The Tempest


Ballet in two acts after William Shakespeare 
Music: Henry Purcell, Thomas Tallis, Robert Johnson, Matthew Locke, Michel van der Aa and traditional Iranian music
World premiere: 18 June 2014, Het Nationale Ballet, Amsterdam
Polish premiere: 9.04.2016, Polish National Ballet, Warsaw
Co-produced by: Het Nationale Ballet

Orchestra of Teatr Wielki  Polish National Opera under Matthew Rowe

Krzysztof Pastor
Matthew Rowe
Set & lighting designer:
Jean Kalman
Tatyana van Walsum
  • Act 1

    1h5 min.

  • Intermission

    20 min.

  • Act 2

    45 min.

Duration: ca. 2h10 min.

  • About the production

    A storm that you do not need to run away from is a rare occurrence, yet one has just hit the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. The source the Polish National Ballet is tapping is obviously Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the Bard’s late work and the only one that adheres to the unity of time, place and action. At first it was taken to be a comedy – well, some do say that comedy equals tragedy plus time. The first, highly memorable, scene featuring human figures emerging from the sea is doomed to be interpreted in the context of the current international situation. Let us then restate some general truths: where did life come to land after all? The globalisation we got is not the globalisation we all wanted, but Krzysztof Pastor’s ballet does sweeten the pill. It successfully draws on different orders, epochs and registers of culture. In the musical sphere, the Iranian daf frame drum takes the pride of place, while the poignant visualisations are the work of a duo of Iranian artists. The tempest created by Pastor and his collaborators is excellent: coherent, beautiful and escaping simplistic interpretations. The ballet will undoubtedly go down a storm.

  • Credits
    Krzysztof Pastor
    Video Projections
    Shoja Azari
    Video Projections
    Shirin Neshat
    Set and Lighting Designer
    Jean Kalman
    Costume Designer
    Tatyana van Walsum
    Willem Bruls
    Choreographer’s Assistant
    Sandrine Leroy
    Choreographer’s Assistant
    Judy Maelor Thomas
    Musical Consultant
    Jan Pieter Koch