Staatsballett Berlin introduces video introductions (don’t worry – they are subtitled!)


Staatsballett Berlin writes on Facebook:

Our new video introductions give you a brief overview of the production and its peculiarities. You get background knowledge which will help you in preparing for the #performance and draws your attention to the key moments of the ballet evening. We start with “Duato | Kylián” and hope you enjoy our new video format! Your next chance to see the triple bill on stage is already tonight and there are seven more shows in the season. Get tickets here.

Korean ballerina Hyo-Jung Kang goes from Stuttgart to Berlin and Japan


After three succesfull performances with the Staatsballett Berlin in Onegin earlier this year, Korean superstar ballerina Hyo-Jung Kang is currently in Korea and Japan with Stuttgarter Ballett.

Watch a wonderful segment from Stuttgart here:

Buy tickets to future perfomances of Onegin in Berlin here.

Shoko Nakamura’s new life in Japan



Ballet dancer Shoko Nakamura, who had a successful career in Europe, has moved her base of activities to Japan — mainly to dance for the K-Ballet Company in Tokyo.

To mark her return to Japan, Nakamura performed the title role in “Carmen” at Bunkamura Orchard Hall earlier this month in Shibuya, Tokyo. The production was choreographed by K-Ballet Artistic Director Tetsuya Kumakawa.

Nakamura is rather tall for a female ballet dancer at 173 centimeters. She is known for her delicate expressiveness and a physique comparable to those of Western dancers. After working for the Vienna State Ballet and the Berlin State Ballet, she moved to the Hungarian National Ballet in 2013.

“The troupe has many classical programs in its repertoire, such as ‘Onegin’ and ‘Manon’ — programs any ballet dancer would love to dance at least once. I thought I would regret it if I didn’t take on the challenge,” Nakamura said.

She decided to move to Budapest with her son and leave behind her husband Wieslaw Dudek, who was her colleague at the Berlin State Ballet in Germany.

Ballet is popular in Budapest. “The seats were full all the time,” Nakamura recalled, so she was always practicing two or three programs at once.

“I found myself having different feelings day to day, sometimes in love and other times full of sorrow,” she said. “There were so many things you would never know unless you danced it. I was tempered that way.”

She gradually came to wish to take on another challenge — dancing predominantly in Japan.

“I’ve been overseas since 16, so I’d lived outside of Japan [for a long time] although I’m Japanese,” the dancer said. “I thought I’d be able to have new encounters and experiences in Japan. I was also worried that my prime would be over if the timing was delayed.”

When she talked to Kumakawa about her intention, he was willing to have her dance in his troupe, which she had worked with many times before. She then moved to Japan with her family.

“I can now be with K-Ballet dancers for a long time and talk to them a lot from now on. I don’t want them to hesitate if they have any questions,” Nakamura said. “It’s difficult creating good productions unless we closely work as colleagues. If there’s a line between us, that would show on the stage.”

Nakamura made meticulous preparations to build the character of Carmen, known as a femme fatale.

“She’s a woman who would completely fascinate any man at a glance, but she has never really been in love with anyone. I suppose she is intoxicated by her own charm,” Nakamura said, adding with a laugh, “We have nothing in common.”

She carefully built up the character by exposing her shoulders from the dress, putting on thick makeup and wearing showy earrings.

“I tried to change myself in a way other people would think was too much,” Nakamura said. “But during rehearsals, I would gradually get rid of them and build a woman with femininity just like Carmen.”

Nakamura is expected to be an inspiration for Kumakawa when he choreographs new works.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Nakamura said. “If he produces works with me in mind, I’d be able to express myself and might also discover something new.”

Nakamura will perform in “Swan Lake” with K-Ballet Company on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Orchard Hall, and on Nov. 5 and 8 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Ueno Park, Tokyo.

Michael Clark Company – animal / vegetable / mineral


On the occasion of Tanz im August

Choreography MICHAEL CLARK
Lighting design CHARLES ATLAS

The British dance icon Michael Clark is back in Berlin with his most recent production in which he masterfully returns to his roots in ballet, naturally with a touch of glam and punk. The neo-classical repertoire of movement blends congenially with the raw energy of music bands like the Sex Pistols, Scritti Politti and Jarvis Cockers Relaxed Muscle. The six dancers and the light design of the video artist Charles Atlas might be architects inscribing lines and patterns upon empty space, creating images of meditative beauty.

Michael Clark has never left any doubt that for him life and art are one and the same. Details from his colourful biography have repeatedly been reflected in his provocative works. Born in Scotland, Clark graduated from the Royal Ballet School in London and danced with the famous Ballet Rambert. Inspired by Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Karole Armitage, he rebelled as dancer and choreographer extraordinaire against the crustiness of the ballet world and the impositions of politics and hypocrisy. In 1984 he founded his own company and toured the world many times with often audacious productions. He continues to collaborate closely with fashion designers, artists and avant-garde musicians. The Michael Clark Company has been based at the Barbican Centre in London since 2005.

ORGANIZER Tanz im August
Tanz im August is supported by means of the Capital City Cultural Funds from means of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds with the support of the governing mayor of Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

Comissioned by Barbican, London. Co-produced by Barbican, London, Michael Clark Company, Maison des Arts de Créteil, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Tramway, Glasgow.
Michael Clark Company is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Length 2h

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


24 Hours in a Berlin ballerina’s life (as seen on Instagram)

Patricia Zhou is a ballet dancer at the Staatsballett Berlin. She also runs a food blog, The Ballerina Chef. She does modelling for Adidas and others. She is hyperactive on numerous social media channels including Instagram and Twitter. Oh, and she sells her own homebaked cakes at a Thai market in West Berlin on Sundays!

This is a typical day for Patricia: