The production was originally premiered in 2014 by the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam, but was always going to be made part of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera’s repertoire. Its Polish debut on 9 April 2016 will open the Shakespeare Festival of the Polish National Ballet marking the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
The ballet is a collaboration of an international artistic team. Krzysztof Pastor developed the concept aided by Dutch dramaturge Willem Bruls. The production is set to pieces by 16th and 17th century English masters: Henry Purcell, Thomas Tallis, Robert Johnson, and Matthew Locke, as well as contemporary Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, put together by musicologist Jan Pieter Koch. The ballet also uses traditional Persian music improvised on the daf, a large Persian frame drum, by virtuoso percussionist Abbas Bakhtiari, who symbolises old Prospero in the ballet.
The production may boast videos by celebrated Iranian visual artists, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, considered the best of their profession today. Other contributors include British conductor Matthew Rowe, French set and lightning designer Jean Kalman, and British costume designer Tatyana van Walsum.
The Polish premiere is being prepared by the choreographer and his Amsterdam-based assistants: French choreologist Sandrine Leroy and British ballet master Judy Maelor-Thomas. The show will display all of the Polish National Ballet’s leading soloists. (pch)
Photo of the Dutch National Ballet performing The Tempest in Amsterdam by Angela Sterling