Estonian National Ballet premieres "Black/White"

In search of pure dance magic…

Premiere of "Black/White" in the Estonian National Opera on March 24, 2023

“Open Door”
Ballet by Katarzyna Kozielska
Music: Symphony in C major by Georges Bizet
World premiere on March 24, 2023 in the Estonian National Opera

Choreographer and Stage Director, Set Designer: Katarzyna Kozielska (Poland)
Costumes Designer: Marja-Liisa Pihlak
Lighting Designer: Rasmus Rembel

Katarzyna Kozielska: “The starting point for this piece was the choice of music, Bizet’s Symphony in C (1855). The symphony was never performed or published within Bizet’s lifetime, let alone mentioned in Bizet’s extensive correspondence. This has given rise to speculation as to the composer’s motives in suppressing the work. It reached its first performance only in 1935. Researching the background and listening to the music that itself is parodic in form, inspired my imagination. A big part in moving forward were Bizet’s words to his former teacher Charles Gounod, “You are the cause, I am the consequence”. I started analysing this sentence and decided to base my creation on Sigmund Freud’s theory about identity, ego and super-ego.
I wanted it to be an abstract work that inspires visual images in the minds of the audience rather than following a clean plot. I built my work on neoclassical base, letting it often transform into a more modern approach. Most of my work is exploration together with the dancers in the studio that creates full collaboration between me and them. The name of this evening is “Black / White”, I do not wish to add colours, but brightness”.

“Suite en blanc”
Ballet by Serge Lifar
Music: Édouard Lalo’s ballet “Namouna”
World premiere on June 19, 1943 in Zurich

Choreographer: Serge Lifar (Ukraine / France)
Stager: Charles Jude (France)
Assistant to the Stager: Stephanie Roublot (France)
Set and Costume Designer: Maurice Moulène (France)
Lighting Designer: Charles Jude (France)

“Suite en blanc” by Serge Lifar was created in 1943 to the music of Édouard Lalo – one of Lifar’s rare plotless ballets designed to display the elegance and virtuosity of its dancers. It became a symbol of neo-classical style in choreography. Serge Lifar: “When creating “Suite en blanc”, I was interested of pure dance that is independent of anything else. I wanted to create beautiful visions without any artificiality or intellectual construction. The result is a succession of authentic little technical etudes, choreographic miniatures independent of each other, but related to each other by the same neo-classical style”.

Its title was taken from the white costumes worn by the original cast, although in subsequent revivals the men wore black tights and black boleros and the title had to be changed to “Noir et blanc”. In this ballet, the audience is taken to a journey through the history of French ballet, on a feast of finding and cherishing a perfect movement.

This is a short ballet that challenges all ballet companies around the world and being able to have it in the repertoire is an absolute sign of quality, just like the Michelin Star is in the culture of restaurants.

“Dancers are a symphony orchestra with their different parts to play that harmonise, interweave and mix with each other to create a musical flow: there are arms that sing, hands that speak, legs that type and write. The dancer is simultaneously an orchestra, conductor and musician”.

- Serge Lifar

Tickets and more information can be found on Estonian National Opera website!