Staatsballett Berlin: Don Juan – Ballet by Giorgio Madia


Don Juan is one of the most dazzling figures in European cultural history. His origins are unclear, but since the early baroque period the legend surrounding his seductive powers and the inevitable punishment this brings him forms the centre of dramas as well as comedies. He provided improvisation-based folk theatres and puppet theatres with material for frivolity; the most famous adaptation for the courtly opera stage is that by Mozart/Da Ponte – it highlights the tragic elements contained within the comic, and envisions his boundless desire as the brilliant characteristic of an intellectual.

The choreographer Giorgio Madia views Don Juan as a figure of the theatre. Part of his myth is the delicate influence of the supposed coincidence which heightens pleasure as well as the never-ending movement which provides the only means for understanding the transience of the present moment. It is the seducer’s masterful use of illusion and fantasy which his female “victims” as well as the audience succumb to. Don Juan has a great gift when it comes to the game and magic of eroticism. He represents that which seems illusory but which is the measure of all things when the whole world becomes a stage.

Giorgio Madia stages this legend as a piece of irresistibly seductive, intimate baroque theatre in modern form. He has drawn inspiration from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s ballet pantomime DON JUAN, the first piece in which the medium of dance was given the sole responsibility for conveying emotions when it premièred in 1761. Complemented by additional compositions by Gluck’s contemporaries, the Zeitgeist of this baroque piece about surrendering to illusion, about desire and transience, could hardly have been given a more fitting expression.

Monday, 30.06.2014
19.30 h

Further Events:
21 | 24 | 26 | 30 June 2014
02 | 06 July 2014
02 | 09 | 29 December 2014
01 January 2015

Choreography and Production: Giorgio Madia
Stage design: Cordelia Matthes
Costumes: Bruno Schwengl
Light: Diego Leetz
Dramaturgy: Annegret Gertz
Choreographic assistance: Adriana Mortelliti
Musical preparation and solo-violin: Lidia Baich
Music (recorded) and with live violin: Musik vom Tonträger und live
Dancing: Solisten und Corps de ballet des Staatsballetts Berlin
Don Juan: Leonard Jakovina
Zanni: Vladislav Marinov
Diavolo: Michael Banzhaf
Elisa: Iana Salenko
Donna Anna: Elena Pris
Donna Isabella: Ilenia Montagnoli
Donna Elvira: Nadja Saidakova
Carino: Marian Walter
Don Ottavio: Dominic Hodal
Komtur: Oliver Wulff

1:30 h | no intermission


Rethinking Ballet


Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. Over the past six centuries ballet has evolved to include classical, neo-classical, and contemporary styles of movement. The versatility seen in the ballet companies of today is far different from what most people perceive ballet to be.

Romeo und Julia – Ballet in three acts


Almost no other material has been so often adapted to the dance stage as that of William Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET. One of the most often-performed dance adaptations is the one by John Cranko. His version, created in 1962 for the Stuttgart Ballet, has gone down in ballet history. And with good reason: with his dancers, John Cranko constantly sought to portray real emotions, something he was famous for. He did not fear emotions and did everything he could to directly include these in his choreographies.

The feuding Veronese families of Montague and Capulet, the love scene before Romeo’s leave-taking, and Juliet’s eventual death – these are the powerful motifs associated with William Shakespeare’s drama. In interaction with Serge Prokofiev’s famous ballet composition, Cranko’s masterpiece contains the premonition of future suffering as well as the beauty of a love unfulfilled. The stage design and costumes are being newly designed for the Staatsballet Berlin by the Stuttgart-based stage designer Thomas Mika.

Choreography and directed by: John Cranko
Set and Costume design: Thomas Mika
Light: Steen Bjarke
Music: Serge Prokofieff
Assistance: Georgette Tsinguirides
Assistance: Birgit Deharde
Conductor: Wolfgang Heinz
Dancing: Solisten und Corps de ballet des Staatsballetts Berlin
Orchestra: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Romeo: Marian Walter
Julia: Iana Salenko
Mercutio: Dinu Tamazlacaru

3:00 h | 2 intermissions

45 minutes before each performance (except premieres), there is an introduction in the opera house (in German).
It is prepared and moderated by students of the institute of dance studies (Institut für Tanzwissenschaft) of Freie Universität Berlin.