this spiritual experience! 

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