‘Winterreise’ and ‘The Rite of Spring’: A Contemporary Celebration of Ballet Classics
Why We Recommend it
In this new Contemporary City Dance Company production, two enduring ballet classics return to the stage accompanied by live music.
This double bill features works by Helen Lai, a founding member of City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC), who served as Artistic Director (1985-1989) and Resident Choreographer (1991-2011).
The first piece, which first premiered in 1984, is inspired by Winterreise (Winter Journey), written by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1897-1828) in 1827, a song cycle composed of 24 songs for voice and piano. It follows the inner journey of a young wanderer who is suffering from lost love and solitude on his bleak journey through a sombre winter landscape. Winterreise mirrors Schubert’s own desolation and struggles in the final months of his brief life. It is based on German 18th-Century lyric poet Wilhelm Müller’s work of the same name.
This new version features live performance by noted pianist Colleen Lee and bass-baritone Apollo Wong.
The Rite of Spring is a ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) written in 1913. It was written for the Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. When it premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation, stirring up a near-riot.
Helen Lai’s twist on Rite of Spring premiered at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall in 1992 and made its debut in Taiwan at Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in 1994. This homecoming production is accompanied by two pianists, Helen Cha and Colleen Lee.