Ballet The National Theatre

The Czech Ballet Symphony II


Soldier´s Mass

Music: Bohuslav Martinů
Choreography: Jiří Kylián
Sets: Jiří Kylián
Costumes: Jiří Kylián, Petra Lebdušková
Lighting design: Kees Tjebbes
Conductor: Václav Zahradník


Music: Jan Jirásek
Choreography: Viktor Konvalinka
Sets: Jan Dušek
Costumes: Petra Lebdušková
Lighting design: Daniel Tesař

Stabat Mater

Music: Antonín Dvořák
Choreography: Petr Zuska
Sets: Jan Dušek
Costumes: Petra Lebdušková
Lighting design: Petr Zuska
Conductor: Václav Zahradník
Assistant choreographer: Veronika Iblová, Alexej Afanassiev

The Czech National Ballet has joined the celebrations of the Year of Czech Music and on 17 April 2014 will give at the National Theatre the premiere of Czech Ballet Symphony II. The mixed bill will present works by Czech choreographers of three generations to music by renowned Czech composers – Jiří Kylián’s Field Mass, Petr Zuska’s Stabat Mater and Viktor Konvalinka’s Guru. The production of Czech Ballet Symphony II links up to the Czech-themed title premiered in 2007. The fruit of co-operation with the National Theatre Orchestra, soloists and chorus, the ballet performance will be accompanied by live music and singing. The Year of Czech Music 2014 is an international programme aimed at support for and reflection on Czech music.

The evening will open with Jiří Kylián’s legendary choreography Field Mass to Bohuslav Martinů’s music. It is actually a remake, since our audiences had the chance to see the work back in 1992-1996, when it part of the Czech National Ballet repertoire. The engrossing dynamic choreography is a powerful statement of twelve men/soldiers, bearing within a vociferous protest against war and also depicting silent, intimate fear, despair and hope. Neither the work itself nor its message has lost its authenticity after all the years.

The middle part of the evening is a work by the youngest of the three participating choreographers, Viktor Konvalinka, one of our company’s most distinct soloists and also an established creator. His youthful spirit will also be reflected in the music, written by the outstanding contemporary Czech composer Jan Jirásek. In terms of music, theme and style, the choreography, titled Guru, will take us to different quarters – the modern world and contemporary reality. The bonds and relationships among a group of people result in situations that seemingly have no solution. The guru knows how to tackle the conflicts and which path to take…

If Kylián’s ballet can be perceived as a purely male matter, the last part of the evening will be solely female. Twelve male dancers will be replaced by twelve ballerinas, interpreting in Petr Zuska’s new choreography the first movement from Antonín Dvořák’s breathtaking Stabat Mater. The Virgin Mary’s lamentation over the crucified Jesus Christ, a mother’s unutterable grief at losing her child, is something unknowable to men. It is the darkest and most sensitive string deep in every woman’s soul.

Czech Ballet Symphony II is the fruit of co-operation with the National Theatre Orchestra, the National Theatre Opera Chorus and soloists. The performances will be conducted by David Švec and Václav Zahradník.
Approximate running time, including intermissions: 2 hours, 20 minutes, two 20 and 25 -minute intermissions


This production is not performed at the present time.

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