The Swiss-born dance artist Martin Schläpfer, whose most recent achievment has been to lead the multi award-winning Ballett am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg to rank as one of the great companies of the world, is going to succeed Manuel Legris on 1 September 2020. Legris - a former Danseur Étoile at the Paris Opera Ballet - finishes his extremely successful ten-year period as Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and is going to take over as Director of the Scala di Milano ballet.
Following the acclaimed Staatsoper premieres of »Jewels« by George Balanchine and »Lukács | Lidberg | Duato«, the coronavirus pandemic regrettably made it impossible to show the two premieres »La Piaf« and »Appassionato – Bach und Vivaldi« at the Volksoper, and »Ballett-Hommage (Forsythe | Horecna | Lander)« and the traditional »Nureyev Gala« at the Staatsoper. In terms of repertoire, »Sylvia«, »Forsythe | van Manen | Kylián«, »Peer Gynt«, »Le Corsaire«, »Onegin« and »MacMillan | McGregor | Ashton« were performed again at the Staatsoper in 2019/20. At the Volksoper, audiences were delighted by the Staatsballett in Vesna Orlić’s »Peter Pan« and »Carmina Burana« as well Pierre Lacotte’s »Coppélia«.
Martin Schläpfer introduces himself in the forthcoming season with two world premieres at the Wiener Staatsoper. Using Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, he is creating his new ballet »4« for the entire company. The world premiere debuts on 24 November 2020, in combination with Hans van Manen’s video ballet »Live«. Martin Schläpfer’s new work »Sinfonie Nr. 15«, set to Dmitri Shostakovich’s work of the same name, follows on 26 June 2021 in the premiere »Tänze Bilder Sinfonien«. For this programme, which opens with George Balanchine’s neoclassical masterpiece »Symphony in Three Movements«, Martin Schläpfer has also been able to secure a contribution from Alexei Ratmansky, who for the first time is allowing one of his works, »Pictures at an Exhibition«, to be performed by the Wiener Staatsballett. »A Suite of Dances«, which starts on 23 May 2021, is entirely devoted to the American neoclassical period, with new stagings of works from the more recent Vienna repertoire such as Jerome Robbins’ »Glass Pieces« and »The Concert« being performed in combination with George Balanchine’s »Duo Concertant« and Robbins’ »A Suite of Dances«.
In his programme planning, Director Martin Schläpfer is presenting himself as a “bridge builder” who, while continuing to nurture the great ballet traditions, will at the same time enrich the programme by including important artists of the present time. The premieres at the Volksoper Wien certainly belong to the modern period. From 20 September 2020, »Hollands Meister« will show works by the masters who have shaped the Dutch dance scene: Sol Leóns & Paul Lightfoot’s »Skew-Whiff« is being performed with Hans van Manen’s »Adagio Hammerklavier« and Jiří Kyliáns »Symphony of Psalms«. From 30 January 2021, a major work by Martin Schläpfer, »Ein Deutsches Requiem«, set to Johannes Brahms’s work of the same name, will be shown in a new staging by the Wiener Staatsballett. The final premiere at the Volksoper is dedicated to central artists of American Modern Dance, with Paul Taylor’s »Promethean Fire« and Mark Morris’ »Beaux«, contrasted by two filigree miniatures by Martin Schläpfer which are set to music by György Ligeti.
The Staatsoper season opens with George Balanchine’s »Jewels«, to be followed by »La Fille mal gardée«, »Giselle« and »Swan Lake« – three great narrative ballets from the Vienna repertoire. At the Volksoper, Vesna Orlić’s popular family ballet »Peter Pan« and Pierre Lacotte’s »Coppélia« return once more to the programme.
Ballet Club Vienna State Ballet
With the appointment of Martin Schläpfer as Director of the Vienna State Ballet, the Ballet Club will be directly managed by the Vienna State Ballet, to pursue its projects of promoting talents and outreach-initiatives in the coming season.
Further information about registration, different membership levels and their benefits such as discussions with artists, training and rehearsal visits and much more will be available HERE.