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Work of the week – Bohuslav Martinů: Piano Concerto No. 1

On 2 June, Semperoper Dresden will present Martinů’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 as part of the company’s ballet triple bill titled “100°C”, performed by the Semperoper Ballett and the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. The concerto will provide music for choreographer Justin Peck’s ballet “Heatscape”, which will be receiving its European premiere.

Justin Peck began his dancing career in 2007 at the New York Ballet and is now in high demand for his work as both a dancer and choreographer. His work garnered particular attention following the world premiere of “Heatscape” with the Miami City Ballet in 2015, when The New York Times described him as “the most eminent ballet choreographer in the USA.”

Bohuslav Martinů – Piano Concerto No.1: The transience of relationships

Peck’s ballet transports Martinů’s concerto from 1925 to the hot Atlantic coast of South Florida. Throughout the piece, Peck’s choreography employs visual uncertainty (what can you see, and what can’t you see?) while following various scenarios of young couples, to illustrate the uncertain and transient nature of relationships within a young community. At each turn, the movement of the soloists and their relationship to the ensemble corresponds with that of the piano and orchestra.  Thus, with a wealth of steps and discerning musicality, Peck transforms Martinů’s piano concerto in Heatscape” into poetic and captivating movement.

“The work itself moves between the abstraction and narrative, and invites the audience to form their own interpretation.” – Justin Peck

Further performances of the production with follow on 6, 10 & 15 June, and 1 & 5 July. The ballet will then be performed again as part of a triple bill with Semperoper Dresden in September 2018.


photo: Miami City Ballet / Daniel Azoulay